Style Guide: My Beach Day Basics



The sun is shining and the seagulls are singing (or more accurately, combing the beach for your sandy leftovers)–it’s summertime! You may have your swimsuit du jour squared away along with the perfect pair of sunnies, but the question remains: Are you really ready to hit the beach?

In addition to my door side “go” bag (see In the Bag: Prepped & Ready for all the details), there are a few key fashion items I keep around for hanging beachside…

Classic Cut Offs
Every gal needs a good old pair of cut off jean shorts. For me, denim cutoffs will always be a summer staple. They are as timeless as they are California cool. Lately, I’ve been wearing Levi’s because like the looser fit and higher set waist. The Levi’s 501 cut works well with most body types. Other cute cut offs I found online include Madewell’s cuffed Midi Shorts or Urban Outfitter’s Urban Renewal Shorts.

Neutral Sandals
I cannot stress how important it is to have a great pair of neutral sandals. Your wardrobe choices are exponentially multiplied when you’ve got a pair of shoes that go with almost everything if your closet. A few of my favorites are the sandals I designed for my LC Lauren Conrad line for Kohl’s, Tory Burch’s Emmy Flats, Topshop’s Hoopa Sandals, and Aldo’s Dauster Flats. And for those of you who plan on treading into the sand, I suggest keeping a pair of Havaianas Slim Flip Flops handy (I like the sand grey and light golden color combo).

White Camisole
When I’m beach bound, I love to layer on an easy, lightweight camisole. In fact, I love them for a variety of occasions… Splendid makes a great basic camisole as does Sparkle & Fade.

A Killer Cover Up
If sand or water will be involved in my day, I always pack a cover up. They add the ideal dose of chic to any summer outing. I like simple stripped versions and also sheer floral prints. Lace and crochet cover ups are also nice and have been popular this season. I also found this sweet Diane Von Furstenberg romper that would make for an easy all-in-one ocean side ensemble.

Well, hello LBB (as in Little Black Bikini)! For a no-fuss beach trip, I keep a little black bikini around. That way, I can easily match my outfit and cover up if I’m in a hurry to get out the door. L*Space makes a great black bikini with the best fit. Like a LBD, every girl needs a LBB (oh, and a LWD too).

Floppy Hat
I always pack an oversize hat for the beach. J Crew does the best floppy hat. It’s the perfect size and it travels well. Keeping your face safe and out of the sun is a must. For more tips on combatting the sun, be smart and check out my Hello Sunshine blog.

Oversize Tote
A classic straw tote with leather handles will last you years. Club Monaco has a lovely stripped tote bag that’s big enough for your towel along with the rest of your beachy necessities.

What are your beach day basics?

XO Lauren

P.S. In case you missed them, take a look at my Swimwear Guide along with my Summer Sunglasses blog for more beach day basics.

Photos: J Crew, shopbop, aldo
Categories: Lauren Conrad, Style Guide, Wear
Share This
  • Ariane

    I think I need to do some shopping ;-D… Thats some great advices!

  • Ariane

    Oh, and what I always bring to the beach is of course sunscreen (!), a big bottle of water and some gossip magazines :-)

  • Hana Gargett

    My beach collection features similar, managed to wear my summer clothes for a week while on holiday abroad then about a week when I got back home, now back into jeans and boots, typical UK weather! Have lots of shorts, skirts and dresses just sat waiting to be worn.

  • Nicole Bee

    my beach basics! i just need some colorful printed cotton shorts, a basic white tee or shirt as a coverup, basic leather or rubber flip flops from Tkees or Havaianas, my gold mark. weekender tote, michael kors sunglasses, and i am good to go!

    PLUS, water, sunblock, and issues of vogue and vanity fair will complete the look (;

  • Jennifer Houlahan

    I am totally not ready for summer, I need to do some shopping! I LOVE that oversized pink shirt and floppy hat. I don’t know about those shorts though, I think I prefer a longer inseam! 😛

  • S Jay

    i luvvvv the LBB!!!!!!! so cute and the hat!! i just luv this whole outfit<33 u have the greatest sense of style, lauren!!

  • Bianca C

    Shopping Time!!! :) Thanks for posting this Lauren <3

  • Sarah Heckle

    My beach basics are a sarong, tote, and SPF!

  • Julia Berger

    Lauren, HELP!!! I’m going through rush in a couple weeks and these are the guidlines they gave us for what to wear everyday. Im begging that you do a style guide for Sorority Rushing :)

    Orientation (Monday August 22) – Dress to impress. Panhellenic will be taking your picture upon arrival for orientation. Our suggestion is dress like you are going on a date. Nothing over the top but cute!

    Chapter Info (Tuesday August 23) – Business Casual

    Chapter Tours (Wednesday August 24) – Business Casual

    Chapter Values (Thursday August 25) – Nice Denim Jeans and your Recruitment T Shirt (You will be given this shirt during the week)

    Preference Night (Friday August 26) – Nice Cocktail Dress. Please do not wear an all black dress.

    **Business Casual– dress is professional, looking relaxed yet neat and put together.**

  • Kirsten Knutson

    For sorority rush, I would recommend going to Lilly Pulitzer and investing in some nice dresses. They are fun, yet casual and you will get to wear them a lot when you are in a sorority. Remember, the most important part of rush is to be yourself–if your not you will end up in a house where you don’t fit in and won’t have a great experience. I would definately wear skirts and dresses for Business Casual. For jeans, its shallow but you will be looked at by which designer you are wearing–you can’t go wrong with classy pair of sevens. Hope this helps a little bit!

  • Rebecca Kelsey Sampson

    Great tips! When you are in a rush you have to have a LBB. I have a lot of bikinis in different prints that I love to mix and match but always use my LBB when I don’t have time.

    Kindness is the best accessory,

  • Ivana Kubikova

    Summer dress, flip flops, maxi dress, floppy hat, tunique, big beach bag, bikiny, sunglasses and pareo. In white & gold and turquoise. Love this combination 😉

  • Afton Williams

    i always pack those little canned pink champagnes, flip flops, a floppy hat, detangler for my hair, and sunscreen in my beach tote : ) Great post by the way–love this!!

  • Kristi Bucksbarg

    nothing better then a big floppy hat!

  • Amanda Kretchmer

    I love the “”easy breezy”” feeling of the beach. Oh the relaxation!

  • Julia Lahdo

    This is my favorite summer outfit. Easy, comfortable Converse, plain jean shorts, a red/orange-ish bandeau, white transparent tank top mixed with simple jewelry such as a turquoise ring, ear cuff and a feather neclace!

    Love, Julia.

  • Julia Lahdo

  • Sara Davis

    I love the denim cut-offs! I definitely am all for the camisoles and what you might call “”wife-beater”” tanks. They’re handy for hot summers. I still use mainly flip-flops/thongs as well because you can easily kick them off and put them back on depending on if your going in the water or laying out. Cute outfit!

  • Lauren Leathers

    Love these basics! My basics for summer are denim shorts, printed tanks and fun nail polish colors! :)

    have an amazing day!



  • alli chismar

    where is that pink cover up from?

  • Kaja Antoncic

    My Beach Day Basics are pretty simple. A big bag (seriously..the bigger, the better) in which I usually pack my towel, a good book, iPod and often a deck of cards. Oh and sunscreen ofcourse. When it comes to my’s all pretty sporty. I put my bikini on (Roxy is currently my favourite), cover it with some comfy shorts and sleeveless T-shirt, put on my shades, flip flops and I’m ready to go! :)

  • Kiwi

    I have mostly all of these essentials so that’s good! My summer #1 essential item would probably be sunglasses and a good pair of comfortable demin shorts. Also, flip flops!

  • Enma Eugenia Curiel Hurtado

    Ohh thanks your tips are fantastic because I love beach and is important have all the necessary

  • Elena Last name

    I know were talking just about what to wear, but since I live in the beach and I have to handle the days I go cuz I dont wanna get too burned I allways add to my list my blue UMBRELLA!

    I consider it a BASIC and a MUST BRING cuz otherwise I end up all sun burned … Like I did this weekend..

  • Andrea B

    My number one beach day basic is Aesops Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol. It’s spay-on hydration & a absolute must in my beach bag!

  • Jennie Weatherman

    I LOVE THESE! But I get through the summer with a floral maxi dress, embelshed sandels, a big sun hat, and my oversized american eagle bag.

  • Alllyyycat

    where is that pink coverup from?

  • debora f

    my beach day basic is havaianas violet,t shirt,jeans shorts, bikini multicolor and very big bag………by by

  • Lola

    I worked in Spain for the last couple of summers so I have my beach bag essentials sorted now. My beach basics are a large straw bag, gold Havaianas, vintage sunglasses, spf 30 protect and bronze. Water, fruit and a towel along with a LBB and a cotton top or dress. Finally, I always carry a waterproof make up bag with tissues, hand sanitizer, comb, plasters and bite relief for any mossy or jellyfish stings.

  • Glorietta88 2 weeks (more or less) i’ll go to Spain!!!..and i’m thinking about my beach days :D…I’ll take with me all my beach’s dress (long and not too large), sunscreen spf 6, my Havaianas (i would like to find them in white but I don’t know if they exist) and when i’ll be in Spain i would like to buy a floppy hat!!!

  • Maria Abbruscato

    Love this post, Lauren!!!!! Also, another essential for me is a pair of sunglasses! I like heart shaped frames for the summer 😉

  • Kennedy Kelly-Hooks

    this is really cute! i just bought a pair of those sandals the other day. love your stle LC . (:

  • Shannonmarie

    The sandals from your line are really cute. The Kohl’s site says the upper and lining are manmade, and I didn’t see the word “”leather”” anywhere. Are they vegan? That would make them even better. Thanks.

    – Shannonmarie

  • V

    My day beach basics:

    (from bottom to top)
    My pair of havaianas high are the best (, any color will do and they stylize your legs a bit (sexy).

    Denim or whiye denim Shorts ( or Skirts.

    Camisoles or similar: almost covering the short looks great! or the other way round short and wide almost showing the belly (cant find pictures) looks great! (

    Bikinis! instead of black, if im tanned i wear the white one, also classy ( Or another one a bit more colory (

    And a hat ( or this (

  • Kimberly Reed

    A good hat


    and..great swimsuit

  • Renos Fy


  • Girly It Girl


for a front-row VIP pass to all things lovely and chic. Sign up today for exclusive tips straight from Lauren, a chance to win monthly giveaways, and so much more.

sign up