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Everyone is probably familiar with the LL Bean Monogrammed Tote Bag. Nothing screams Cape Cod and the Islands like a slightly scruffy beach tote. You may have been under the grand misconception that because you don’t necessarily own property on an island, you do not deserve one of these fine bags. Au contraire!

The beach totes we all know and love just screams summer to me and I adore them. First of all: They’re cheap. Yup. If you haven’t been to the LL Bean website to look around, you will be surprised. The extra-large open top bag for the beach is only $30.00 (before shipping). Secondly, there are a ton of options and extras, including color, pockets, strap length and zipper closed top (much preferred for overnight use). Superiorists know the important of such options, and these are important decisions you need to make. Third, I hate to bring it back to Oprah, but you know she approves of their ability to virtually wipe out any need for a plastic bag and thus, save the environment. Their durability and strength means you can throw most of your groceries [read: wine] in one bag and call it a day. Fourth, and you know Ms. Superiority obsesses over this, they make a great gift and even more thoughtful, a great gift bag! Seriously!

For example, for a newly married couple, you might consider a large tote bag with their new last name on it – and then throwing your candlesticks or Kitchen Aid Mixer in the bag. Or throwing in some new monogrammed beach towels and a gift certificate to an airline or a hotel – now that’s a fabulous idea. Of course, everything should be catered to your specific budget and how well you know the couple getting married.

Most importantly, there is just something Superior to having a beach tote with your monogram or last name on it on the beach each summer. It serves almost as a memory holder – all the towels and sandy toys stretching the canvas and of course the glow of sunscreen, sand and ocean water add a patina that an ordinary bag couldn’t handle. Memories of the giant family beach bag (why does it always seem smaller than you remember as you get older) don’t fade. The price is generous enough that you can treat yourself without feeling guilty – and that is a superior feeling.

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