10 Beach Outfits to Wear for Summer 2022

Stylists and fashion experts are sharing their cute — and easy! — ideas.

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

If seasons were personality traits, mine would be fall. I was born in October and came home from the hospital on Halloween. I will devour anything pumpkin flavored, and a basic ensemble consisting of knee-high boots and an oversized sweater is my best look. So you can imagine my husband's utter shock when I announced last week that I was craving a tropical vacation. Out of character though it may be, all I find myself wanting as of late is an open tab at a tiki bar, unlimited Malibu Bay Breeze refills, and to wear nothing but beach outfits for at least a week. Maybe two.

As the vivacious Go-Go's once said, vacation is all I've ever wanted.

I'm more than ready to shed bulky layers in favor of summer outfits, specifically those I can live in on the beach or by a pool. However, if you, like me, are new to the whole swimwear-as-ready-to-wear aesthetic, piecing together beach outfits worthy of Instagram or a Pinterest board can prove no small feat. So, in addition to browsing social media for inspiration, I asked a roster of fashion stylists to break down the best beach outfits for summer 2022. Their accounts of what's hot for the season (now and always) are below.

Keep It Colorful

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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The pandemic had us feeling like we were living in a world void of color and joy. Now that we're (almost) on the other side of it, it's time to break out the vibrant shades that have been collecting dust in our wardrobes, starting with our beachwear. For example, bold hues like lush tangerine, magenta, and lime are all on style expert Christian Sismone's mood board for her beach outfits this year.

"The color brings a little razzle-dazzle to your life," she tells InStyle. And if you're feeling really adventurous, Sismone is all for an all-neon outfit. "It will surely make you the conversation starter."

Add a Sarong

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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Sarongs came into style in the 1930s and the piece of clothing quickly became a vacation essential. Most popularly worn as a skirt over bare legs, this piece of fabric can be worn tied around the waist to cover your bare legs, or over your shoulders for additional sun protection. Vanessa Valiente, a San Diego-based personal stylist and fashion blogger, loves a sarong for its versatility, but says her go-to beach look is a triangle bikini with a large printed sarong tied into a halter dress and a pair of water-friendly flip-flops. "This look can gracefully go from your wet and sandy activities to the casual waterfront restaurant without issue," she says.

Channel a '90s Vibe

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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If you thought all-things '90s fashion was exclusive to fall outfits, think again. Valiente tells Instyle channeling the alternative era with beach outfits is as simple as layering a pair of short overalls over your bikini, or even pulling on denim shorts. Add a straw Panama hat "to make it more modern and protect your face from the unforgiving sun rays" and you're good to go.

RELATED: '90s Celebrity Outfits You Can Absolutely Still Wear Today

Embrace The Linen Everything Trend

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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Linen looks are huge for summer 2022, which means linen dresses, linen pants, linen button-ups, and linen skirts are all fair game when putting together your beach outfit.

"It's the perfect summer indulgence," celebrity stylist Cindy Conroy says of the fabric. "The lightweight material is beach ready and will protect you from the sun's rays while making you feel light and airy like a goddess."

Prioritize Convenience

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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If you're the kind of beach-goer who likes to make the most of their trip, alternating between lounging, swimming, and joining a game of volleyball, head stylist at Tobi, Joanna Angeles, recommends sticking with a simple ensemble consisting of a one-piece swimsuit, sun hat, and sandals. That way, you've dressed appropriately for every possible scenario, no matter where your day's itinerary takes you.

RELATED: Shoppers Say This Now-$25 One-Piece Is "One of the Most Flattering" Swimsuits They've Ever Worn

Wear a Bandana for Some Retro Flare

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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Bandanas and handkerchiefs are having a moment, and stylist Christina Stein can't get enough of the '50s throwback accessory, especially when its paired with beach outfits.

"I am obsessed with silk bandanas," Stein tells InStyle via email. "They can be worn in your hair or you can make them into a chic top with a pair of denim shorts! This is probably going to be my go-to accessory this summer."

Don't Overlook Accessories

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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Lisa Sanchez, the fashion editor at The Nines, wants you to know that sunblock isn't your only line of defense against the sun; your accessories can help, too. Add a sizable (and probably delightfully floppy) hat, sunglasses, and a long-sleeved or a UPF short-sleeved shirt to your packing list, Sanchez advises, noting cowboy, bucket, and straw beach hats are great picks. "Lastly, don't forget a cover-up for the chilly evenings or extra blast of the sun when you're not in the water."

Balance is Key

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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Yes, even on the beach. For instance, when sporting a geometric print or vibrantly colored swimsuit, Stitch Fix stylist, Heather Tooker tells InStyle she'll offset the something bold with something chill, like an oversized button-down (she loves this one from Kut From The Kloth) or denim shorts.

Pack Something Sporty

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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If your idea of a day at the beach involves a run, a game of paddle ball, or virtually anything active, Tooker recommends wearing an activewear skort or comfortable pair of shorts over your bathing suit. Something the sand will easily brush off of or that provides SPF protection is a winner in her book. And, as an added bonus, "performance wear is often anti-odor and moisture-wicking," Tooker tells us, "which is ideal for a warm day."

RELATED: What Do We Even Call "Athleisure" Now?

Get Dressy for Dinner

10 Beach Outfits for Summer
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You don't have to dress to the nines for dinner on the boardwalk, but if you do want to upgrade your look from beach bum to beach chic, Tooker says either jeans and a flowy top, or a sleeveless dress that will move in the ocean breeze and show off your shoulders can get you there. Add a lightweight layer in case it gets chilly, like a denim jacket (Tooker's go-to is from Madewell) or a lightweight cardigan, and opt for a wedge over heels for maximum comfort.

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