Clothes vs. Outfits: The Beach Attire Edition

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.37.00 PM

Swimsuit: J.Crew Heritage Collection Triangle Top ($44) and String Hipster ($38)

Upper Left, Tunic: Whisper Beach Tunic ($72) Bag: Printed Canvas Tote ($40) Sunglasses: Madewell Hepcat Sunnies ($55) Shoes: CUFFF Sandal ($70)

Bottom Left, Sarong: Mango Striped Sarong ($15) Hat: Straw Fedora ($10) Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Aviators ($145) Shoes: Volcom Sandals ($29)

Right, Dress: Mossimo Pleat Dress ($30) Bag: Echo Beach Tote ($98) Sunglasses: Karen Walker Perfect Day Sunglasses ($220) Sandals: Aerie Flip Flop ($25)

This weekend, I am off to Miami to enjoy 80-degree temperatures and some time by the pool.  And speaking of pools, last summer, the most popular way to wear swimwear at my building’s pool was with athletic shorts and $5 Old Navy flip-flops.  Perhaps it’s time we tried a little harder to look stylish while having fun in the sun.

Upper Left.  For this look, I chose a gauze tunic, a striped beach bag and a fun pair of sunglasses.  If you like the tunic but want to keep your pool excursion budget-friendly, try this eyelet tunic from Loehmann’s or this plunge neck choice from Victoria’s Secret.

As for the sunglasses, the round, Lennon-esque frames seem to be everywhere this year.  Try these Kate Spade sunnies or these Vince Camuto ones, both under-$100.  And the sandals have a faux-metal plate for a little something extra, but I also like these Michael Kors plaque sandals and these ZigiGirl Arrow sandals for ($59).

Bottom Left. If you want a beachy feel, try a straw hat, a sarong and some cute sandals.  I chose this fedora, however, if you want something with a Hollywood starlet vibe, try this packable straw hat from Eddie Bauer.  Also, the sarong is a shorter version, but if you’re looking for a long one, try this colorful Paul Smith number.

Lastly, my aviators quickly became my favorite sunglasses.  Why?  They’re relaxed, cool and they look awesome on most face shapes.  Want a cheaper pair?  Try these dark brown sunnies or these $30 Madden’s.

Right. Inexpensive dresses make great swim coverups, especially if you want to go to lunch or run errands after.  I love this pleated dress, especially for under-$30.  I dressed it up with a metallic beach bag and some colorful flip flops.

If you’re looking for a chic beach bag, I like this waxed, colorblock tote, this bright French Connection bag and this dark straw tote with round, wood handles.  And if you want to try  a pair of cat eye sunglasses, this Oakley pair and this River Island pair are pretty sweet.

And if you want to look beachy chic on your vacay, don’t forget they Bumble & Bumble surf spray and the bronzer.



  1. Boston mama says:

    Dear Belle, I love your blog, although I don’t live in the DC area or work in politics. This beach ready assemble you put together is fab. I actually bought the J.Crew Whisper Tunic in Guava (have too many navy blue pieces) but will add a few things from your list. I have one little request: could you do an article regarding weekend/casual wear? I work from home and would love to add more style to my wardrobe of sweats and baggy t-shirts. Thank you!

    February 21, 2013/Reply
  2. Jenna says:

    I’m totally digging the fedora for summer. And you can’t beat the price at $9.99!

    February 21, 2013/Reply
  3. S Haines says:

    darn! I wish this had come out last week! I needed some good suggestions on what to wear to the Bahamas. These are great.

    February 26, 2013/Reply