Beach to Dinner: A Guide to Summer Dressing

It may seem like throwing a basic cover-up over your bikini is the most obvious beach outfit solution, but putting just a little extra thought into it has the potential to take you much further (drinks, dinner, date night…). Here, five straightforward styling suggestions for making a day look last well into the evening.

Look 1

Historically, gauzy summer separates are good for comfort, ventilation, and little else. Make them work overtime by stashing strappy heels and a structured cross-body in your beach bag.

Look 2

A crimson, floor-sweeping maxi doesn’t exactly scream beach dress…though it’s right at home hanging poolside. For day, keep things loose by skipping the belt and anchoring with an espadrille/sandal hybrid; for evening, define the waist and add a heel for height.

Look 3

A structured playsuit is the kind of wardrobe chameleon that can go from day to night with nothing more than a shoe change—Grecian sandals with decorative amaryllis, turquoise, and jade stones at the ankles work double duty as jewelry.

Look 4

The beauty of a kaftan—especially one with a bit of lux detail like, say, tassels and dramatic sleeves—is that it can be completely transformed with a swipe of red lipstick and a simple wedge.

Look 5

Here, the trick is to work your way backwards: Start with the playful combo of a mini, a loose popover top, and unapologetically sexy stiletto—then take it all down a few notches by swapping in a simple slide and adding a floppy sunhat.