...the right accessories. I understand that not everyone accessorizes a bathing suit, but I sure do. My fave suit is black with white stripes. Black because it makes me look skinny and tan. Wide brim black hat, 3 strand turquoise necklace, metallic sandals, iPhone.
....some juicy reading. Nothing too heavy for the summer reading list. Lauren Conrad, Sophie Kinsella, Candace Bushnell, etc. Also, Vogue, Town & Country, Elle Decor, 5280.
...a killer tan! None of that 100+ SPF sunscreen for me! I wear 15 until I get a good tan going, then switch to 4. Also, continuous spray is the best because it will spray upside down to get the middle of your back and back of your legs. I use Jergens Natural Glow lotion on my face, arms and legs to keep my color.
...the right polish colors. My Chihuahua Bites or Lost w/o My GPS by OPI for toes (both an coral-y pinkish orange color) and Tie the Knot by Essie (pale pale pink) or I Need Space by OPI (sheer natural) for fingers. Sometimes when very tan I wear My Chihuahua Bites on my fingers.
...and of course, a seasonal playlist. My summertime faves: "Heads Carolina, Tails California" by Jo Dee Messina, "Summer Girls" by LFO, "Sweet Tea" by Cravin' Melon, "Banana Pancakes" by Jack Johnson, "Corona and Lime" by Swayze, "Boat Drinks", "One Particular Harbor", "Southern Cross", and "The Wino and I Know" all by Jimmy Buffett.