Ever wondered what one wears to go shelling? Me neither, but suddenly, I have the answer.
I spent a recent weekend on the shell-covered islands of Sanibel and Captiva in southwest Florida with a few other fashion and travel bloggers, scouring the beach for treasures and burning our shoulders as we went. Our first day was spent northbound on a breezy pontoon with Captiva Cruises, who have been boating shell enthusiasts around since 1986. They know what they're doing.
Captain Brian and marine biologist Stefanie gave us a ten-minute crash course in shelling and species identification on the beach, but as soon as we all started pawing through the sand and crushed shells, I knew it'd take more than a little effort to drag us all away. I had never heard of "shelling" as an activity before my feet hit the hot sands of Sanibel, but I was hooked as soon as I pulled my first bivalve from the waves. Shelling is quite literally wandering around the beach and looking for cool shells. It's a very calming activity. The exciting part is the thrill you get after you learn to identify so many unique types, and are able to spot them out in nature.
It happened that I had forgotten my shelling bag back at the resort, so my overalls came in handy. Throw them on over your bikini, slap on a sunhat, and you're ready for adventure. Having a thousand pockets made it very nerdy and convenient to separate the types I shells I found. Slipper shells in the left pocket, conchs in the right, and my mound of jingle shells—the prettiest and my favorite—went front and center in my place-of-honor bib pocket. The straw bag carried around my camera and sunscreen, and my trusty Soludos always handle the sand better than my favorite sneakers.
We were all so in love with shelling that we asked our travel guides to squeeze in another trip to the beach, even though there was only one on our itinerary. As much as I love to be an outfit repeater, I made sure to pack along my shelling bag.
Thank you to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for sponsoring this post.