When the thermometer climbs and the temperature sizzles, there’s no better way to stay cool and collected than by spending a day at the beach. But just because you’re laid-back and relaxed doesn’t mean you needn’t think about your look. With a little careful planning, you can put together a myriad of cute beach outfit ideas that let you look your best while you’re enjoying the sun, sea and sand.
So what do you need to think about when choosing outfits for the beach? Well, naturally you’ll need swimwear, even if you don’t seriously intend to take a dip. Beach outfits with shorts are also a good option as they let you show off your sun-tanned legs in style. And of course, you’ll need a covering layer to protect your sensitive skin from the burning rays of the harsh sun.
Featured photo: You won’t go wrong with a floral tunic and a sun hat. Via Sarah Yates Morah
Cute cover-up ideas
Traditionally, the mainstay in cover-up ideas has been sarong-style tunics and these are enduringly popular because of their loose styling and feather-light fabrics. Short versions let you cover up while still displaying your legs, but if you prefer the longer style there are plenty of options.
For a short cover-up, try a light chiffon design with monochrome print for beauty and freedom, or branch out with a black off-the-shoulder romper with tasseled fringing. A tunic-style sundress with drawstring neckline and featuring striped panels also looks great, or consider a pastel-striped jumpsuit with three-quarter sleeves for covering up without too much concealment. Longer designs such as a simple sarong with luxuriant fringing and a cool white sarong with lacy border. Or you could try a wrap-around lacy mini-skirt with tasselled hemline together with a classic denim buttoned shirt tied at the waist for a cute playful feel that’s totally feminine.
For a more reserved and sophisticated beach look, why not try Lene Orvik’s combination of an off the shoulder bell sleeve blouse and simple black skirt. This cute and feminine style is perfect for those late evening strolls.
Skirt: Designers Remix, Sandals: Adidas, Hat: H&M, Top: Zara.
Janni Deler is wearing a cute tasselled mini skirt with a tank top as a sexy beach cover up which is perfect for strolling the promenade on hot afternoons. Wear this look with sandals and a straw hat to steal Janni’s style!
Top: H&M, Skirt: Storets, Bag: Ragdoll LA.
Jessica R. looks adorable in this super cute blush pink beach dress, with tassel detailing and an embroidered plunge neck. With or without heels this look is perfect for beach chic!
Dress/Heels: Charlotte Russe.
Janni Deler is rocking a super cute navy and white gingham two piece here, pairing it with stylish flip flops and a beach bag for a classic look. An anklet and a pair of shades are essential to completing the style!
Dress: Storets, Bag/Shoes: from Spain.
A cute and playful ruffle skirt is the way to go for a simple but stylish beach outfit. Sara Escudero looks ultra sweet in this navy and white striped number, paired with a simple white tee for a classic beach look.
Skirt: Old, Top: H&M.
Statement prints are a must have for effortless summer style. Jessi Afshin is looking totally beach ready in this blue and white printed bell-sleeve top, paired with white denim mini shorts and an orange tote bag.
A dress like this with holes and cut out detailing is a great way to cover up at the beach without losing your beach chic! Kelsey Taylor White wears this stylish piece over a bikini and with gladiator sandals.
Dress: Indah, Bag: Cleobella, Shoes: Steve Madden.
Throw on a shirt over a bikini and shorts to get Leonie Sophie’s classic beach chic! This striped boyfriend shirt looks casual and flirty paired with denim mini shiorts and a bandana.
Blouse/Bikini: S. Oliver, Trousers: One Teaspoon.
If you’re searching for the ultimate beach style, look no further than Jacqueline Mikuta’s cute and casual style. Pairing a grey tank top with Birkenstocks and a beach bag, Jacqueline has nailed the beach look!
Bag: Freds Bruder.
White lace is a winning choice to wear over swimwear at the beach! Christine Andrew wears this top as a dress, creating a cute and easy summer style!
Top: Old Navy.
Kat Tanita is beach ready in this cute midi length strapless sundress, accessorised with a classic straw hat and a leather beach bag!
Dress: Cool Change, Hat: Preston + Olivia, Sandals: Cocobelle, Bag: Mansur Gavriel.
For a cute beach outfit idea, try wearing a loose and light patterned playsuit with a retro style straw hat like Doina Ciobanu. Not only is this look effortlessly summery, it is also a great way to cover up for an evening at the beach after swimming!
Outfit: Faithfull The Brand.
Frayed denim shorts and a simple white top is the ultimate beach look. Pair with a wide brimmed straw hat for added effect. Via Unknown Blogger.
Brands not specified.
This risqué low plunging swimming costume under a fringed kimono is such a striking outfit. Via Nette Nestea
Swimsuit: ASOS, Kimono: MinkPink
This long white shirt is one of the cutest coverup ideas to wear over a bright bikini! Via Zoé Alalouch
Blouse: Zara, Bikini: Artisanales
Camille Callen’s is wearing sheer coverup dress over a bright bikini.
Dress: Les Neo Bourgeoises, Bikini: Triangl
Why not breeze onto like Janni Deller in this long white shirt over denim shorts and a your favourite bikini top!
Top: River Island, Shorts: Berska, Shoes: Birkenstock
Bring the vertical stripes trend to the beach An oversized boyfriend shirt will do the trick. Via Nicoletta Reggio
Look utterly fierce at the beach in these knee high sandals and matching bikini! Via Annette Haga
Bikini: Victoria’s Secret, Kimono: H&M, Sandals: Zara
Christine Andrew is looking gorgeous in this striped swimming costume and blue shirt!
Shirt: Old Navy, Swimsuit: Old Navy
Is this the perfect beach outfit? Love the black and white bikini and cover up. Via Danielle Bernstein
Bikini: Onia, Cover Up: Camilla
Whatever beachwear you are wearing you can’t really go wrong with a see-through white cover-up. Via Kenza Zouiten
Love how she works this dress as a cover-up. Light enough to be comfortable and super pretty. Via Annette Haga
White is always the prettiest look for the beach – especially when it’s an off the shoulder ruffle dress and wide brimmed hat like Annabelle Fleur.
Dress: Love Shack Fancy, Hat: Melissa Odabash
Bring back the sixties with this tie dye dress over your favourite bikini! Via Annabelle Fleur
Dress: Tiarre Hawaii, Bikini: Space
This kimono is the perfect layer to wear the beach. Love the print. Via Janni Deler/
Sunglasses: RayBan, Bikini: Teenyb, Kimono: Bershka
Beach Outfit Ideas: A really good idea. Just use your light weight scarfs from Fall or Winter as a cover-up. Via Jean Wang
Shorts: Express, Scarf: Unknown, Tote: Mar Y Sol
To catch everyone’s attention on the beach just throw on a fringed paisley kimono and white straw hat! Via Stella
A ideal dress to wear the beach. Light in colour and in fabric. Via Maja Wyh
The most important rule when choosing your swimwear is to pick something you can wear with confidence. If a skimpy bikini isn’t for you, then take a look at the one-piece options or perhaps a retro-style bikini that covers a little more. But for many women, the teeny-weeny bikini is the ultimate in beach style and there’s certainly plenty to choose from.
Monochrome is a deservedly popular choice as it shows off your tan to perfection – try a little black and white triangle bikini for a sophisticated air, teamed with a sheer monochrome gown for a unified feel. For a touch of vintage flair, choose a salmon-pink bikini sprinkled with white polka dots – the bandeau top and frilled bottoms exude a beautifully feminine feel. Monochrome stripes are also a superb choice, catching the eye enough to make an impact without shouting too loud, whilst monochrome gingham makes the perfect material for a pretty bandeau bikini with little bow detail. And a simple white bikini with black border details is the essence of understated elegance.
Aim for that perfect balance of class and simplicity in this lovely black bikini! Via Nicoletta Reggio
Bikini: Zulu & Zephyr
This super cute bikini is from Soleil Blue. Via Rachel Barnes
Linda Tol is ready for the summer with the starry bikini!
Bikini: Tezenis, Sunglasses: Prada by Mister Spex, Sandals: Asos
Gingham will never go out of fashion! Combine bikini with a straw hat for many happy hours on the beach. Via Rachel Barnes
Bikini: Guess, Hat: Lack of Colour
Aimee Song is beach ready in cute multi coloured shorts and a matching bikini top!
Bikini: Luli Fama, Shorts: Zara
Kayla Seah’s looking stunning in a stripy bikini and a white straw hat!
Shops: not specified
Cute shorts beach outfits
The beauty of wearing shorts is that you can ring the changes by changing your choice of top. A pair of little shorts can look equally as good with a bikini top, crop top, stretch tee or matching top, so you get several beach outfits for the price of one. Classic blue denim never loses its appeal and gives the coolest of beach looks. Team ripped denim shorts with a simple triangle bikini top, or wear them as a cover-up over your bikini, twisting a simple sarong over the top to add an air of exoticism to a straightforward outfit. A pair of white frayed denim shorts works beautifully with a pastel striped off-the-shoulder top, whilst a matching shorts and bikini top set in a colourful tropical print captures the spirit of beach style completely. Or why not choose loose monochrome patterned shorts together with an off-the-shoulder broderie anglais blouse for the peasant look?
These distressed denim jeans and lace shirt are all you need for a lazy day at the beach! Via Izortze Setien
Top: Suitblanco, Shorts: Levi
The denim shorts are of course a beach style stable. Add a pink sleeveless top and a hat and you can consider yourself ready. Via Daisy R.
Hat: River Island, Denim Shorts: Sheinside
Rachel Barnes is looking ravishing in this pink sweater with distressed denim shorts! What could be better for the beach?
Sweater: Vintage, Shorts: Vintage, Blanket: Rocky x Nena and Co.
The combination of the crochet shorts and chambray shirt make for a both cute and feminine look. Via Jean Wang
Shirt: Halogen Petites, Shorts: Lush, Shoes: BP, Tote: Sol Collins
You can’t go wrong with distressed denim hot pants and a black bikini top for the ultimate beach outfit! Via Jose Finekstroms
Stripes is always a good choice. Keep the colour scheme light. Add a pair of white denim cut-offs and a hat. Via Kayla Seah
Patterned shorts and an off the shoulder cut out shirt is just the thing to blow everyone away at the beach! Via Alexandra Pereira
Shorts: Buylevard, Top: Fashion Pills, Bag: Malababa, Sandals: Ash, Sunglasses: Zero UV
And don’t forget the hat…
There’s nothing less flattering than a red sunburned nose, so avoid the Rudolph look with a gorgeous hat that not only keeps the sun away but makes you look fabulous as well. Wide brims are the order of the day here and the traditional straw sun-hat is hard to beat for simplicity and authenticity. Choose between natural shades such as cream or white or make more of a statement by going for black or a bright rainbow shade to match your outfit. You can always liven up a plain hat by adding decorative features such as a matching or contrasting ribbon.
Off-the-shoulder top, yes, vertically striped skirt, yes, and hat, of course. Everything you need to go to the beach. Via Paulien Riemis
Top: Weekday, Skirt: Zara, Sunglasses: Le Specs, Hat: Ikea
The maritime colour of blue is always a good colour when by the seaside. Pair up your skirt with a lace top and you are good to go. Via Helen Janneson Bense
Off to the beach. The perfect outfit, striped off the shoulder dress, hat and sandals. Via Alexandra Pereira
Dress: Chicwish, Sandals: Fetiche Suances, Bag: Malababa
The ultimate outfit for those summer days at the beach: a black off the shoulder romper, saw hat and sandals! Via Camille Co
Hat: SM Accessories, Romper: Her Fashion Box, Sandals: Rupert Sanderson
Black and white will never go out of fashion. If you are in doubt this is always a good choice. To add something extra bring a wide brim sun hat with you. Via Lydia Lise Millen
This pink, grey and and white striped jumpsuit is an ideal jumpsuit to wear on top for your swimwear when at the beach. Via Liz Cherkasova
Jumpsuit: Maje, Hat: J.Crew, Bag: Chloe, Sunglasses: Karen Walker