Beach Fashion: The heat of the moment

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Forget reaching for lazy leisurewear – a trip to the beach is an occasion to warrant a wardrobe of its own, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Dressing for the beach may seem simple enough as you reach for that trusty pair of cut-offs that don't quite button up. Add the oversize T-shirt that was a freebie on your last company away-day, a pair of flip-flops and the battered straw hat you use when gardening and you're good to go, right?

For those who rely on structured outfits to get through the working week, the sudden transition to full-on laissez-faire dressing can be just too much to take. A grasp of the basics and a quick lesson in coordinating will take the pain out of trips to the shore.

Close to home

Let's begin at the bottom. The leg-lengthening illusion afforded by a pair of wedges is all well and good if you have only to totter a few feet from your luxury villa to a private bay, but in reality the stroll down to the beach laden with towels, picnic, games and books is not a time you want to worry about going over on an ankle. Instead, opt for sturdy but sweet sandals in soft tan leather – the once-ubiquitous gladiator sandal has grown up.

That's not to say that glamour has no part to play: a smattering of subtly shimmering sequins or the cooling texture of silk on sun-blushed skin (here's hoping) should not be overlooked. Lace-trimmed shorts with an elasticated waist are perfect for a quick change when a dip in the water beckons. When mixing and matching separates, choose from a soft, muted colour palette and remember blue denim goes with everything. A shirt or kimono in a sheer fabric is perfect for throwing over your swimsuit when you make that all-important trip up the beach for ice creams – between 1 and 7 August, Topshop will donate £10 to the Teenage Cancer Trust for each of three styles of cover-up purchased.

If it's hot and you just cannot be bothered with separates, a romper suit in soft washed denim or cashmere over a halter swimsuit has something of an off-duty Fifties pin-up girl about it.

Tortoiseshell shades, a chic straw hat and a sweet but simple cotton tote bag are all you need to complete a look that's perfect for spending the day at the seaside – though you may want to pack an umbrella just in case.

Farther afield

If you are heading for a proper sunshine holiday, though, you may want to ramp things up a gear. Don't worry, there are plenty of pieces to make sure that you're not left in the shade.

Take inspiration from Prada and Stella McCartney's spring/summer collections and get fruity with a pair of bold print shorts or this jungle-inspired one-piece from Urban Outfitters. Colour blocking is a trend that was huge on the catwalks this season, Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs and Gucci all leading the charge. However, the observant among you will have noticed that on the high street, racks of the stuff are being reduced as we speak – the buying public has collectively said "thanks, but no thanks". Instead, try a less didactic form of clashing – mash up bright colours and prints with different fabric textures and shades.

Don't worry about what goes with what – you're on holiday and life is too short. It all might feel a bit "I'm mad, me" when you're packing your suitcase on a somewhat dull British day, but by the time you're in balmier climes with a piña colada in hand, everything will slot into place.

ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

    SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before