I’m shopping stylish beach wear because — after two years of sticking close to home — I have a real vacation on the calendar! Woop!
Hopefully, you also get a shot at some R&R this spring or summer. Vacations are good for you, after all. Research links downtime to improved mental and physical health. Plus, a vacation involves other fun stuff leading up to your trip — like shopping destinations, hotels, and (duh) clothes. And since I’m headed to a beach in Mexico, I’m in the market for some gauzy, flirty pieces that I can wear from the pool to the bar.
When you buy via links on this page, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
I wanted to be strategic about my vacation wear shopping, so I referenced Pantone’s spring/summer 2022 NYFW palette and Core Classics palette for some color inspiration. Below are the colors that caught my eye first.
The blues, greens, and pale beige make for the “camouflage” palette of the beach, right? These colors are easy to find and easy to wear. But then the rich red Poinciana stands out so beautifully next to those softer hues. If nothing else, a red-orange nail polish or lip color could be the dash of bold I need this season.
Because I procrastinated…
I recently moved from St. Louis to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe is a beautiful place, but the shopping scene for clothes isn’t great. The Fashion Outlets of Santa Fe is a sad, deserted place with a handful of stores plus an optometry office and a bunch of Tesla charging stations. You’ll surely see a tumbleweed or two rolling through the parking lot on a spring day.
All that is to say that my favorite shops these days are online. And, because I’ve procrastinated badly, I don’t have time to shop Romwe, Shein, and other offshore budget fashion shops directly before I’m airborne. (Though here’s a pro budget shopper tip: You can find those low-cost brands on Amazon with expedited Prime shipping.)
I did find some cute pieces in those trending colors on Amazon, Pretty Little Thing, and Venus. These make up my list of six best beach wear picks below.
The beach wear short list
1. The jumpsuit
This beach jumpsuit by Lacozy ($34) is fun, flirty, and casual. I love the tapered leg, tie waist, and tank straps — those features make this jumpsuit a true day-to-night option. The aqua color is perfectly beach-inspired, too.
2. Two-piece tropical
How about a fun tropical dress that works in three, maybe four of the season’s trending colors? Floerns’ two-piece set costs $37 and it’s sure to turn heads on the sand or by the pool. Add a floppy hat and big sunnies and you can waltz into town for some shopping like an A-lister.
3. Beach swing dress
Here’s another beach piece that doubles as a legit outfit. This pretty navy swing dress clings in the right places thanks to a slinky shape and rayon/spandex construction. Find it at Venus.com and make it yours for $34.
4. Convertible beach dress/skirt
Another pick from Venus is this convertible beach skirt/dress. Two pieces in one is always a bonus. (Add a white triangle top and you have a chic two-piece set.) Plus, the dress features that pretty red-orange color of the season in a presentation that’s not overwhelming.
The price is nice, too, at $29 — at that, you’re sure to get your money’s worth.
5. Floaty short dress
Floaty, forgiving, and dramatic is how I’d describe this cover up from Pretty Little Thing. A plunging neckline, front tie, and bold sleeves set this beach dress apart from the rest. Add it to your vacation wardrobe for $42.
6. Statement maxi dress
You will come across many variations of the maxi dress when shopping beach wear for women. But a maxi as striking as this one is a tougher find.
While this piece bares a lot of skin, it’ll do it in a balanced, flattering way. The side cutouts, deep neckline, and long, loose sleeves naturally create proportion (or show off your hot bod if you’re already curvy in all the right places).
Shop this dress at Pretty Little Thing for $48. There’s usually one splurge item on my list, and this one is it.