Six months ago, I compiled Texas Monthly’s Made in Texas Gift Guide for the holidays, a comprehensive package of one hundred items, from furniture to chili bowls, all crafted in the state. Although I regularly write Made in Texas profiles, taking such a deep dive into what the state’s artisans and entrepreneurs are creating on a daily basis was inspiring. And so, as the triple-digit temps of summer arrived, it seemed like a good time to look for seasonal Made in Texas items, which I’ve gathered here along with some other selections perfect for surviving the long summer days ahead. Consider these my style essentials—everything you need for a day on the beach, river, lake, pool (you get the idea). You can find some of the Made in Texas items in the TM General Store’s new Summer Collection—please note that during June, a portion of every General Store purchase will be donated to the New Day Port A Fund to help the area rebuild. Make sure to read our June cover story on why you should return to the coast after Harvey (and my companion itinerary for a perfect trip to Port A).
TM General Store
Last summer, we visited magical Ojai, California, for the first time. With my two children and husband waiting in the car for our next adventure, I only had a few minutes of solo shopping time, so I ran into In the Field, a chic men’s and women’s shop with a laid-back, elevated surfer vibe, and within seconds picked out this straw Guatemalan palm hat and pretty much didn’t take it off. It wasn’t until a month later, back in Austin, when someone asked me what brand it was that I looked at the label. I was delighted to find that it was a Texas company called SunBody Hats, based in Houston. They have a lid for every style, but this one is my go-to, my closest travel companion on this summer’s jaunts to Galveston, Port Aransas, and Santa Fe.
Original Universal Sandal
I was born in the eighties, and I was a camp counselor in college, so it’s no surprise that I am thrilled Teva sandals are cool again (just look at Urban Outfitters’ platform version). A river guide on the Grand Canyon thirty years ago started this brand of sturdy sandals with endless print options meant for outdoor adventures, and it’s fun to see its rejuvenation. I would wear these rafting on the Frio River or to my best friend’s annual hilltop Fourth of July party.
I love all the bright short-sleeve button-downs in loud prints that are in for the summer, but I have a husband who would never go that bold. Leave it to expert Houston retailer Travis Weaver of Manready Mercantile to find the perfect compromise, a classic Hawaiian shirt that feels current and festive without scaring away a color-averse dude.
Tundra 35 Cooler
Yeti’s coral color will fit right in with the pastels of the historic Victorians in Galveston or the colorful beach houses of Cinnamon Shores at Port A. The classic, thick-walled Tundra 35 is one of the Austin-based company’s first designs.
Sinoh Handwoven Turkish Towel
Odd Bird Co.
TM General Store
Ceren Alkac-Lee was born in Turkey, grew up in Australia, and now resides in Denton, where her modern line of Turkish towels, robes, rugs, and pillows called Odd Bird Co. is based. The mid-weight linen and raw-cotton towels come in a variety of subtle, handsome colors and are an easy, compact piece to throw into a beach bag. My pick is the timeless stripe in black or crimson.
St. Louis Classics
A few years ago, we were on a couples’ trip to New Orleans, and my in-the-know friends insisted we find the Krewe store so that they could buy a new pair of shades. I had not heard of the brand, but now the NOLA-based brand seems to be the sunglasses of the summer, quickly spreading from the South into stores across the country. I particularly love their diversity of shapes, unique lens colors, and creative use of the tortoise pattern.
Ziggy Line Towel
Bring home the magic that is Rancho Pillow, Sheila Youngblood’s wonderland of a whimsical retreat in Round Top, with one of the hotel’s signature towels. The funky colors will take you right back to the feeling of taking a dip in Rancho’s heated saltwater wading pool under the stars.
Aomais Sport ll Portable Wireless Speakers
This waterproof portable speaker will play the right soundtrack for boating across Possum Kingdom Lake or camping in McKinney Falls State Park. It tops our list of summer essentials for just the right amount of eighties-inspired design, portability, and reliability.
Radio Tower Snapback Hat
TM General Store
The co-founders of Howler Brothers, Chase Heard and Andy Stepanian, spent their childhood fishing the waters of Florida and Virginia where they grew up. They later moved to Texas and founded their company in Austin, where it’s headquartered. Their line of shirts, hats, board shorts, and more for the hip outdoorsperson continues to grow with loyal fans across the country. The snapback hats come in poppy prints and bright hues fit for Texas summers.
Texas USA Market Bag
National social impact brand Apolis has been making its personalized take on the farmers’ market bag since brothers Raan and Shea Parton started the company in 2004. Texas Monthly has joined forces with them to create a custom bag for the beach that proclaims our love of the state. Texas, USA. Enough said.
Frankford Beach Umbrella
Starting at $169.90
From stripes to patriotic, this sturdy seven-and-a-half-foot-tall steel commercial grade umbrella comes in a variety of summer colors and will offer some enticing shade on a sunny Saturday in South Padre Island.
LeighCountry Texas Retro Chair
This Texas take on the classic fifties metal chair brings just the right amount of kitsch. Bring it to watch the sunset from the lakehouse porch while enjoying a can of Austin Beerworks’ Flavor Country, a hoppy pale ale.
Texas Monthly serves its readers with occasional product roundups reported by Senior Editor Lauren Smith Ford. After she makes her picks, the Texas Monthly General Store acquires some of the items for its inventory. For your convenience, we’ve provided links to the store where applicable. For the other stuff, the links go directly to the retailer. We make a commission from sales that occur from those links.