Beyond The Beach: Styling Swimwear That Doubles As Streetwear

Gisele Smith
Beyond The Beach: Styling Swimwear That Doubles As Streetwear
Photo: Courtesy of Gisele Smith.

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Let’s be honest, swimsuit season can be complicated. Now don’t get me wrong, I love summer and I love the beachbut there is something extremely stress-inducing about having to leave your house early on a weekend morning, knowing that all you have to your name that day is your bathing suit and some overpriced sunglasses. It took me a long time to learn how to style a swimsuit as a bodysuit for long days that turn into late nights!

In theory, summer is all about the unexpected and the thrill of not knowing where the day will take you. But for planners like me, this sentiment sends a shiver up my spine. I don’t know about you, but nothing is more terrifying to me than being underdressed. 

So this season, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and get ahead of my fashion destiny—and now, I’m here to share my number one summer styling savior: the one-piece. Not new to the scene, but still extremely revolutionary, this year my one-pieces and I have become besties.

From enjoying breakfast burritos on the pier to jumping in the waves at the Rockaways to dancing the night away at a beachside bar, with a few key items packed away in your beach bag, I promise that you and your one-piece can conquer the world.

Don’t believe me? Below, I’ve styled up two of my favorites in full day-to-night looks as proof. Viva la one-piece!

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Bay Watch Babe

STYLECASTER | How To Wear A Swimsuit As A Bodysuit

For Day

For this first daytime look, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t attempt to flip a culturally relevant moment that made me feel extremely insecure on its head. *Cough, Baywatch, cough” As a curvy girl, I always felt so insecure wearing bright colors to the beach. For so long, all I wanted was to blend in with the background. But in 2021, we are saying goodbye to the Baywatch babes of the past and ushering in a new era of the classic red bathing suit—curves and all. 

For my daytime look, I paired my Ookioh swimsuit with a staple in my daytime wardrobe: a patterned matching set. Endlessly versatile, matching sets are no-brainers when it comes to pulling together a look. If you choose a linen one like this set from McIndoe, they can also be lightweight enough to tuck away in your beach bag without taking up too much space. Paired with your favorite sunnies and sandals, this look will turn heads in no time.

STYLECASTER | How To Wear A Swimsuit As A Bodysuit

For Night

Give a girl a little black *skirt* and she can conquer the world. OK, maybe not the world, but at least she can create a simple and chic nighttime look in the blink of an eye! What was a fun and fashionable bathing suit earlier in the day can quickly turn into an effortless bodysuit with the addition of some chic accessories. 

Kitten heels aren’t going anywhere (especially cute braided versions like this JustFab style!) so throw them in your beach bag to elevate your fit in a flash. Layer some gold chains for a mixed metals look and throw on a funky mini bag to instantly complete the look. Then, meet me at the bar!

 

An Updated Classic

STYLECASTER | How To Wear A Swimsuit As A Bodysuit

For Day

OK, I admit it: Gen-Z has influenced me and these denim shorts are proof. The days of short-shorts are no longer and thank goodness, because my thighs missed the ghosts of Bermuda shorts past. Any trend that helps stop my legs from chafing in the hot summer sun is one I can definitely get behind. 

For both my daytime and nighttime looks, I wanted to focus on elevating an age-old classic: a white top with jeans. For this day look, I paired a white one-piece with an old favorite in my wardrobe—my handy dandy bucket hat—and a new addition—the platform sandals—making this one of my favorite beach looks yet. 

STYLECASTER | How To Wear A Swimsuit As A Bodysuit

For Night

As you can see, this summer I am embracing all things light wash denim—easy, breezy and not too aggressive for a sweltering hot night. My denim obsession comes and goes, but recently I have been loving embroidered jeans for adding a cheeky touch to an otherwise basic silhouette. Whether you buy them pre-decorated or storm your local craft store to make them unique, I say the more patches and personalization, the better. 

To finish off this look I took my own creative liberties and tied my lace-up sandals over my jeans, because beautiful shoes are made to be seen, am I right? I finished off the outfit with a pop of color in my yellow handbag (This Radley London style is so similar). This looks screams, “Take me to a beach bar and play Olivia Rodrigo until the sun comes up” and honestly, I’m living for it.

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