Now's the time to usher in the newfound energy of the summer season in all its glory, from warmer temperatures and longer days in the sun to swimsuits, luxury straw bags, and of course, beach outfits.
Today’s beach looks have evolved beyond the basic bikini and cover-up. Whether it’s a beach sarong that can double as a mini skirt when paired with a strappy sandal or a low-back one-piece swimsuit that can be worn as a bodysuit with wide-leg pants, beach essentials have become an integral part of everyday style. This season is all about pairing your new summer fashion finds with your go-to summer capsule wardrobe pieces (think high-waisted trousers and Bottega slides). And most importantly, the best beach outfits are meant to be fun—think bold, bright-colored accessories and dramatically oversized straw hats.
Ahead, discover the most fashionable beach outfits to get you even more excited for summer (and yes, these can be worn to the pool, too).
Shop the Best Beach Outfit Ideas
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Bandeau and High-Waisted Trousers
Behold the effortlessly cool look of the summer: a bandeau bikini styled with a high-waisted, loose-fitting trouser. The best part? You can repeat this look hundreds of times with different colors, fabrics, and of course, accessories. Opt for a classic look with subtle hints of gold jewelry like a medium-sized hoop earring and dainty choker necklace. Now all you need is a designer beach towel.
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Beach Kaftan Outfit
Just because beach dressing has evolved does not mean the classic kaftan cover-up is no longer in style—it just got the minimalist makeover. Pair the oversized kaftan with a strappy sandal—our go-to is The Row’s Constance sandal— rectangular acetate sunglass, and chunky gold jewelry to complete the look.
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Bikini and Silk Bandana Beach Fashion
Perhaps our favorite styling piece for the summer is the silk bandana. It’s the ultimate versatile piece, from wearing it as a neck scarf or hair tie to a skirt or top; the silk bandana can be transformed into many different pieces. Our expert advice? Indulge in fun, bright prints and style with a basic black swimsuit.
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Knit Cover-Up and One-Piece
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Striped Sweater and High-Waisted Denim Shorts
This outfit will forever be a classy beach look—especially when the weather errs on the cooler side. Update the striped sweater and denim cut-offs look by layering them over Lisa Marie Fernandez’s terry one-piece swimsuit and a sleek, leather tote bag.
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Summer Whites Beach Outfit
There’s nothing quite as fresh as wearing white linens on a warm day at the beach. Keep the button-down and shorts slightly oversized for a loose and breezy vibe. Complete the outfit with contrasting dark accessories like chunky black sunglasses and Jil Sander’s black sombrero tote bag.
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Matching Skirt Set Beach Outfit
If there’s anything 2020 proved, it’s that we love a matching set—whether loungewear or beachwear. Dress up your beach outfit with a matching tie-front top and tiered maxi skirt to wear down to the ocean and to dinner. Opt for a classic timepiece that both elevates the outfit while keeping it seemingly casual.
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Printed Short-Sleeve Top and Bikini
The oversized, wide short-sleeve top will continue to be the hero shirt silhouette of the season this year—and we are obsessed. Drape this shirt over a classic triangle string bikini and style with stackable rings for a modern beach outfit.
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Yes, you can wear a suit to the beach. But, what exactly constitutes a beach suit? Rather than sophisticated menswear-inspired tailoring, beach suits are loose-fitting, often made in breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, and are best in neutral colorways. Pair your beach suit with a cropped bikini (that can double as a bra top), and Jacquemus’ new canvas top-handle bag for the ultimate ladylike beach look.
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Crochet Top and Bermuda Shorts
We’re calling it now: Bermuda shorts will be the short of summer. The ease and relaxed fit make these shorts ideal for the beach. Style them with a crocheted crop top to balance the proportion of the long-line hem, and polish off the look with a belt and sleek slide sandal.
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Multi-Purpose Swim Top and Sarong
If we could describe Miami style in one look, it would be this outfit. There is truly no better time to embrace color and pattern than a day at the beach. Invest in bikinis this summer—like this Bottega Veneta set—that can double as a top to be worn with a sarong.
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Open-Back One-Piece Swimsuit and Skirt
Mark our words: The open-back one-piece swimsuit will never go out of style; it’s a dynamic design that instantly elevates any look. Wear it to the beach styled with a maxi skirt, classic straw beach hat, and macrame tote bag for the ultimate summer feel.
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Beach Mini Dress
The beach isn’t just for swimsuits; it’s also the perfect setting to show off your new summer mini dress. Going to a seaside picnic? This is the perfect outfit for hanging out on the sand until the sun goes down.
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Bikini, High-Waisted Shorts, and Sun Hat
Another one of our favorite beach outfit ideas? The high-waisted boxer-inspired short paired with a vintage bra-top bikini. Keep it simple by styling with a trendy beach hat (that also protects you from harmful UV rays) and a sun-catching tennis bracelet.
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Cut-Out Beach Dress
Another extremely popular trend this year has proven to be cut-outs. Perhaps it’s because of the massive shift toward above-the-keyboard dressing (thanks, Zoom), but cut-outs are continuing to have a major moment. Style the beach-ready trend with other summer essentials like a flip flop, a beaded necklace, and a gold statement ring.
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Button-Down Shirt and String Bikini
Consider this look your beach uniform (the proportions are everything). The classic oversized shirt paired with an XL, oversized Celine tote bag, and a string bikini underneath is an effortless yet incredibly chic beach look that can indeed be worn more than once.
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Bold Bikini and Printed Silk Pants
There is such ease that comes with wearing a flowy silk trouser with a bikini top, and that’s because the combination never fails—10/10 times it looks flawless. Expert advice: opt for mood-boosting colors, like a bold yellow triangle top, to make the look pop on the sand and in photos. And when it comes to accessorizing? Go equally as bold to create the ultimate beachy vibe.
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All Black Everything
New Yorkers, this look is for you. From its monochromatic color palette to the pairing of a bandeau bikini top with a cardigan and wrap skirt, this is the ultimate Manhattan girl beach look. Complete the outfit with your go-to sunglasses, and you’ve officially mastered New York minimalist beach style.
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Floral Blouse and Bikini Bottoms
For a more boho feel, try deeming a floral blouse the hero piece of your beach outfit. Style it with a simple bikini and beach-ready accessories like a structured straw hat and a basket bag with chic, leather detailing. And, if the beach isn’t your only stop that day, make sure to throw a pair of light-wash jeans into your bag.
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Bikini and Bucket Hat
Bikinis and bucket hats have become the off-duty summer uniform for models over the last several summers—everyone from Kaia Gerber to Kendall Jenner was wearing them. Take inspiration from style icon Vanessa Hong, and keep your bikini and bucket hat within the same color family for a fresh look.
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One-Piece and High-Waisted Denim Shorts
Another evergreen beach outfit that you most likely already own: a one-piece and high-waisted denim shorts. But this season, the look is getting a major makeover by way of accessories. Opt for leather slide sandals and a dainty anklet to make the outfit feel fresh, modern, and playful.