3 Must-Try Beach Outfits (Because It's Not Just About the Swimsuit)

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Beach outfit ideas can be tricky when the crux of your look is a swimsuit that you want to show off in the sun. With so many cute bikinis and one-pieces out there, the last thing you want to do is cover them up. But because clothing is kind of like essential to and from the beach (or lake, pool, river . . . whatever your body of water preference is) at the very least, coming up with a cute bathing suit outfit will make your day by the water an ultrastylish one.

When figuring out a beach outfit, you've got to start with the vibe or activity at hand. Is it a casual hang? If so, comfortable shorts make for an effortlessly chic look. For something a bit dressier, say for a beachfront barbecue or poolside soiree, really think about your swimsuit as part of the outfit and layer in additional pieces that you'd wear IRL like a summery skirt or lightweight jumpsuit with warm-weather extras like a sunhat, tote bag, and fun sandals.

Don't get us wrong. We love a good cover-up (or dress that doubles as a cover-up) as much as the next fashion girl. All we're saying is a cute beach outfit is great for when you want to look a little more considered in your swimwear and/or want to be entirely clothed en route to the beach, for an alfresco lunch post-swim, or when hitting up an aprés beach event.

Ahead, get inspired by three beach looks we're loving for Summer, all featuring stylish and affordable pieces from the POPSUGAR collection at Kohl's. Then, for more casual-cute outfit ideas, head over to The Outfit Bar at Kohl's, where you'll discover a range of affordable looks to get you through the rest of Summer in style.

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The Beach Outfit: Casual Cute
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The Beach Outfit: Casual Cute

Give casual pieces — like this POPSUGAR Tie-Front Slouchy Tee ($22, originally $30) — a summery spin by pairing with trendy Bermuda-length denim shorts, colorful sandals, and sharp sunnies and wearing over a bright bikini. A sleek anklet gives this look a fashion-girl kick.

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The Beach Outfit: Classically Feminine
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The Beach Outfit: Classically Feminine

Kaftans are always feminine over swimwear, but as an alternative to the classic cover-up style, try this weightless POPSUGAR Textured Button Front Skirt ($45, originally $60) atop a minimal one-piece swimsuit and finish with a wide-brim straw hat, raffia bag, and oversize sunnies. For an extra dose of glam, dial it up with a trendy chain-link necklace — the perfect Summer party look!

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The Beach Outfit: Comfortable, but Make It Fashion
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The Beach Outfit: Comfortable, but Make It Fashion

We're diehard jumpsuit fanatics and love a nautical-inspired style like the POPSUGAR Belted Jumpsuit ($51, originally $68) styled over a bikini to and from the beach. For a fashion-forward bend, mix in seashell earrings, barely there sandals, retro sunnies, and a stylish tote.