Once you find the perfect bathing suits, it’s safe to say that you’ll look for opportunities to show them off. But admit it: By summer’s end, you’re a little bummed you couldn’t get even more wear out of those cute swimsuits. Fortunately, with a few clever styling strategies, you totally can.
Whether you’re heading straight from the beach to the bar, or from the pool to a friend’s backyard BBQ party, it’s actually super easy to style your swimsuit for a wide range of occasions. And while you may be used to thoughtlessly tossing a T-shirt over your swimwear, there are so many other simple yet striking ways to make your bathing suit work for other situations. Ready to make a seamless transition from sunbathing to socializing? Here are some unique ideas for making your swimwear into daywear.
1. One-piece + Sheer Maxi Dress
Sheer maxi dresses seem to be popping up everywhere these days. But have you ever found yourself wondering what in the world to layer underneath? A one-piece bathing suit provides the perfect solution. So, next time you find yourself going straight from the beach to a cookout, simply toss on a see-through maxi over your swimsuit. Feeling brazen? With a solid maxi, you can go for a bikini in a bright pattern. With strappy sandals and some metal bangles, it’s a boho chic look that’s sure to draw some attention.
2. One-piece + Golf Skirt + Sneakers
If you’re going for a look that strikes a balance between polished and casual, try this preppy combo. A simple white one-piece really pops under a navy athletic skirt, and then you can have fun with a colorful pair of kicks. Pull your hair back into a pony, pop on a visor, and you’ll be ready to go straight from the pool to the tennis courts or the golf course (or vice versa).
3. Bikini Top + High Waisted Skirt
Aiming for a more high-fashion look? One of the boldest ways to style your swimsuit is to rock a longline bikini top with a high-waisted skirt. A longline bikini doubles as a crop top, and with a skirt that hits above the hips, you’ll only be baring a flash of skin (what better way to show off your tan?). If you’re leaning more demure, try a voluminous flared skirt with flat sandals. Or, you could go for a body-hugging midi skirt and heels if you’re feeling daring. Another fun twist on this ensemble is to opt for high-waisted lightweight trousers instead of a skirt.
4. Bikini + Overall Shorts
There’s no doubt about it — “shorteralls” are very much in, and the trend doesn’t appear to be fading anytime soon. So, why not embrace it? A brightly colored bikini peeking out underneath a pair of overall shorts has an inherently playful vibe that’s perfect for riding your bike by the ocean or hitting the beachfront bar for sangria with your girlfriends after soaking up the sun. Canvas sneakers will give this outfit a more laid-back look, while gladiator sandals will add a touch of femininity.
5. Bikini + Shirt Dress
It’s safe to say that the shirt dress is as timeless as it gets. And did you know that it doubles as the perfect coverup, too? You can leave the shirt dress unbuttoned, like a robe, or you can button it up and just show off a hint of your bathing suit top, depending on how modest you’re feeling. Remember: If you’re eager to show off your swimsuit, then opt for a shirt-dress that’s slightly sheer. Throw on a pair of leather wedge sandals, and you’re good to go.
6. One-piece + High-Rise Jeans
Who says your one-piece swimsuit can’t double as a bodysuit? Layer it under a pair high-rise jeans in any wash, and you’ll have everyone fooled. A black swimsuit under distressed vintage wash jeans is a classic combo, particularly when paired with a straw hat and cute cat-eye sunnies. Or, you could try a patterned one-piece with dark denim for an eye-catching combination.
7. Bikini top + Chunky Sweater + Skinny Jeans
On those summer nights when the temperature unexpectedly drops, you’ll be super thankful to pop on a sweater. Luckily, your bikini top can serve as a bralette peeking out from underneath an off-the-shoulder sweater. Pull the whole outfit together with some high-rise jeans and statement earrings, and you’ll stay comfortable while still looking chic.
8. One-Shoulder One-piece + Cutoff Boyfriend Shorts
Without a doubt, one of the most common ways to style a bathing suit is with jean shorts. But you can update this classic combo by incorporating a one-shouldered one-piece with an attention-grabbing accent, like a ruffle detail around the neckline. Cutoffs will lend a chill attitude to this look, while metallic sandals provide a touch of glam. It’s the perfect transition ensemble from the beach to a casual happy hour date.
9. Bikini + Button-Down Blouse + White Jean Shorts
Speaking of jean shorts, white denim has such a fresh, summer-ready look. You can pair them with a bikini top and layer on a button-down shirt for a look that’s effortlessly put-together. Leave a couple of buttons undone to show a bit of your bikini off, and then tie the tails at the waist to give the ensemble a chill edge. You could also swap out a denim shorts for a skirt for a feminine twist. Flat brown leather sandals are perfect if you want to keep things low-key — or, you could take things up a notch in a pair of espadrille wedges. It’s the ideal ensemble for boat cruises and impromptu boardwalk strolls.
There’s no reason why you have to limit your swimwear to the beach or swimming pool. In fact, it can be a fun style challenge to see just how many outfits you’re able to build with a bathing suit as your base. Don’t be afraid to make these ensembles your own — experiment with different footwear and accessories to achieve a variety of different results.
Now, with these simple transitions, you can get far more wear out of those killer swimsuits you invested in — and to boot, save precious time that you could spend socializing.
This piece was created in collaboration with Journelle for which we received payment.