Summer is in full swing, which means the arrival of beach days. There are a lot of experiences I relish in life (such as finding the perfect pair of shoes or jetting off to somewhere new), but nothing beats going to the beach. There's something magical about soaking up the sun while waves crash against the sand. But I'd be lying if I didn't say that getting to the beach is far from magical. I live in New York, so logistically speaking, it's always a bit of a trek to the water. Then, there is another dilemma: what to wear. Sure, a swimsuit is an obvious move, but if you're anything like me, you don't want to look like everyone else on the beach. So what does someone actually wear to look stylish at the beach? In search of that answer, I scoured Instagram to find 12 beach outfit ideas approved by the fashion set, and I shopped out the key pieces so you can create the looks for yourself. Replicating these ideas—from effortless summer staples styled with trendy swimwear to classic bikinis worn with extravagant accessories—will ensure you're serving a look seaside all summer long. Linen is the summer staple, so it only makes sense that you'd want to turn to this trusted fabric when considering what to wear for a beach day. Opt for a matching linen set and layer on the jewelry to make this staple feel a bit more trend-forward without trying too hard. You can wear this to the beach or the bodega. Shop the matching Ottavio Pants ($229). You can also style this with your favorite swimsuit. The easiest way to elevate your bikini this summer is by styling it with a matching set (ideally in the same hue) in a lightweight fabric like mesh or linen. Throwing a skirt and cardigan over a simple suit will keep you warm post-swim and bring the heat to your look. Not only would this look good over a blue, white, or black bikini, but you can also shop for a matching miniskirt or low-rise pants in the same denim print. Zara never fails us. Shop the matching Ruched Bikini Top ($30). When it comes to creating a worthy seaside look, it all comes down to styling. A simple white bikini can be transformed when worn with a unique pair of jeans and a scarf. The crochet fabric on this bikini takes it from basic to beautiful. You won't regret investing in a great pair of jeans for the summer. Not to overstate the obvious, but the fashion set loves a good oversize button-down. Frankly, can you blame them? This is the ideal piece to layer over a printed bikini and pair with a choker necklace for a day by the beach. A top that's ready for the beach and the boardroom? I'm buying this ASAP. I'm drooling over the idea of this vibrant floral-print bikini peeking out of a crisp white button-down. Shop the matching Aster Tie Bikini Bottom ($149). If you were looking for an excuse to buy those platform shoes, consider this your permission slip. Platform shoes are ideal for the beach, as they'll elevate your look—simply pair them with a bikini, a low-rise skirt, sporty sunglasses, and a scarf. You'll be soaring above them all like a seagull. Pro tip: Opt for a minimalist swimsuit to make your platforms really pop. Shop the matching 100 Ways to Wear Bottom ($59). If the idea of platform heels by the pool is terrifying, you can dip your toe into this trend by opting for a flat iteration. If you want to ease yourself into the return of low-rise hemlines, I can't think of a better place to start than at the beach. Style cargo pants with a bikini, a baseball cap, and slides, and you've got the perfect trendy look that took no time to put together. A hat is a must-pack item for a day in the sun. FYI: These pants come in two other hues. Just because you're beachside doesn't mean you have to bare it all. In fact, the easiest way to show a little skin but still be mostly covered is by opting for a maxi dress with cutouts. Bonus points if you finish off the look with a wide-brim hat and a straw bag. This simple dress is bound to secure a spot in your forever wardrobe. The coolest bag at the beach. When in doubt, the easiest thing to wear to the beach is a pair of denim shorts. The key to making them feel fresh is styling them with fun accessories and picking a standout swimsuit to really make the look feel as crisp as the salty sea breeze. Tie-up elements are arguably the easiest way to make a beach outfit feel fancier. Shop the matching Pelagia Bottom ($85). The fit on these shorts will ensure you are comfortable while walking around after taking a dip. After scrolling through Instagram in search of beach outfit ideas, I'm convinced that the fashion set's new secret styling hack is adding a cowboy hat to every beach 'fit. Sure, you can't go wrong with styling a cute bikini with an interesting cover-up skirt and flip-flops, but adding a cowboy hat gives you a look to be giddy about. PSA: Cowgirls go to the beach too. These will look great with your go-to suit. Possibly the easiest way to elevate any one-piece suit is by styling it with a chain belt and oversize sunglasses. You'll feel like a supermodel, and your suit will get the shine it deserves. Peak '90s energy. You can style this belt with swimsuits in the summer and tailored suits in the fall. You don't always have to wear a swimsuit at the beach. In fact, if you're planning to attend a barbecue or eat at a scrumptious seafood restaurant by the water, you'll want to opt for something a bit more covered up—enter the outfit above. Styling a light-wash pair of jeans with a crochet top and cardigan is the perfect way to give off beachy vibes, and when the sun sets, you'll still be warm. This will fit seamlessly into your summer wardrobe. I will be wearing all white until further notice. Last but not least, a fun way to dress up for a day at the beach is by being unafraid to pair your favorite swimsuit with trend-forward pieces. Why not wear sporty sunglasses or a crystal-embellished netted cover-up? Summer is all about having fun in the sun, and there's no better way to do that than getting creative with what you wear to the beach. Just add a bikini and you'll be channeling Rihanna. Don't forget to pack a pair of fun sunglasses for your beach day.
Next: These 26 Brands Have the Best Size-Inclusive Swimwear, Period