At 5 p.m. every Saturday afternoon in the summer, beachgoers are faced with an impossible decision — grab cocktail at the beach bar and enjoy the afternoon sun, or go home and get ready for the evening. Of course, everyone wants to show off their summer style when they head out for the night, but having to go all the way home to shower, change, and shift gears is a real buzzkill, especially when all you really want to do is throw on something easy and keep on livin'. Luckily, thanks to some of the chicest celebrities of Instagram, the problem is solved.
To start, there are a few things you should keep in your beach bag to make the quick transition possible. To up your beauty game, pack a moisturizer, a hydrating lip balm, and a waterproof mascara. And embrace those beachy waves, too. No need to so much as touch your hair. Carry along a pair of flat sandals or wedges and a statement piece of jewelry for dressier nights. Don't forget deodorant and perfume (rollerballs are key — they're easy to carry and less likely to break), because there's not point in trying to look good if you stink like seaweed all night long.
Once you've got your beach bag basics accounted for, choose your outfit. These nine outfits are perfect inspiration for seamlessly transitioning from the beach to the bar, so you don't have to have to miss out on a single minute of summer.
1. Shirt Dress
An open shirtdress, tied with a skinny belt at the waist, is an easy way to dress up your bikini while still showing it off. Who would have thought your office go-to could also work for the beach?! Thanks, Jamie Chung!
2. Sarong (As A Dress)
Sarongs are the ultimate beach-to-bar secret weapon. Choose an extra-long linen one, like the pale pink piece Olivia Palermo is wearing here, cross it at your throat and tie it behind your neck for a sexy, effortless mini-dress.
4. Sarong (As A Skirt)
All hail Queen Bey, the expert sarong tier (as if she needed something else to be perfect at). Pair a printed sarong with a solid-colored one piece, and you can barely tell you're in beachwear!
3. Linen Top And Shorts
In for a long night? Take a note from Padma Lakshmi and choose a dressier pair of shorts (something more structured than your standard denim cutoffs) and tie up a crisp, white linen shirt. If you're feeling risqué, leave all of the buttons undone to show off your bikini top.
5. Easy Romper
As #badgalriri proves, you can do absolutely anything in a romper. It is the absolute most versatile article of clothing ever invented. You can put a romper on over your bikini and do literal cartwheels in the bar if you feel so inclined (though I wouldn't recommend it – I've seen people get kicked out of places that way).
6. Belted Maxi-Skirt
Wear your bikini top with a floor length skirt and a belt tied at the waist for a bohemian, yet polished, look.
7. Sexy Coverup
If you're headed to a low-key, casual beach bar, where clothing is more "recommended" than required, opt for an open-knit dress, like Lea Michele's, that lets you show off your sexy bikini and your beach bod.
8. Black Maxi Dress
A floor-length black dress, like Gigi Hadid's, can work for any social situation, from beach, to bar to black tie. The secret is in the accessories. Lose the bikini (hello, sexy side-boob) and throw on a black maxi with a big piece of beachy statement jewelry — think the grown-up version of your old pooka shells — and voila, you're ready for wherever the night may take you.
9. White Mini Dress
As shown by Ms. Taylor Swift, the goddess of summer style, there is no better way to show off your tan than in a teeny tiny white dress. Loose, breezy styles in cotton or linen are best for those super hot days when sweating is inevitable.