From Beach to Street: Making Your Swimwear Look Work in the City
Not everyone is fortunate enough to live on the beach all summer, but that doesn’t mean embracing that enviable, laissez faire style is off limits for the rest of us. The “beach babe” look doesn’t always easily translate from the seaside to the cityscape, though. Unless you happen to be Gwen Stefani, the chances of pulling off a bikini top away from the ocean are slim to none. There is still hope, however, for capturing the essence of surf and sand while pounding the pavement. So, I’ve come up with some key guidelines on how to make the most of your beach pieces in the concrete jungle. Now if only I could figure out how to actually bring the ocean to the city…
1. Accessorize Wisely
Any fashionista will tell you that accessories can make or break an outfit. Those denim cutoffs and white tank worked with a black bikini and flip flops at the beach, but require a little more of a glam (and covered up!) look in urban areas. Trade the flip flops for ankle boots and add a beaded collar for sophistication. Stay away from casual, unstructured handbags (like hobos or canvas totes) and pair your beach pieces with a tiny frame bag or satchel instead. When it comes to jewelry, be wary of certain summery motifs that can lead to beach-overload, like shells, feathers, seed beads and coral. Classic golds and silvers are always a safe bet.
2. Consider Color and Prints
Like going on vacation, there are certain looks that suit specific locations. Somehow that kimono that worked so well in Shanghai ends up looking like a costume when you return home. Similarly, there are colors and prints that should only be worn when there are shells and sand within close proximity. When it comes to coverups, Hawaiian prints or any florals that scream “on vacation” should be avoided. Plain colors are the safest and most versatile options since you can accessorize them to suit any occasion or terrain – a golden maxi dress or some colored denim are solid options. If you prefer a city-appropriate print, opt for a digital floral print shirt or a zigzat, Ikat printed skirt.
3. Remember Practicality
You absolutely love that gathered sundress when you’re sipping drinks next to the water, but it may not function for much more than that. Dressing for the city is all about mobility and a full maxi dress may not be the ideal silhouette for maneuvering around crowds. You also don’t want to be sweeping the streets with the hem of your dress. To get a similar, but less cumbersome look, try a midi length. Or, if you want to go for a full maxi look, select a more streamlined silhouette like a short playsuit or longer jumpsuit. The relaxed shape is beach-friendly but still chic enough for strolling around the city.
4. Mix and Match
Try choosing one piece from your beach-friendly picks and incorporating it into your regular city wardrobe. For instance, take your trusty floppy hat and pair it with a silk trapeze dress, chic flats, and a bold bangle for a cute weekend look. In general, it is best to pair your casual beach garment with slightly more formal items. Look for darker colors, luxe fabrics like lace, leather or even suede and make sure you have a bit of structure in the outfit so the look doesn’t veer into loungewear territory.
Don’t forget the importance of hair and makeup when finishing your city ensemble. A bold lip or chic topknot can instantly upgrade a look – while bed head and bronzed skin can have the adverse effect. How do you translate your beach style into the city? Tell us your tips on the Style Exchange!