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Your Ultimate Guide to Summer Beach Fashion

Things are finally heating up which can only mean two things: more (pale) skin is showing…and there’s a lot more color outside! I don’t know about you, but when the sun is out, I opt for brighter colors in my wardrobe.

And with my planned trips to some of Europe’s best beaches this summer, as well as regular beach weekend trips from New York City, you can bet I’ve had my eye on what other guys are wearing (or aren’t haha). I’ve pulled together all my favorite items I’ve worn to the beach this summer to give you a bit of insight on what’s fashionable at the beach.

beach fashion summer 2013

What to Wear to the Beach This Summer

Bright colors

Colors have always been popular in beach towns, but while browsing clothing shops, one thing that stood out has been the incredible amount of neon. Hopping between several stores in Barcelona, there seemed to be neon flip-flops, neon shirts, neon hoodies—neon everything. A bit of color never hurt anyone!

The bright-color trend seems to have carried over into more than just shirts and tops, though. Swatch has been making brightly colored watches for years—and for relatively cheap usually under $50.

Tank tops & tees

Is there any better place to wear a sexy tank top than on a beach? I didn’t think so. When on a beach trip, I prefer to stay cool during the day by wearing as few clothes as possible. That means a simple tank top. Hipster favorites include tanks and tees from Topman, Jack & Jones and Primark.

FASHION TIP: Check out some hip summer t-shirt styles from Penguin on their website

swimming pool legs


I don’t know if it’s just me learning to adapt to the European style, but I certainly spied more than a fair share of speedos on the beaches this summer. When visiting Miami Beach last summer, I was hopping to spot more Americans wearing speedos, but that was unfortunately not the case at the Fontainebleau Pool Party. However, over on the beach, there were plenty of men sporting sexier swimsuits than your typical board shorts.

FASHION TIP: Besides the typical H&M and Zara basic swimsuits, I actually have quite a few gay swimsuit brands that I really love.

Evening wear for the beach

While during the day I tend to wear as few clothes as possible, at night when temperatures have cooled and all that sand has been brushed off, I polish up with a bit more style.

A simple polo shirt (one of my favorites is a classic Penguin Polo — it always gets me compliments!) and a nice pear of jeans. Whether it’s a stylish pair of sneakers or flip-flops (especially if the party’s on the beach), shoes are often my last worry on a beach holiday.

FASHION TIP: Check out urban fashion styles and brands like Volcom, Vans, Etnies and Globe for a bit of a throwback style to the grunge/punk era.

Sun hats

A wide-brimmed sun hat is a great addition to your beachwear. It will protect your face and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, and it also adds a stylish touch to your outfit. This year, bucket hats are still one of the trendiest beach fashion styles.

But, personally, I’m partial the baseball cap. They’re fun, versatile, and the print or logo on a hat can say a lot about whomever is wearing it.

Berlin refelction
Sunglasses are sexy!


A good pair of sunglasses is not only a fashion statement but also a necessary beach accessory. They help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause eye damage over time. When choosing sunglasses for the beach, you should definitely be buying ones with polarized lenses which reduce glare from the water and sand. Additionally, choose a style that suits your face shape and complements your beach outfit.

FASHION TIP: Ray-Ban is a well-known sunglasses brand that offers a wide range of stylish and high-quality sunglasses. They’re known for their classic aviator and wayfarer styles, as well as their newer designs, and I find them pretty standard and a go-to for any beach trip


A beach cover-up is a versatile piece of clothing that can be worn over your swimsuit to provide coverage and protection from the sun. There are many styles to choose from, including sarongs, tunics, dresses, and rompers.

When selecting a cover-up, consider the material – lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen are ideal for hot weather. Also, choose a style that complements your swimsuit and allows for easy movement.

Beach bags

A beach bag is a must-have accessory for carrying all of your beach essentials, including towels, sunscreen, snacks, and water bottles. When choosing a beach bag, look for one that is spacious enough to hold all your items and has multiple pockets for organization.

Consider a beach bag made of a durable and water-resistant material, such as canvas or nylon, to protect your items from sand and water. Fanny packs are also a great option for the beach if you’re not planning to carry much.


Sandals are the ideal footwear for the beach, as they are easy to slip on and off and allow your feet to breathe in the hot weather. When selecting sandals for the beach, choose a pair that is comfortable and supportive, with a non-slip sole for traction on sandy surfaces.

FASHION TIP: Look for sandals made of water-resistant materials, such as rubber or neoprene, that can withstand exposure to sand and water without damage. Consider a style that complements your beach outfit, such as a simple flip-flop or a strappy sandal.

What are your favorite fashion tips for the beach? I tend to go for bright colors and simple, classic styles. Best to keep things simple so you’re not competing with the amazing sunsets and other beach views.

  1. Charlotte says:

    Ahhh this post is timely – I’m headed to the Galapagos Islands soon was am preparing for the beach. I’m female so can’t comment on the specifics haha- but here’s something I think can apply to both genders:

    I love looking good on the beach, but I also think comfort and practicality need to be considered. For example, if I’m planning to spend a whole day at the beach, I won’t wear a tight tank top that’s going to make me uncomfortable 2 hours in – no matter how sexy it looks. And if you’re going to be sweating, you want something breathable obviously. I also like having a thin beach shirt or dress I can easily pull over my bikini, for when it’s time to head into a cafe for a quick bite, or walking around if I’m beach hopping. Wrap skirts are also great for this purpose. I’m not super conservative but do like to be slightly more covered when wandering slightly away from the beach. Also, totes agree with you on the bright colors.

    • Adam says:

      Wow Charlotte – thank you for your amazingly helpful comment. I think you’re spot on.

  2. Freya says:

    I’ll go for the bright colors

  3. Blair H says:

    I will definitely be sporting Vests, but im not to sure about the bright colours!!
    I tend to like my greys and lighter colours more.
    Bring on SUMMER :D

  4. Jam @icoSnap says:

    Hi Adam! I have been a long fan of your blog, your post are so fun to read and very informative. It is indeed getting very hot in Europe, and the trend I’m noticing among girls are the crop tops which I think are quite cool and trendy. And for guys the neon bright tanks.

    • Adam says:

      Hey Jam,
      Thanks for the nice comment. Neon has definitely seemed like the “in” color this summer.

  5. flipnomad says:

    Great tips Adam!

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