For many, it is that time of year when beach trips are a seasonal main stay. Putting together the perfect beach look does not have to be a challenge (though we always make it so, don’t we?).
In this article, we cover the essentials (from sunscreen to sandals) and the perfect looks for a chic, fun, and relaxing day at the beach.
The first item on our list is probably the most essential component of “dressing” for the beach. From your hair to your feet, sunscreen is a must-have to protect your skin. Not only does this stop premature or advanced aging (think wrinkles, hyperpigmentation,etc.), it is also critical to keep your skin and entire body protected and healthy.
Check the best sun screens for women over 40.
In the same vein of keeping your skin protected, sunglasses are also essential for protecting your eyes and the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes. The bonus here is that they are also a stylish must have for the beach.
- Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses
- Le Specs mirrored sunglasses
- Saint Laurent white sunglasses
- Wayfarer classic sunglasses
There is absolutely no need to fear the swimsuit as the temperatures begin to rise. Much like selecting the best clothing for your shape, swimsuits can be quite flattering if you select the best styles, colors, and cuts that fit your shape.
- Lisa Marie Fernandez yasmin one piece suit
- Onia edie high waist lace up bikini
- Lisa Marie Fernandez farrah neoprene swimsuit
- Adriana Degreas araruta bandeau bikini
For an extensive list and more recommendations for swimwear visit this page.
Sarongs are a great beach option. When paired with the right swimsuit, there is something ethereally sensual about the look, which immediately translates to increased confidence. It is also not a requirement that you show your stomach if you are not comfortable. They can be easily paired with a one-piece. We would, however, recommend that you not pair them with a one piece that is too full at the top. This will create a lot of material on both the bottom and top which is not a universally flattering look.
- Gottex blue jasmine silk sarong
- Paul Smith black sarong
- Block print floral sarong
- Gottex les plumes silk sarong
Kaftans are the perennial beach resort favorite. Available in a plethora of styles and cuts, they are usually quite light, extremely forgiving (they can be tossed in a bag and won’t wrinkle or lose their shape), and add a bit of elegance to your look.
- Hand batik dyed caftan
- Ghost Joy turquoise kaftan
- ETRO printed silk-chiffon kaftan
- Melissa Odabash voile kaftan
You can find more fabulous tunics and kaftans in store right now here.
Like the kaftan, dresses are a great beach look. Select a style that best suits your body style, can handle being wet and stretched, and is light and forgiving enough to be roughly handled (i.e. does not easily wrinkle).
- Vix nina voile striped maxi dress
- Heidi Klein gauzy embroidery beach dress
- Ivory crotchet beach dress
- Tahiti ruched bandeau beach dress
If you are feeling especially confident (and you should!) shorts are also a great sporty option for a casual beach look. The length can vary depending on your taste preferences and look. We especially like the lace varieties which create a whole new look, are casual and also sexy.
Another beach must-have, hats are a stylish option for the perfect beach look. You can channel old hollywood glamour by going with a large, floppy brim style. For a more casual chic look, a coordinating baseball hat is also a great option.
- Eric Javits floppy sun hat
- Madewell linen cotton baseball hat
- Eugenia Kim sun hat
- Brixton straw fedora
Beach totes do not have to be dowdy. Think of them as that perfect accessory for your beach look. Many of the beach totes available can also double as casual totes to wear beyond the beach.
Just make sure they are roomy enough to comfortably hold all of your essentials (a great book, your favorite tunes, beach towel, sunscreen, water, snacks, etc.).
- Loeffler Randall perforated beach tote
- Under One striped tote
- Vix straw tote bag
- Buco Handdbags white beach tote
We really do not recommend heels for the beach (we’ve all seen those women once in a while). Beach sandals do not have to be a very utilitarian style. There are plenty of chic styles you would be tempted to wear beyond the beach.
We definitely recommend investing in a quality pair that can last season after season, coordinates well with multiple looks, and that withstands all of the elements.
- Adam Lippes slides
- Birkenstock madrid sandals
- Ipanema pyramid flip flops
- Tory Burch jelly thong sandals
The perfect beach towel is absorbent, big enough for all of your needs, and (of course) something stylish that doubles as the perfect accessory. Much like the best shoes and swimsuits, select a towel that is great quality and can last. The investment early on will keep you from dealing with towels that lose their softness too soon, are not easily absorbent, and cannot withstand the elements. Here are some of our favorites.
- Modcloth beach towel
- Vera Bradley paisley beach towel
- JR by John Robshaw beach towel
- Pendleton canyonlands beach towel
Chic beach looks
Here are four looks to help inspire your next beach visit
Look #1: Shorts
Look #2: Sarong
Look #3: Kaftan
Look #4: Dress
What is your “go-to” look for the beach?
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