The Last Resort of Bon Ton: Etiquette Under The Beach Umbrella

The Last Resort of Bon Ton: Etiquette Under The Beach Umbrella

THE LAST RESORT OF BON TON: ETIQUETTE UNDER THE BEACH UMBRELLA

By Nicola Santini - bon ton and etiquette expert, author of NON LO FACCIO PIU’

Summertime means breaks and damages: I’m not talking about ripped and damaged jeans, which are quite fashionable also this year, but I’m talking about breaking the rules. Some breaks are licit, some are awful.

There is someone who considers the beach as a stage, someone as a relax location, some others consider it as a memorial site, and many others as a gaming table where to play their game.

Whether you are at Forte dei Marmi or in Formentera, at Lignano Sabbiadoro or in Santa Maria di Leuca, it doesn’t matter: it is not important where you are, but how you are.

According to the strictest etiquette rules, don’t go on the beach with make-up, with flashy jewels, and, according to the most snobbiest’s opinion, don’t carry a cooler. To be honest: in these last years I have seen so many strange fashion trends that I am almost regretting those huge fridges and the coconut man who interrupted the most desired naps.

Everything depends on, as I was saying before, how you are: if the cooler is not the supermarket fridge on which you have put on a belt, what’s the problem? If the lunchbox makes you feel more on holiday than the daily duty of sitting at the table, it is important just to understand that the beach umbrella is not the living room and everything finds an explanation.

And what about accessories? We say yes to hats and sunglasses, provided that in the introductions we get rid of them. A second is enough, just to remind ourselves and the ones we meet for the first time that we are polite, and then we can get back to shelter us from the sun or to hide the dark circles due to the party of the night before.

Sarongs, beach robes and t-shirts are essential if we sit in a restaurant. Even if it is a restaurant on the beach: there is nothing more depressing than a body, whether it is ugly or beautiful, half-naked in a table among the people. It doesn’t matter if you have a beauty queen body or a “Bachelor” body, it is not good.

Jewels: yes or not? If jewels mean costume jewelry, as a completion of a beach look, easy to take off and to put on Instagram, why not? I would put the costume jewelry among the things to reconsider in the etiquette, since it gives someone a sense of self-confidence.

On the other hand, high heels and wedges on the sand, vests, Capri pants and pouches are completely rejected. Flip flops are allowed just between the beach hut and the sand. A hundred meters away from the sea, and flip flops are already out.

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