Home » Blog » What Not to Wear to the Beach Table of Contents Knowing what to wear to the beach is common sense, right? Wrong. With many horror stories of people’s wedding rings rusting, overheating, waterlogging, and general discomfort – beach dressing etiquette is a little more complicated than we think. As well, both the swimwear and beachwear industries are always hard at work updating the latest designs, meaning it’s easy to get left behind. In general, when it comes to what not to wear to the beach, we recommend you avoid wearing anything dark or too-tight. Expensive jewelry is best left at home alongside clunky footwear. Of course, jeans are a no-no. If you’re already feeling limited, worry not. We’ve also covered a wide variety of items that are completely beach-ready and will keep you feeling easy-breezy all day long. Dressing Properly for the Beach What You Should and Shouldn’t Wear to the Beach Starting with shouldn’t: Clothing materials to avoid: Denim: This one’s obvious. It’s heavy, clunky, and prone to trapping sand. That said, a denim jacket can look fantastic against a sandy backdrop as long as you don’t plan on lying down. Stay away from jeans at all costs. Wool: If you’re going to the beach, chances are, it’s a sunny or warm day. These weather conditions don’t mix well with warmth-trapping wool, and you’ll start to sweat pretty soon. As well, wool doesn’t get along with water, sand, or any abrasive surface for that matter, meaning it won’t enjoy your beach day, and neither will you. Leather: Wearing leather to the beach is a sweaty affair; need we say more? Swimwear not to wear at the beach There are very few rules when it comes to swimwear at the beach. However, there are recommendations and common sense. You wouldn’t want to wear a heavy and tight wetsuit that would leave you feeling stuffy on a hot day. However, that skimpy, cheeky-bottomed bikini ]is best left at home when the clouds are setting in, and the waters are choppy. Of course, you’ll also have to pay attention to the modesty norms of where you’re swimming. If modesty is a priority, it’s always best to opt for a one-piece for women and long, knee-length shorts for men. If you’re unsure, always bring a coverup or oversized shirt that you can easily put on or take off whenever needed. Common swimwear mistakes to avoid Ill-fitting swimsuits Often, we’ll pull out last year’s swimsuits, forgetting that our bodies may have changed in the meantime. A swimsuit can also change with age, and sometimes we’ll just end up guessing our size and getting it wrong. The result doesn’t look great and nor does it feel good on. To sidestep any bagging, squeezing, or warped fits, figure out your approximate swimsuit size by using a swimsuit sizing guide. Wearing underwear as swimwear While swimsuits are made out of a water-ready blend of polyester, nylon, and spandex, most underwear is made out of not-water-ready wool. This material absorbs water fast, becoming heavy and clunky. What’s more, the harsh chemicals of pools and salt in seawater will damage its delicate fibers, causing your – well – delicates to degrade. Read more: What to wear if you don’t have a swimsuit? Transparent or see-through swimwear While completely acceptable on nude beaches, these barely-there sheer suits aren’t welcomed on standard beaches. Wearing inappropriate prints or designs In respect to other beachgoers of all ages and sensibilities, it’s best to keep things PG and family-friendly so that no one is offended or bothered by your beach attire. Be sure to skip inappropriate slogans or logos as well. Pineapple Watermelon Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Emerald $60 Select options Turtle Matching Couples Swimwear $80 Select options Turtle Swimsuit $49 Select options Clothing not to wear at the beach Clothing styles to avoid Revealing clothing If you’re wearing a bathing suit underneath, usually, any type of clothing goes. However, if you’re going swimsuit suit-free to the beach, it’s best to ensure your clothing covers all of your private parts from buttocks to bust. Shorts and a light T-shirt are always the perfect and reliable go-to. Jeans Jeans are possibly the worst article of clothing that you could wear to the beach. That is, of course, unless you only plan on going for a stroll. However, there may come a time when you’d like to wade into the water. If you’re wearing jeans, you don’t have the option to roll up your bottoms and take a dip. So, it’s best to leave this much-loved attire at home, especially if they’re off the skinny variety. However, we will admit that baggier jeans, especially the shorter kind, tend to fit in quite nicely at the beach, considering denim is a beachside favorite of many. Dark Clothing Sunlight is absorbed faster and held for longer by darker shades. This natural effect means wearing dark colors to the beach could result in overheating and discomfort. So, be sure to leave any dark swimwear, shirts, or trousers at home and stick to light colors. Expensive Jewellery Jewellery – of all quality, but most notably high-quality – is at risk of degrading around salt water. The salt in ocean water corrodes metals, leaving them weakened and tarnished. Saltwater poses a risk for jewelry made with blue or rose gold, both of which are gold alloys. So, whether you are doing laps in a pool or frolicking in the ocean waves, leave your jewelry at home or in a safe. Note: Pure gold (24-karat (K) gold) does not react with salt or chlorine. Tight Clothes The conditions of a beach don’t tend to match well with tight clothing. On a warm day with the sun hanging high in the sky above, the last thing you want is to feel your clothes sticking to your body as you begin to sweat through them. So, avoid tight T-shirts or trousers at all costs, and forgo socks if possible. On the other hand, light, breezy clothing keeps you feeling fresh and cool. Certain shoes Most shoes are impractical to wear to the beach. Most of us are understandably convinced that the only footwear that should be worn on a beach are flip-flops or sandals. However, there are a variety of beach-ready shoes, such as plimsols or canvas shoes, that are comfortable on the sand. Still, it’s best to avoid sneakers, converse, flats, and most certainly formal shoes while on the beach. The Wrong Sunglasses UV protection is a coating added to sunglasses or eyeglasses lenses to filter or block harmful UltraViolet Radiation emitted by the sun from coming into contact with your eyes and skin. Look for a label that says “100% protection against both UVA and UVB” or “100% protection against UV 400.” Oversized bags or purses They’re clunky and take up too much space. Plus, they often come with snap instead of zip closures leaving you vulnerable to theft. Maldives $60 Select options Pearl $60 Select options Santorini $60 Select options Turtle Swimsuit $49 Select options What to Wear to the Beach A Suitable Swimsuit Of course, the staple of every beachside outfit is the perfect, form-fitting swimsuit that leaves you feeling fabulous. This will often form the bottom layer of your outfit to save you the time and hassle of changing when you arrive at the beach. Whether you opt for a two-piece or one-piece, be sure that you’re fundamentally comfortable in any swimsuit you choose to wear. Note: Swimsuit material often stretches to be a size bigger when wet, meaning it’s best to purchase a size smaller, to begin with. Something to Wear over the Swimsuit When it comes to what to wear over a swimsuit, the options are truly endless. If you don’t want to spend your day rummaging through rails or clicking through online stores, we’ve got you covered. Nothing works quite so well as an oversized buttoned-down shirt paired with shorts. Or, opt for a more classic swimsuit cover-up and try on a billowy kaftan or bottom-half-covering sarong. What Shoes Should I Wear to the Beach? While daydreaming of your beach trips, shoes are probably one of the last items on your mental checklist. That considered, we’ll do the thinking for you. Here’s a quick rundown: Canvas shoes. Flip flops. Sandals. Slide-on shoes. Beach Wedge Sandals. Moccasins. And you may even get away with ballerina flats or sneakers if you don’t plan on doing much walking. For guys, things are a little trickier when trying to figure out what shoes to wear with swim trunks. Loafers, sailing shoes, and even sneakers are always a good choice. Or, if you’re looking for what to wear with the most common of all: blue trunks, here’s a quick guide to keep you in style. When and When Not to Wear a Bikini Whether or not you should wear a bikini is largely up to you. However, for the sake of comfort, you may want to take some possible deciding factors into consideration before making any concrete choices. For one, the weather. If you think it’s going to be a cloudy and cold day, sporting a bikini may not be the smartest choice. On the other hand, a cozy one-piece swimsuit could offer some extra warmth. Another cause for consideration is the water activity you’ll be taking part in. If you’ll just be lounging by the pool or going for a leisurely paddle, then a bikini is suitable. However, if you plan on gliding across the ocean on a jet ski or spending an exciting day at the water park, you may want to leave the bikini at home. As well, if the water is choppy, you risk a wardrobe malfunction by wearing a bikini. Blue Lagoon 2-Pack Swim Shorts $80 Select options Lounge Pack $160 Select options Striped Turtle Swim Shorts $60$36 Select options Dots Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Cultural Appropriation in Swimwear Most of us have heard about cultural appropriation in some capacity by now. We also get the idea: it’s the use of a culture without respect for that culture. Or, as defined by Oxford Languages: “The unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.” While often applied to clothing or beauty looks, cultural appropriation can extend to all facets of life, including beachwear. Among the many varied swimsuit styles available, you may come across a couple that uses cultural or religious motifs and patterns. When used simply as a fashion statement, these suits become cultural appropriation. The key to being culturally sensitive is to consider the traditional connotations of any style you choose to wear. It’s best to ask people of said culture (online or in person) if the suit is appropriate to wear. The bottom line No one can really tell you what and what not to wear to the beach, but we can certainly recommend some great ideas based on etiquette, functionality, and fashion that’ll keep not only you but also everyone else happy too. These suggestions usually include moderately modest swimwear that’s free from offensive patterns, practical, and doesn’t play a role in cultural appropriation. When it comes to clothing, we steer clear of heavy materials that’ll trap sand, get damaged, and leave you feeling more than sweaty. All expensive items, from accessories to designer bags, are also best left at home. FAQs Can I wear jeans to the beach? Yes, you can wear jeans to the beach; however, if you plan on getting active or entering the water, you may want to forgo skinny jeans and opt for a baggier pair instead. Are one-piece swimsuits more appropriate than bikinis? Swimsuits are more appropriate in some situations, such as in certain countries where modesty is a must, or for intense activities such as diving or jetskiing to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions. However, in most circumstances, the matter of whether a swimsuit or bikini is more appropriate is largely a matter of opinion. Can I wear a dress to the beach? Yes, you can certainly wear a dress to the beach. Whether or not you opt to wear your swimwear underneath, a dress often offers a comfortably breathable, cool, stylish, and easy-to-put-on or take-off beachside experience. Is it okay to wear sneakers to the beach? It’s okay to wear sneakers to the beach in some circumstances. If the beach will be stony or have rougher sand, then it’s even recommended to wear tougher shapes. However, if you expect the sand will be fine and light, you risk getting sand trapped in your sneakers, which risks damaging them. Be sure to leave more expensive sneakers at home. What should I do if I get sunburnt at the beach? Of course, while prevention is best through using sunscreen and opting for outfits that cover most of your skin while avoiding staying in the sun for long periods of time, sometimes those rays can still do damage. If you happen to have What is cultural appropriation in beachwear? While awareness is rising around the topic of cultural appropriation, some people may still be left wondering what it means and if it even applies to swimwear. To answer the first question, cultural appropriation is the inappropriate use of a culture’s customs, ideas, or styles for personal gain, such as wearing a swimsuit with a religious motif as a fashion statement. Can I wear a hat to the beach? Yes, you can certainly wear a hat to the beach. In fact, it’s even recommended for covering any skin that may be exposed on your scalp, protecting this delicate and often neglected area from the sun’s rays. Baseball caps are the most casual and lightweight choice which everyone tends to have around the house. Oversized straw hats are the most popular, especially among women, and are renowned for not only their style but also huge coverage. These days, white canvas or straw fedoras are a hit among men at the beach. What is the best type of beach footwear? A general rule of thumb for beach-ready footwear is that they’re easy to wash. If they have plenty of crevices where sand can get in, then it’s best to leave them at home. However, if the sand slips right off their sides, or if you can shake it off easily, then you’re on to a winner. Think along the lines of flip-flops, sandals, or, if you’d like more coverage, canvas shoes or even vans. Slip-on shoes are also recommended since they tend to be light and are easy to put on and take off. 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