4+ Versatile Beach Outfits for Men

When you’re planning your beachside look, you’re probably mostly thinking about your bottoms. Indeed, a stylish pair of men’s swim trunks is the basis of a good beach outfit, but there’s more to the story than that. You’ll want to throw on a shirt when you’re tired of the sun or are getting ready to head into the cabana bar for lunch. But how do you put together a good beach look that does it all? We’ve got some suggestions for you below.

man buttoning linen top

First: Start with a Good Pair of Trunks

Looking to build a swim trunks outfit that makes you look and feel your absolute best? Start with the right pair of trunks. We recommend going for a pair that’s equal parts fashionable and functional, prioritizing styles that look more like street clothes than swim trunks. Choose trunks in more subdued hues and patterns — pastels and neutrals are great — when you’re building outfits. These are much easier to match with your tops than vibrant palm prints or stripes. Of course, you still want to make sure you wear trunks that are made of practical quick-drying fabric.

Next: Add Your Top

When you’ve got a stash of versatile trunks, all you need to do is find shirts that pair well with them. These days, it’s becoming more and more common to see guys rocking their trunks off the sand, but you’re going to need a stylish top to get away with it. As long as your shorts are clean and dry, you’re good to pair them with one of the top options below and head to lunch or drinks.

  1. A Breezy Button-Down – A lightweight button-down is the quintessential summertime vibe, but the key is to choose the right material, so your look is more chill than fussy. Go for an ultra-breezy linen or lightweight cotton button-down in a relaxed fit. Our selection of men’s linen shirts includes the perfect top for your chill beach look. If you prefer to rock a tank top or tee, you can throw on a linen top as a breezy jacket if it gets chilly.
  2. A Stylish Rash Guard – If your plans for the day involve swimming, surfing or catching waves on a boogie board, go for a rash guard on top. Like their name suggests, rash guards protect your skin from surf rash caused by the combination of dry saltwater and friction on your board. Rash guards also provide a good layer of sun protection; but make no mistake — you should still slather on the SPF, even if you’re wearing a long-sleeved top. A hooded style is great because it gives your look a more relaxed vibe that translates well off the beach.

    long sleeved shirt with shorts outfit
  3. A Short-Sleeved Button-Up – Collared shirts aren’t just for the golf course or tennis court. As long as you pick one that honors the beachy vibe you’re going for, they’re for the sand too. When you’re lounging or walking on the beach, you can wear your top unbuttoned. If you plan to head in for lunch or need a break from the sun, button it up. Again, lightweight, breezy fabrics are clutch here — linen and cotton blends only. Stick to short-sleeved tops in funky, beachy patterns, such as palm prints, tropical flowers and nautical stripes. Pair these with your favorite solid-colored swim shorts to tie it all together.
  4. A Tank Top – There’s no better place to sport your favorite tank than on the beach or pool deck. Style your favorite shorts with a loose-fitting, breezy tank that you can take off or throw on as needed throughout the day. Go for a funky print or pattern or rock a solid-colored tank with your busier trunks.

smiling man walks up beach patio stairs

Finally: Accessorize

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to accessorize with your favorite beach-friendly extras. No day on the sand is complete without a pair of stylish shades. For the ultimate in sun protection and style, toss on a straw beach hat (if you think they’re dorky, remember that GQ called the straw hat “the ultimate summer beach accessory” for guys). If you’re more of a sporty guy, a baseball cap or bucket hat will do the trick. Just like any other outfit, a well-coordinated beach look comes down to mixing and matching components that work for you. Start with some summery tops and stylish swim trunks, and you’re already well on your way to earning the title of the beach’s best-dressed.

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