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Beach Pants: How (and When) to Wear Them

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Beach pants are loose and relaxed — some might even call them a little lazy. But they’ve got a certain nonchalant charm that makes them a nice choice for your freshest summer ensembles. The good news is you don’t need to be shore-bound to slip into these easygoing bottoms.

You can absolutely pull off — er, pull on — these loose, airy pants for dinner, dates, daytime fun and more. Here’s how.

Styling Your Beach Pants

Beach pants are characterized by a cinched waist, wide leg and a flowy, lightweight construction. You’ll often see this silhouette with stripes or a busy pattern as well. Show off this combination of features in a body-flattering way with these simple styling tips:

  • Do pair your pants with a form-fitting top. Halters, crop tops that fit close to the body, bandeaus and bikini tops all create balance for your beach pants outfit.
  • Do anchor the outfit with a delicate shoe. Think strappy sandals or a lightweight mule. Ankle boots or thick sneakers are too bulky for this carefree pant silhouette.
  • Do go light on the jewelry. A delicate necklace or anklet is all you need. Leave the wood watch or smart watch at home.

Wearing Them on Vacation

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: beach pants are awesome vacation pants. When else can you walk around in bottoms that are slightly sheer and look amazing with bikini tops and halters?

These Eternal Vacation pants from Lulus are especially appealing with their rainbow-toned vertical stripes. The airy cut defines what makes the quintessential beach pant so special. Slip it on over your swimsuit or bikini and enjoy a boardwalk stroll or brunch overlooking the ocean.

Wearing Them to Dinner

Summer presents frequent opportunities to enjoy dinner outside, whether you’re dining with the family on your deck or meeting friends at a new rooftop restaurant in the city. Whichever your situation, you’ll look stylish and pulled together in a pair of more opaque beach pants, like these Maaji Leaf Print Wide Leg Cover-Up Pants ($56.97).

They flow beautifully, and pair well with a cropped, fitted top that creates some balance. Slip into a pair of strappy sandals and you’re ready for anything.

Wearing Them for Fun

Sometimes you just need to relax and wear the quirky pants that no one would ever expect you to wear.

Once these Missguided pants end up in your closet, odds are you’ll be so excited to wear them you won’t think twice about breaking them out for a store run or a casual weekend coffee date. Make them your “anytime” pants when you would normally pull on yoga pants. Why not?

Wearing Them on Dates

Summer date nights are truly the best. Make the most of the season and the occasion by slipping into a pair that’s a touch more structured. Think classic wide leg pants, but with a slightly laid-back quality.

These Buttoned Wide-Leg Pants from Anthropologie fit the bill nicely. Wear them with a delicate blouse and low-profile heels for a pretty look that’s destined to keep you cool throughout the evening.