How To Channel Beachy Style Vibes

by Alex Gladu

Life at the beach isn't just bikinis and flip-flops — there are also maxi dresses, wedges, and rompers to be had. Sadly, if you're in Virginia Beach, Virginia, you know that the temperature will dip below sunbathing weather — even if it does jump back up the next day. Still, the soft sands of the Chesapeake Bay will call your name and the salty air of Sandbridge will seep into your bloodstream. Not every day can be a beach day, so we've partnered with Nordstrom Rack to help you channel that laid-back style no matter what the weather looks like.

If you don't live on the coast, never fear! The lucky minority who get to live at the beach know that the endless-summer mindset is never far away, but that doesn't mean you can't get in on the action. (OK, you can't go for a sunset stroll at Seashore State Park or a morning jog on the boardwalk followed by pancakes at Pocohontas, but I forgive you.) With that in mind, here are some simple style rules to take you through spring, summer, and beyond.

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom Rack. The new Nordstrom Rack opens on March 10 at Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach. Get details here!

1. Maxi Dresses Are A Must

Maxi Dresses, Nordstrom Rack

Life at the beach is all about versatility. If you're going to take every opportunity you have to lie on the sand or hit the waves, you need a wardrobe that is just as fluid as your day. That's where maxi dresses come in. A stylish but simple maxi can be thrown over your bikini to create an appropriate look for a pre-beach appointment or a post-beach happy hour with friends.

2. Always Keep A Go-Bag In Your Car

Totes, Nordstrom Rack

If you've got a bathing suit under your maxi dress, you'd better have a go-bag in your car. You never know when an ordinary day could turn into a beach day, so it's best to be prepared ahead of time. Any beach-lover's go-bag should include a towel, some fresh reading material, a pair of sunglasses, and the ever-important bottle of sunscreen.

3. Sunglasses Are For More Than Throwing Shade

Sunglasses, Nordstrom Rack

Speaking of sunglasses, it's always a good idea to stock up on new sunnies — even in the off-season. The beach lifestyle can wreak havoc on your body: The sun can damage your skin and your eyes, the salt can dry out your skin, and the summer heat can dehydrate you quickly. Keep your vision sharp and prevent the dreaded crow's feet around your eyes by wearing protective sunglasses all year long.

4. A Little Black Bathing Suit Is More Fitting Than An LBD

Swimwear, Nordstrom Rack

Don't get me wrong: The beach town nightlife still comes with plenty of opportunities for a little black dress, but a little black bathing suit is the basic that inlanders might not think of when channeling beach-chic vibes. A simple black swimsuit, in whichever cut, design, or neckline you prefer, will get you through more days than any dress. A longline bikini top like this can easily layer with looser tanks or even be worn as-is with a high waisted skirt or shorts.

5. Cozy Up With An Oversized Sweater

Sweaters, Nordstrom Rack

Whether it's a fall day running errands or a summer evening enjoying dessert on the sand, you won't always be able to get away with your maxi dress and sunnies. For times when you need to cover up a little more, an oversized sweater or sweatshirt will give you a relaxed fit to match your relaxed lifestyle. Throw it over leggings or a bikini — this style will last you all year.

6. Wedges, Wedges, Wedges

Wedge Sandals, Nordstrom Rack

Sandals are acceptable all year long at the beach, and so are open-toed wedges. Wedges are the perfect day-to-night footwear for a beach town because they mimic the laid-back atmosphere while keeping things a little classier than flip-flops. Plus, you never know when a night out will end with a walk on the beach, and your sandy feet will feel much better in wedges than in tight and constricting stilettos.

7. Cover-Ups Do Double Duty

Daytime Dresses, Nordstrom Rack

Breezy, pretty dresses can take you anywhere in a seaside town. From over your bikini en route to the beach, to brunch afterwards, or even with strappy heels once the sun goes down, these are the dresses that cover all of your bases. Effortless mermaid vibes with no fuss at all. Day to night, up or down, these are the dresses you can't live without.

No matter where you are or what you're doing in a beach town, it's always appropriate to dress like you're on vacation. You officially have our permission.

Images: Fotolia (1); Pixabay; Nordstrom Rack (7)