What to Wear at the Beach

By Gina Ragusa

Going to the beach is a favorite pastime for many people, and there's a wide selection of suits, accessories and lotions for beach-goers to choose from. Whether you'll be sunning yourself on a beach in the Mediterranean or hitting the Jersey shore, you'll want to pack for the occasion and leave for the beach armed with the necessary items.


Trying on swimsuits strikes fear and panic in many women. Those revealing bikinis and tankinis can show off a little more than you bargained for if you've been indulging a little too much and haven't been to the gym in a few months.

Fortunately, designers have taken every body shape into consideration when creating their swimwear lines. Your local department store should have a wide variety of suits that camouflage your least favorite body parts.

Women can purchase a suit that includes a small flirty skirt, or try a suit with short board shorts. Don't forget to include a flouncy, sexy cover-up. Buy a sarong if you are bottom heavy, or wear a long cover-up that resembles a large shirt.

Men's options allow them to wear long board shorts along with a swim shirt with rash guard. Purchase swim shirts in both long and short sleeves.


One of the most important things you can wear at the beach is a good sunscreen. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1 million people are diagnosed with a nonmelanoma skin cancer each year. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, strikes approximately 70,000 individuals every year.

Your best defense against skin cancer is a good offense. Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 all over your body before you hit the beach. The American Cancer Society suggests applying a palm full before you go in the sun, and then reapply after you swim or sweat. Don't forget the sunscreen on hazy days, because ultraviolet rays can still burn your skin through clouds.

Hat and Glasses

Wearing a hat and glasses protects your face and eyes when you are at the beach, and it also can make a fashion statement.

Find a large hat that will provide coverage for your face and neck. A wide-brimmed straw hat offers coverage and ventilation on a hot day. Another option is to wear a visor or a baseball cap; however, be sure you apply plenty of sunscreen on your neck and around your jawline to protect your skin from the sun.

Sunglasses make a cool statement and provide protection for your eyes. Just like your skin, your eyes are vulnerable to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Wear sunglasses with 99 to 100 percent UV absorption for full protection. Extreme sun exposure to your eyes can cause macular degeneration and cataracts, so keep those shades handy.