Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

What to Wear to the Beach: 5 Outfit Ideas


As I mentioned in yesterday’s article Top 10 Fabulous Beach Day Essentials, there are so many cute coverups and other options to wear to the beach. If you’re stumped for what to wear to the beach or just want a little bit of inspiration, here are five beach day outfit ideas.

Outfit #1

This outfit makes the quintessential “shorts and a top” look a lot more interesting. First, a black monokini doubles as a top when worn under denim shorts and a button-down white shirt left unbuttoned for maximum cool factor. A fun floral bag adds color and interest, while turquoise gladiator sandals are far more fabulous than basic flip flops.

Beach Day Outfit 1

Product Information: Shirt – Charlotte Russe, Monokini – Wet Seal, Shorts – American Eagle, Sandals – TopShop, Bag – TopShop, Sunglasses – Wet Seal

Outfit #2

This outfit keeps it simple in the best possible way. A loose white tee and shorts combine for the ultimate summer uniform, while a basic black bikini is universally flattering. Dark faux Wayfarers (or real ones if you have the cash) are just as classic. I love the addition of some metallic Havaianas sandals and a buffalo plaid bag for a little extra interest that still keeps it simple.

Beach day outfit ideas

Product Information: Crochet Bikini –, Tee – TopShop, Denim Shorts – Wet Seal, Faux Wayfarers –, Sandals – Havaianas, available at Piperlime, Bag – Wet Seal

Outfit #3

This look channels the 80’s trend that’s so popular right now with lots of brights and a hint of acid wash for good measure. This outfit would be a great way to play up a bright bikini. Neon aviators match a cute eco-friendly shopping tote that doubles as a beach bag, while basic Havaianas are simply a summer staple that go with everything.

What to wear to the beach

Product Information: Tunic – TopShop, Bikini – Victoria’s Secret, Sunglasses – TopShop, Flip Flops – Havaianas, available at Piperlime, Tote – Forever 21

Outfit #4

This outfit reminds me of a mix between Charlotte York and Elle Woods – cute and preppy, but still fun. The overall look is very matchy-matchy, but that’s part of what makes it work. A pretty pink dress is the focus of this outfit, layered over a crisp white bikini with metallic accents. A wide brimmed hat adds style and sun protection for your scalp, while white and gold metallic accessories tie the whole ensemble together.

Beach outfits

Product Information: Dress – American Eagle, Hat – e4Hats, Bikini – Wet Seal, Tote – Aeropostale, Bracelet –, Sandals – Rampage, available at Piperlime

Outfit #5

I think this outfit is my favorite of the bunch: a forever classic white beach kaftan paired with some stud-embellished flip flops, Chanel-inspired sunglasses and a colorful tote. Perfect for the stylish city girl who doesn’t want to give up her basic black but still wants to embrace summer fashion.

Outfit for a beach day

Product Information: Kaftan – TopShop, Sunglasses – Bleudame, Bikini –, Tote – TopShop, Flip Flops – Forever 21

Your Thoughts?

What’s your favorite outfit to wear to the beach? Do you like to keep it simple with a dress and flip flops, or mix it up a little more? Share your beach outfit ideas in the comments section.

Posted on on July 9, 2009 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

26 Responses to “What to Wear to the Beach: 5 Outfit Ideas”

  1. 1
    July 10th, 2009 at 3:04 am

    Since I really do make time to plan my outfits, I am always so thrilled when I find pre-put together ensembles that resemble what I actually wear. So thanks for posts like this. :) They’re extremely helpful.

  2. 2
    July 10th, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Oh I love the bottom outfit! Studded flipflops? Amazing. I like the one with the metallic flipflops too.

  3. 3
    July 10th, 2009 at 8:14 am

    I love the idea of wearing white over your suit, because when you get wet and put your clothes back on, the top becomes see-through and shows off the suit a little without being immodest. It rbings a cool dimension to the outfit.

  4. 4
    July 10th, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Sid – You’re welcome :)

    Claire – Aah, I’m obsessed with those studded flipflops too! And those metallic Havaianas look equally amazing. Definitely planning to pick some up soon.

    Jessi – Good point! I didn’t even think of that but it would add a different dimension to the outfit. Just make sure whatever you wear isn’t dry-clean only!

  5. 5
    July 10th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I love outfit #4 – very chic and sophisticated. Great matches!!!

  6. 6
    July 10th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I love outfit number 4! So cute ^^

  7. 7
    July 10th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    ah! i need that bag from outfit one! =D

  8. 8
    July 10th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    I don’t think I ever wear more than shorts and a large t-shirt to the beach as a coverup. I have a wonderful umbrella I bring though, to help protect myself from the sun if I ever do get out of the water. Haha.

  9. 9
    July 11th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    I love all these outfits…I live on a beach city where everyone just wear shorts and bikini tops..I love how these outfits are simple, yet super hot. Thank You

  10. 10
    July 13th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Love this post! I’ve been in a rut lately with clothes I wear to the beach. Good to know there are more options than a pair of shorts!

  11. 11
    July 13th, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    ah, you’re making me miss the beach!

    love all of your suggestions, the first is probably closest to my usual beach attire!:) combined w/ a good bob marley playlist

  12. 12
    July 16th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    i love outfit #4, that dress is adorable

  13. 13
    April 22nd, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    i love outfit 4 and 2 they are sooooo cute i really like them

  14. 14
    August 6th, 2010 at 7:50 am

    I too love the idea of white with a suite underneath! Because white is a color of which doesn’t gather to much heat and it also looks great and just like jessie said it looks great afterwards when you put the white clothing back on because it shows a bit of the tank without it looking revealing and odd? All the outfits are great and i am deffonitly going to wear them when i am in greece next week

  15. 15
    November 11th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Oh this was soooooooooo good! I go every year during Christmas Break (in CA!) and always find that I pack the complete wrong things, but I know what I’ll be packing this year!

  16. 16
    January 6th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    they are so super cute, i cant see on to decide on one but my heart is more centred around outfit #4. i think its simple and absolutely drop dead gorge. love your work, keep up the great work

  17. 17
    January 23rd, 2011 at 10:37 pm


  18. 18
    July 24th, 2011 at 12:38 pm



  19. 19
    September 9th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    omg i love number 4 for its ao hot and so fit for the beach

  20. 20
    December 18th, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I love outfit number 4 because it works better with my figure.. I am a little more hippy than others and a dress works super well with me when I go to the beach!

  21. 21
    May 28th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    first two outfits…off the hook! I was wondering what I would get for my trip and I think I just found the perfect outfits.

  22. 22
    August 4th, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Outfit #3 was made for me… i LOVE the glasses

  23. 23
    September 30th, 2012 at 6:10 am

    wow!! Loved them all.. specially the 1 with hat.. thanks for the post.

  24. 24
    January 5th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Wow I loved them I can’t pick one!!!

  25. 25
    January 5th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    By the way who made this is super cute :) <3

  26. 26
    April 10th, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Outfit #3 I wear all the time! :D

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.