What to Wear on the Beach This Summer

With summer just around the corner, there’s more to start thinking about than getting back into bikini-ready shape. It’s time to start working on your beach wardrobe. From swimwear to accessories, our guide has all the inspiration you need to be the belle of the beach this year.

Whether at home or away on holiday, fashion-forward swimwear will guarantee that you and your tan turn heads.

One-shoulder bikinis


While one-shoulder bikinis are not the most practical for tan lines, they are simply too beautiful to ignore. Besides, you can always cheat by slipping the strap off of your shoulder when you sunbathe.

One shoulder bikini tops are available in all styles this season, but ruched tops are a beautiful way to enhance or add curves. To truly make your bikini stand out and guarantee that you are the hottest thing on the beach this summer, look for a one-colour set. Prints will detract from details such as draping and gathering.

One-shoulder swimsuits are also in style this season for those who wish to cover up. Look for a one-piece with bandage detailing or gathered ruching at the waist for a flattering silhouette.



Ruffle bikinis are all the rage this season. They offer a more feminine alternative to classic styles and a great way to sneakily add volume to your bust or hips. They are also great for avoiding shoulder tan lines as this season’s most popular trend for ruffled bikini tops is the bandeau style. For an ultra-feminine look opt for a floral print. A block colour set will offer a slightly more subtle alternative while still looking flirtatious.

If you have slightly wider hips, a ruffled bikini top will help give you an hourglass shape, but avoid matching it with ruffled bikini bottoms so as to maintain the right balance. Ruffled tops should definitely be avoided by women with larger busts, as they will only add unnecessary volume.

Retro high waists

Retro high waists bikini

Retro high waisted swimsuit sets have taken a long time to come back into style. For fifties-retro lovers, they are a fun, flirtatious and unique alternative to what you would normally wear to the beach.

Go all out with quirky and playful prints such as gingham, polka dots or Hawaiian florals to truly evoke that era. You can also mix old with new by matching high waisted bikini bottoms with a more contemporary bandeau or halter neck top if you are worried about going overboard with an all-out retro look.

Luckily, this trend is extremely flattering on most figures. It will hide a tummy but create curves in all the right places at the same time. Look out for of tops with sweetheart necklines to add an extra touch of femininity and enhance your upper body curves. This trend is perfect for larger busts, as tops tend to have fuller, more defined cups with better support. A one-piece swimsuit with a cinched in waist is another great option for achieving the fifties look this season.

Cat eye sunglasses

Cat eye sunglasses

Cat eye shades are a major trend this season and will work perfectly with a retro swimsuit or dress. They are glamorous, sophisticated and have been spotted on celebrities from Rihanna to Olivia Palermo.

These shades come in a variety of shapes and styles so there are plenty of options to suit your face shape. Angular face shapes will benefit from cat eye sunglasses with more rounded edges, while sharper edges will suit rounder faces best. Getting the right colour is also essential. Tortoise shell sunglasses are ideal for brunettes, while blondes will look great in contrasting black sunglasses.

Printed beach dresses


Sarongs are a thing of the past, with flowing beach dresses taking over as the cover-up du jour. This season’s cover-up dresses are a myriad of bold and colourful prints, so have as much fun with them as possible. Multi-coloured stripes, tribal prints and bold florals will add an eye-catching element to your beachwear this summer.

Asymmetrical cuts are in style, so look for dresses with halter necks or one shoulder straps and interestingly cut lengths.  Long splits are also in and are a great way to show off your bronzed legs while covering up.

Mismatching bikinis

Mismatching bikinis

Get more wear out of your swimsuit collection this summer by mixing and matching your tops and bottoms. This way, you can reuse what you’ve got while still feeling like your beach look is fresh and on-trend.

The wilder the better. Show off your styling skills by mixing solids with prints, two different solids or contrasting prints. A great option for those who do not want to take too much of a risk with mixing it up is to go for a top and bottom in solid colours that are of the same colour family, such as a pastel green top with aqua blue bottoms or a coral top with sugar pink bottoms.

The key here is to make sure that the styles do not clash. Matching a ruched Grecian bikini top with ruffled bottoms, for example, would not work very well. Try sticking to simple lines or matching one detailed piece with a simpler item.

Bold accessories

Bold accessories for beach

Turn heads on the beach this summer with eye-catching jewellery. Bolder pieces will get you noticed and keep your look up-to-date so opt for statement pieces or layering finer items together.

Long beaded necklaces will look great next to a tan. Don’t be shy to go for colourful pieces, and layer a couple of thinner necklaces together. Layered thin gold bangle bracelets will also look fantastic on the beach this summer. They will off-set your tan beautifully and add a touch of glamour to your beachwear. Alternatively, opt for a bold tribal bangle or cuff on one wrist for a unique and fashion-forward accessory.



Monokinis are back this year for those who really want to turn up the heat at the sea-side. These revealing one-piece swimsuits are extremely sexy with cut-out detailing and metal embellishments here and there.

Monokinis are not ideal if you are looking to create an even St Tropez tan all-over, but they are perfect for a day of luxury lounging and will definitely guarantee you a flock of admirers at the beachside bar. Monkinis are not forgiving on all body types, so be careful to choose one that flatters your shape and check to see that cut-out panels do not highlight parts of you that you wish to conceal.

Cover photo: wallpapersget.com

About the author


Nadine Saad loves writing about current affairs, style and beauty. She is passionate about fashion that makes women feel and look their best.

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