Your Best Dressed Beach Days Are Ahead

Go beyond the bikini.

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beach outfit ideas
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Now is the time to plan the quintessential activities of the summer season: picnic dates, hikes, boat rides, and of course, the beloved beach day. For the fashion-conscious, preparing to hit the sand means going beyond shopping for just a bikini — a full beach outfit is necessary. For anyone finding themselves on the go, what you wear to the beach needs to seamlessly blend your seaside plans with the remainder of your day, eliminating the need for an outfit change later on.

When it comes to aesthetics, texture and color are great starting points to building your ensemble (especially if you plan on snapping a few photos). Neutrals without a doubt look great when you’re surrounded by blue water and warm sand, but you may have noticed fashion’s emphasis on maximalism this season. So, try instead for prints, vibrant colors, and added texture like mesh and crochet that will complement the otherwise toned-down surroundings.

When planning from a practical standpoint, it helps to consider your needs in relation to layering. For example, you may reach for active bottoms if you have a pension for beach sports, or a skirt and cover-up top should you have plans of visiting a waterside restaurant and want to conceal your swimwear a bit.

Contrarily, a swimsuit isn’t a necessary component of every beach outfit, especially if tanning or getting soaked aren't on your to-do list. These days, it feels pretty normal to hit the shore in pants and a tank, and the lack of a dress code only adds to the summertime fun. Ahead, here are eight outfit ideas to help you explore the breadth of your beach wardrobe. There’s nothing like stocking up on pieces that can take on a multitude of occasions to get the best bang for your buck.

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Bet On Nets

Crochet’s ascent to MVP trend of the summer hasn’t been a subtle one. And while knit and crochet bikinis also gained popularity (as questionable as their functionality may be), dresses offer a bit more versatility. Vibrant colors will stand out against a serene beach backdrop, and you have the option of choosing between full coverage knits and looser cover-up style crochets.

Lounge Out

Oftentimes, days at the beach are spent relaxing more so than actually doing anything active, making a comfy shorts set an apt ensemble to reflect the mood. Here’s the perfect opportunity to try your hand at the terry cloth trend or lay out in a linen set to fully welcome the breeze.

Sarong Who?

Sarong wraps have stood the test of time as a swimsuit accessory, but they can only go so far. The aforementioned isn’t the most ideal for, say, quicks errand ahead of your beach visit, or sitting down for lunch. Opt instead for a skirt to create a well-rounded outfit, especially when paired with a crop top. As fashion girls return to the skin-is-in mindset of the early aughts, a day in the sun is just the excuse to hop on board.

The New Swimsuit

There are swimsuits, and then there are swim... suits, aka lightweight, cropped blazer tops that make for the ultimate fashion-forward cover-up. Try pairing one with your new mini skirt in a matching shade to complete the set. For the daring, bikini tops are optional.

Gym To The Beach

Whether you take to the sand for a quick yoga sesh or you’re just an athleisure enthusiast, it’s worth noting that just about anything you wear to the gym, you can wear to the beach, too. High-waisted biker shorts in particular are a match made for bikini tops.

Meet The Quad

Sometimes, the best outfits come in fours. Behold, the summer quaternity: A two-piece base paired with a cover-up top and bottom. No matter how matchy-matchy this beach outfit may feel, there’s still some wiggle room — you can choose between a skirt or pants, a button-up blouse or a maxi cover-up, and a bikini top or a crop top. Though convenient, don’t stress over finding the full set from one place alone, there’s fun to be had in shopping around to create the final look, too.

Waterside Trousers

There may have been a time when pants at the beach felt out of place, but as trousers get slouchier and more relaxed, it doesn’t seem quite so odd. Especially for those beachgoers who prefer to stroll or sit with a book rather than get wet, a light linen pant or relaxed trouser fits the bill. The key here is a loose fit, comfy fabric, and prints — lots of prints.

Quick & Cozy

Rompers stand as one of the easiest to throw on and simultaneously cute beach day outfits. This season’s colorful options are ideal for layering over a contrasting bikini or one-piece for a playful ensemble. From terry cloth to jacquard, to see-through mesh or knits, rompers are proving to be more versatile than ever.

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