15 Creative Beach Outfit Ideas for Every Seaside Occasion

Beach Outfit Ideas Lizzo

@lizzobeeating/Design by Cristina Cianci

There’s no one definition of a beach day. For some, it may mean taking a new surfboard for a spin or doing early morning yoga along the coast line. For others, it’s hiding from direct UV exposure under an umbrella while you crack into a new book. But while beach days are blissful no matter what you have on the agenda (just remember to wear SPF!), sometimes one of the hardest parts is picking out a fashion-forward ensemble that's ready for all the activities you have in store.

Naturally, a beach outfit can be as straightforward as a swimsuit and sandals, but the 15 examples below cover all kinds of shore-side outings, so you're not caught off guard when spontaneity strikes. Think on-trend designs from swimwear brands we're loving, playful accessories, and breezy dresses to slip into as the sun sets. In total, the looks below provide more than enough options for any beach plans stretching from now through Labor Day Weekend. Peruse our beach outfit ideas ahead before setting off on your summertime plans, whatever they may be.

The Classic Black Swimsuit

The classic black one-piece suit is a staple in any summer wardrobe. Shake it up by choosing a fresh design with an asymmetric neckline and cut-out detail. For added flair, complete the look with a wide-brimmed hat.

The Vacation Dress

If your ideal beach day means having a cold beverage with friends at a picturesque spot adjacent to the sand (or if you have evening plans), opt for a vacation-ready design. Pair this patterned dress with timeless and comfortable sandals to balance out the playfulness.

The Any-Which-Way Sarong

A scarf or sarong makes for a versatile, choose-your-own-adventure style of swimsuit cover-up. Fashion it as a skirt or dress, or maybe even wear it as a headscarf while you sunbathe.

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The Matching Set

Matching sets are having a real moment pretty much everywhere, and we love how they can create an effortless, pulled-together beach outfit to take you from day to night. Opt for a shorts-and-cropped-top set for a seaside bonfire or clambake.

The Open-Weave Cover-Up

Embrace DIY vibes in a crochet cover-up, which you can make or buy. For an easygoing beach outfit, we recommend wearing it over a colorful swimsuit that will peek out from behind the open weave.

The Statement Sunnies

Sometimes a beach look can be all about the accessories, such as in the case of these bright yellow sunglasses. Paired with a patterned one-piece, your shades will communicate the pure joy that beach days bring.

The Bold Printed Swimsuit

Let your boldest swimwear shine by styling it with non-competing accessories, such as a woven tote—an ideal beach bag as it’s easy to brush the sand off of it.

The Wide-Leg Pants

Wide-leg pants are one of our favorite beach outfit staples. Whether you wear a one-piece, two-piece, or somewhere-in-between swimsuit, when you slip high-waisted pants overtop, it becomes a complete look, taking you instantly from lounging in the sand to lunching at your favorite beach-front bistro.

The Oversize Button-Down

When in doubt, an oversized, button-down shirt creates a timelessly chic beach outfit. We especially like a neutral pairing, such as with this swimsuit and relaxed-fit top.

The Citrus Palette

A bright, citrusy color palette feels right on the mark for summer. Lean into it with a combination of printed and solid items, such as this ‘70s-inspired floral cover-up paired with a yellow swimsuit.

The Breezy Beach Dress

We think of this as the ideal late-in-the-day beach outfit. It’s for when the wet bathing suit comes off and an easy, lightweight dress transitions you to sunset watching, strolls along the shore, and, likely, ice cream.

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The Rash Guard Set

You don’t have to be a surfer to wear a rash guard ensemble—we also love this long-sleeved top as a layer of sun protection for anyone laying out or swimming for an extended period of time. Completing the look with rainbow slides is optional, but encouraged. 

The Denim Shorts

What beach outfit collection would be complete without a pair of denim shorts? Pair the classic silhouette with a modern vacation top that can be worn either buttoned up or draped open over your swimsuit.

The Maxi Skirt

A skirt with a dramatic, high slit makes for a stylish way to "cover up" while still showing off your swimsuit. Pair a lightweight, neutral maxi with a patterned bikini for the ultimate easygoing vibes.

The Athletic Shorts

For the beachgoer who never spends a day on the sand without a game of volleyball or five-mile run, this ensemble will complete your sporty moment in the sun. 

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