Our favorite beach towels this season are all about simple graphics: bold color blocks and summery stripes in linen or Turkish cotton. And they're often big enough to share with friends, or even to use as bedspreads or wall hangings. Here are 10 summery standouts. Which is your favorite?
Above: Designed in collaboration with Todd Heim Projects, Fredericks & Mae's Linen Towels are made of 100-percent Irish linen (which holds about 20 times its weight in water and dries much more quickly than terry towels). They're available in four banded patterns and measure 80 inches by 56 inches (perfect for twin bed covers); $300 each.
Above: Anthropologie's timeless Awning Stripe Towels in navy and white look great stacked together; made of Turkish cotton, they're $68 each.
Above: Todd Heim Projects (the same workshop that produces the Fredericks & Mae design above) offers its own 100-percent Irish linen Beach Towels in a range of corals, marine blues, and bright citrus stripes. Handmade in Brooklyn, they measure 80 inches by 56 inches and are machine washable; $300.
Above: For purists, Everlane's Terry Pool Towels come in navy and white, and are made in Turkey from 100-percent cotton yarns; $40.
Above: The Deck Towel is another linen design that you may be tempted to use as bed sheet or throw. Offered in solids and a variety of stripes, Deck Towels are made of 100-percent Irish linen and measure 70 inches by 57 inches; $178.
Above: Made from hand-loomed cotton, Pisu's Fouta Turkish Towel is both lightweight and absorbent. It's 67 inches by 36 inches and is available at Steven Alan in three soft shades: gray (shown above), raspberry, and denim; $45.
Above: Substantial enough for two, Etsy seller Chosiette's 56-inch-by-70-inch Simone Beach Towels are handmade in the US from washed linen; $108.
Above: 8 Knots' Seersucker Stripe Towels, 36 inches by 70 inches, are made from Aegean cotton and finished with hand-knotted tassels. Available at Lekker Home in three different striped color combinations; $49. They're also sold at Indigo & Cotton.
Above: In subtle ticking and charcoal chambray, these 47-by-70-inch linen beach towels/picnic blankets from Alder & Co. are handmade in France; $120
Above: Another ample towel, Serena and Lily's 40-by-70-inch Turkish Fouta in Tomato and Navy combines smooth cotton on one side and terry on the other; $48.
N.B. Christine shares her favorite bath linens in The Changing of the Towels, and you can browse my bath picks in Summer Towels in Sherbet Shades. Looking for ways to tote a lunch to the beach? Gardenista has spotted The Perfect Picnic Basket and Picnic Basket Backpack.