Above The Neck
It's hard to avoid the sun when you're at the beach, and maybe you want to soak up as much sun as you can on vacation, but protecting yourself from the sun is the best way to prevent skin damage. You don't have to keep your face covered up, but you should. A hat with a brim can block out the UV rays that can cause skin cancer and wrinkles. For those times you get caught without your hat, make sure your extra layer of protection is a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Waist To Shoulder
Dressing for the beach is a little bit different than what you might pick out for 4th of July clothes. Most people want to wear as little as possible at the beach, but certain situations call for a cover-up. Whether we've had more than enough sun or need to take a quick trip to the convenience store, we need something to put on. To stay comfortable and covered up, try a flowy, sheer tunic or light cotton lounge cardigan to give your skin a break from the rays and you also won't be breaking any rules when you go to the store.
Below The Belt
Walking around in just a bikini is socially acceptable at the beach, but you have to get to and from the shore so you should dress accordingly. Good cover-up skirts or dresses are designed with the beach in mind: they cover up everything so you can take a break from the beach for a picnic lunch and still be comfortable with a bathing suit on underneath.
Flip-flops are must-have items when walking in sand and seawater makes up the majority of your day. They're great for short walks when you want to protect your feet from the hot sand, but if you're walking any more than that, the lack of support could put your feet at risk for fractures. Try breezy canvas slip-ons to give the bones in your feet support and ease up on your toes and arches. Sandals with straps are also a good option. If you're determined to wear flip-flops everywhere, look for a pair that has an arch and hard soles to protect your feet from uneven or soft surfaces.
A day at the beach requires a lot more than just a bikini and a cover-up. You need books and magazines, sunscreen, snacks, and something to drink. Going to the beach definitely calls for a good tote bag, but it has to have more than just one big pocket. Insulated totes keep your belongings cool under the hot sun, and a bag with plenty of pockets helps keep all your beach essentials or baby gear sorted for easy access.