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What Should You Wear to the Beach?

What Should You Wear to the Beach?

If you’re looking for some fun in the sun, why not head to the sunny, sandy beach? The beach is a great place to kick back, relax, and soak up some rays. You can also go for a dip, play catch, walk your dog, or sit back and read a book.

Whatever reason gets you to the beach, be sure to shop Kohl’s to find the right attire for your time in the sun. You’ll need all the essentials, like swimsuits and wide-brim hats, as well as accessories like sunglasses and tote bags.

Anytime you’re heading to the beach, be sure to find all the clothing and gear at Kohl’s that you need to make the most out of your trip! With brand new beach outfits ready to go, you and your family are sure to make a splash!

Should you wear a One-Piece or Two-Piece suit?

Swimsuits for women are the ideal and iconic beach clothing option. They are comfortable, allow you to go for a dip in the water, and then dry quickly once you’re out and soaking up the rays!

Swimwear comes in lots of different swimsuit silhouettes and styles, giving you plenty of options to consider when looking for a new beach essential. Kohl’s is here to help you create a beach-ready swimsuit look with ease!

One-Piece Swimsuit

A great way to build an all-day beach outfit with a one-piece suit is by putting a pair of women’s casual shorts on along with it. This allows you to have a versatile look as you sit by the beach, or head in to a shop or restaurant. Be sure to have a light coverup close by to easily add a layer, too.

Depending on factors like weather, the occasion, or your personal style, you can change your bottoms selection to any kind of longer options, including wide-leg pants, leggings, or a maxi skirt.

Two-Piece Bikini

The bikini is a beach wardrobe staple. It’s great for soaking up the sun and for swimming in the water, but how can you incorporate it into your total, all-day beach outfit?

Try this! Add a flowing, light dress in maxi styling over the top, along with a beach hat and some espadrille sandals. The dress can act as a stylish coverup, and gives you a well-crafted look that transitions from beach to boutique with little effort.

To make even more of a fashion statement, pair your bikini top with a women’s blazer, as well as a pair of boyfriend jeans or casual shorts. This is an outfit that’s ready for a brunch meetup, and goes right with you as you head for the beach afterward.

Beachwear & Beach Outfits

You know right off the bat that you’ll be taking a swimsuit with you to the beach, but what other kinds of beach clothing do you need for your time by the shore?

As you choose your apparel for your beach trip, think about the type of weather you’ll be encountering at the beach. If you’re going in the middle of the summer, you’ll likely be facing hot temperatures and steady doses of the sun. If you’re taking an autumn trip to the beach, cooler temperatures are likely to be the norm, so you might need layers.

There are lots of other factors to consider, so let’s dive into specific clothing items and how they can work in your beach outfits.

Women’s Clothing

Rompers & Jumpsuits

You may not initially think of adding a romper or a jumpsuit to your beach day outfit, but these items are versatile and fit in well with the beach vibe.

Particularly, look for striped rompers in nautical colors (think navy blue or teal). If there’s a breeze in the air, or if you’re transitioning your outfit from day to evening, add in a denim jacket or cardigan sweater as a top layer.


Lightweight dresses are also ideal for a sunny beach look. Maxi dresses are great beach options, as they flow in the breeze and are super easy to wear. You can wear your dress to the beach, over your swimsuit, then easily put the dress back on after you’re done making waves for the day. The dress then looks great as you head out to a waterside dinner with friends or family.

To really give yourself a beach look in a maxi dress, choose one that features a tie-dye pattern, a floral design, or in a solid white look. These visual styles tie into the surroundings, and are easily able to coordinate with other beach essentials.

Other dress types that work well at the beach include lightweight sundresses, tank dresses, chambray dresses, wrap dresses, and shirt dresses.

Crop Tops

Perfect for summertime wear, crop tops are sure to be a staple of your beach-going clothing collection. They pair well with high-waisted bottoms, and in this case, you would wear a crop top with a high-waisted maxi skirt for a complete warm-weather ensemble that makes a splash!

Other easy, breezy summertime outfits to consider include a crop top paired with shorts. The shorts can be anything from a pair of denim jean shorts to a pair of printed casual shorts.

Tanks & Tees

Having a variety of tank tops and t-shirts in your beach clothing assortment is a must. You can easily throw on a tank to tee over your swimsuit while you’re relaxing at the beach, and keeping the top on when you head elsewhere makes tank tops and t-shirts very versatile.

You can choose graphic tees and tanks that feature images which foster that beachy feel. Look for options that offer palm trees, waves, boats, and a wide range of fun phrases and sayings. Tanks and tops are available in many different colors, too, so you can find an option or two that immediately coordinate with your other beach essentials.


A wide variety of shorts styles are perfect for wearing during your time in the sun, as you can choose from a more athletic pair that goes great with a tank top or tee, or a pair of casual shorts that fit in with your out-and-about ensemble, with options like jean shorts, Bermuda shorts, skorts, and lots more.

Other factors to consider when choosing a pair of shorts includes the length of the shorts, the rise, elastic waistbands, stretch material, and many other features that provide style and comfort.

Oversized Boyfriend Shirts

Instead of opting for a cover up, why not choose a women’s oversized button-down boyfriend shirt for the beach? These tops are not only ideal for wearing in the warm summer breeze, but also are on-trend and can be worn with jeans or leggings when you’re heading out for dinner or drinks after your time in the sand.

Women’s boyfriend shirts offer a roomy fit that’s great for wearing over your swimsuit or tank top. They also come in many classic and timeless patterns, like plaids, stripes, florals, and more. You can also find oversized boyfriend tops in other silhouettes, like sweatshirts, t-shirts, tunics, and crop tops, giving you lots of relaxed tops to consider adding to your beach outfit.

Kimonos & Ruanas

Another option to wear to the beach that is similar to flowing cover ups is a kimono or ruana. Similar in design, kimonos and ruanas are also very much like a poncho or other loose-fitting layering tops. These lightweight options add a simple layer over your other beach attire.

You can find these items with tropical designs and graphics, making them ideal for wear in the warmth. After you’re done wearing the kimono or ruana on the beach, keep it handy to wear as an evening layer along with a pair of jeans or leggings, and a casual top.

Men’s Clothing


Guys can find all kinds of shirts that work well as part of a beach outfit. T-shirts and tank tops are great for casually wearing around the beach, while polos and linen button-downs are ideal for transitioning from fun in the sun to a night on the town.

Tees and tank tops go well with wearing swim trunks or board shorts. They are super versatile and are always comfortable. Look for graphic tees and tanks that feature beach designs to enhance the vibe! Polos and linen button-downs are great for pairing with men’s casual shorts, giving you a resort-ready look that’s as relaxed as it is stylish.

Swim Trunks

A pair of men’s swim trunks are a beach essential. You need to have a swimsuit ready to dive right into the water, and swim trunks also provide the look you want while soaking in the sun’s rays.

Swim trunks are made of material that quickly dries, and many men’s swim trunks also feature a supportive, built-in liner for added comfort. Swim trunks come in many color options, inseam lengths, and are available from lots of well-known brands, like Sonoma Goods for Life, Nike, adidas, Speedo, and more.

Board Shorts

Another men’s swimsuit option is board shorts. The main difference between swim trunks and board shorts is the length of the shorts. Board shorts tend to have a longer length, hitting at or even below the knee. This gives them more of a laid-back style that is ideal for wearing to the beach.

Aside from the length, board shorts and swim trunks share many of the same features. Some board shorts may only include a half-elastic, drawstring waistband, while most swim trunks offer a full elastic waistband. But you’re sure to find board shorts with interior liners, pockets, and warm-weather style.

Light Layers & Jackets

Despite the fact that beaches sound warm and sunny, there can be times where the weather gets a bit windy and cool, especially if you’re visiting a seaside site in an off-peak season. Be prepared for these changes in weather by packing a lightweight layer or jacket.

For this purpose, consider a men’s quarter-zip pullover, which offers an easy-to-wear layer that can be worn with almost any other type of top! If rain is in the forecast, look for a packable softshell men’s rain jacket. This outerwear option is designed to fold down to a small package, and many can even be folded and stored within their own pocket!

Beach Accessories

The apparel you need for the beach is important, but you’ll need to accessorize your look to get the most out of your time in the sun and sand. Beach accessories not only enhance your beach look, but offer functionality to match their fashion appeal!


Keeping the sun out of your eyes is key when you’re spending time at the beach. Having a hat at the ready is a great way to do this, all while adding some extra style to your outfit!

A great option for a hat at the beach is a floppy hat. This style of headwear provides a wide brim that offers plenty of shade. The floppy design of the hat means it’s packable and can be kept in a tote or other handbag when not in use. When you do need the hat, take it out of the bag, and the hat will return to its original shape.

Other hat options to consider for the family include baseball caps, safari hats, bucket hats, and more, all providing protection from the sun while you enjoy your time at the beach!

Headbands & Hair Wraps

The beach can be a windy place, so keeping headbands and hair wraps handy in your beach bag to keep your hair in place is a great idea. Headbands come in a wide range of colors, styles, sizes, and looks, giving you total control over how you accessorize your outfit. There are sporty headband options from Nike, and also more fashion-forward selections from LC Lauren Conrad.

Hair wraps are another set of headwear accessories that make for great beach outfit add-ons. Made with stretch materials, hair wraps give you a perfect fit that holds your hair in place. Hair wraps also feature various designs, like floral and camouflage patterns, that showcase your unique style.


Your eyes need protection from the harmful rays of the sun, so wearing sunglasses at the beach is a requirement. Since you have to have a pair of sunglasses with you, why not choose a style that suits your fashion sense and personality?

While you can decide between styles like aviators, rectangle, circle, wrap, cat’s eye, and more, you’ll want to look for polarized lenses and lenses that offer UV protection, no matter which frame you choose. Polarized lenses make perfect sense for the beach, as they reduce glare from reflective surfaces, like water. Sunglasses with UV protection do just what you’d imagine: they protect your eyes from dangerous ultraviolet rays that can hurt your eyes and your eyesight.


Wearing jewelry to the beach is a great way to really enhance your look. That said, you might want to leave precious metals and gemstones at home and choose to wear more practical options that still give off a shiny style!

Consider options like adjustable bracelets with cords made from lightweight, durable materials. For even more of a beach vibe, pick a bracelet that features turtle or sandal charms. Sterling silver jewelry is great for the beach, too, with options available including anklets, toe rings, earrings, and necklaces.

Beach Footwear

Having a pair of sandals or flip-flops when prepping for a beach trip is key, as these footwear selections are very easy to wear in sandy situations!

You can find sandals with thong styling, where the upper includes a toe post and simple liner. The footbed offers a bit of cushioning and some traction, too. Slides are another beach footwear option, and these sandals take the toe post out of the equation. The upper is shaped in a way that allows your foot to slide right in and out, making the on-and-off process even easier.

If you’re planning on doing some serious walking in the water at the beach, or if the beach you’re going to has a rocky bottom, you might want to find a pair of water shoes. These footwear options provide a more sturdy outsole and a design that allows water to drain from the shoes with ease.


Perhaps the most important thing you wear while at the beach is sunscreen! Applying sunscreen to your skin keeps it protected from harmful rays that can cause sunburn and other, even more serious issues.

When deciding on what sunscreen to choose, you’ll want to pick one that offers at least SPF 15 broad spectrum protection. That said, if you’re spending the whole day at the beach and will be outside during the time of the day where the sun is the most intense, you want an option with SPF 30 or higher. On top of that, if you’re doing any swimming, choose a water-resistant sunscreen option.

Other Beach Outfits

Beach Activewear

Swimming and sun tanning aren’t just the only activities you take part in at the beach. Activities like beach volleyball, soccer, football, or just playing catch are all fun ways to enjoy your time down by the water.

To get ready for taking on these kinds of activities, you’ll want to be dressed for the occasion! Beach activewear is ideal for this, as it allows you to move, bend, stretch, throw, and reach with ease. Look for active t-shirts and tank tops that provide stretchy materials and fabrics that wick sweat and moisture away from your skin. You can always add a hoodie or quarter-zip pullover over the top of your tee/tank if you start to get a bit chilly.

To pair along with your active top, add in a pair of shorts or leggings, again offering stretch fabrics and elastic waistbands to give you the ideal fit.

Beach Wedding Attire

Being such a lovely setting with sun, sand, and surf, it’s no wonder that many couples choose to get married right on the beach!

Beach wedding attire doesn’t vary too greatly from traditional wedding attire, but there are some significant differences between the two, especially in relation to the formality of the event and the fabrics worn by guests.

If the beach wedding is held at a rooftop or venue that overlooks the beach, adhere to normal formal rules for wedding clothing. If the event is actually on the beach, there will be some different considerations. First, it will likely be warm on the beach, so choose attire that is made of lightweight, breathable fabrics. If the event is semi-formal, you can consider wearing items with a pattern or print, as long as it isn’t too loud. For footwear, choose chunky heels or formal sandals.

Men should wear a linen or seersucker suit, or a long-sleeved shirt and tie with a jacket and dress pants. Closed-toed shoes should be worn, and styles can range from dress shoes to deck shoes, based on the formality of the event.

If a trip to the beach, whether it be at the ocean, the lake, or any other body of water, is in your near future, be sure to shop Kohl’s and find all kinds of swimwear, accessories, and more to round out your fun-in-the-sun wardrobe! You can find sandals, swimsuits, hats, totes and more for the whole family, so Kohl’s is sure to be your one-stop shop for all your beach-going needs.