10 Types of Clothes You Should Never Wear to the Beach

The shoreline isn’t your personal runway. Sure, you can throw on a floppy hat, caftan, and a stylish swimsuit, but the salty air (and even saltier water) is a recipe for disaster for the rest of your clothes. This means there are a couple things you should always have on hand: a cover-up, a pair of sunglasses, and a spare sundress for post-swim lobster rolls. But there are a lot — and we mean a lot — of things you should leave at home. Some are obvious; others are not. Before your next trip to the beach, make sure you read our style don’ts below.

1. A sweater

Woman smiling warmly clothed in winter

This really isn’t the time for cozy knitwear. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Unless you’re indulging in a midnight bonfire or a wintry stroll down a deserted beach town, your trip to the shore is going to be hot. Like, really hot. And since the mere thought of slipping on your cover-up makes you want to melt, why would you ever bring a sweater to your aquatic activities?

Admittedly, there are some options that are lightweight enough to wear on a breezy summer day, but we suggest you leave them at home.

2. Anything black

Girl with red lipstick and short hair in black T-shirt

Black will feel way too hot. | iStock.com/deniskomarov

Hitting the beach? Choose your colors wisely. Whites and lighter neutrals are known to reflect light away from your body, but that black cover-up or dress absorbs heat and light. Translation? Your already hot day will become scorching. While your black bikini is still fair game, we recommend you stick to lighter colors otherwise.

3. Suede shoes

purple velvet shoes

Keep your feet happy in something more breathable. | iStock.com/kadirdemir

Your new suede slip-ons might be perfect for the summer, but they’re far from beach-ready. The most finicky fabric on the market, suede just doesn’t mix with water. When exposed to the the lightest sprinkle, harsh watermarks will form on the fabric — and stay there. So there’s no way they’ll make it out in pristine condition. Plus, suede is an expensive fabric! You don’t want to ruin the smooth texture with hard-to-remove sand grains.

4. Non-polarized sunglasses

Woman wearing a pair of round sunglasses

Be sure to give your peepers the best. | iStock.com/Merlas

We know what you’re thinking: Sunglasses are sunglasses, right? Not quite. If you’re looking for a pair that can withstand the harshest sun rays, be sure to pack a pair of polarized sunglasses. Unlike their non-polarized counterparts, these shades include a special filter to block glares. Your trip to the beach won’t be ruined if you pack a non-polarized sunglasses, but it’ll be a less comfortable experience.

5. Jeans

Female wearing jeans

This is one of the few times where denim is a don’t. | iStock.com/kieferpix

We take a less-is-more approach to our beach trips, meaning the less fabric we can wear, the better. Jeans might be a mainstay in your wardrobe, but they are by no means ocean-friendly. You’ll need a pair of dry clothes for your post-beach outing, but stick to a pair of shorts. You’ll thank us later.

6. Anything tight

Woman in white dress holding blue bag

Tight garments will feel uncomfortable against sunburns. | iStock.com/visoook

No matter how many times you slather on some SPF — and re-slather, and re-slather — you’ll likely walk away from a day at the beach with a sunburn. And the last thing you’ll want is fabric rubbing against your burnt skin. Looser clothes won’t magically cure your sunburn, but they won’t increase your level of discomfort, either.

7. Jewelry

shiny gold and silver jewelery

Save the jewelry for date nate. | iStock.com/CarlosAndreSantos

Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but they have no place at the beach. You’re just one rip-tide away from losing your engagement ring, favorite necklace or Grandma’s earrings, so why risk it? Keep your sparklers safe inside your jewelry box.

8. Ill-fitting bathing suit

Young black woman having fun at seaside

No matter your figure, you need a suit that fits. | iStock.com/william87

Whether you’re planning to take a dip in the ocean or lounge on the sand, never wear an ill-fitting suit. It doesn’t matter if you have a six-pack and perfect hourglass figure: If your top doesn’t support your breasts or the bottoms are too small, you won’t feel your best. And confidence is important.

The secret? Taking the time to look for a suit that fits your body. There’s one out there, you just need to take the time to find it. For example, we recently put together a list of stylish swimsuits for busty women. Have a look.

9. A jumpsuit

Tourist enjoying romantic Burano island of Venice in Italy

We love a jumpsuit — just not at the beach. | iStock.com/grinvalds

In theory, a jumpsuit is a fine choice for your seaside shenanigans. It’s effortlessly chic and you don’t have to worry about which top looks cute with your denim cut-offs. But in reality, they’re kind of a pain. Every trip to the bathroom requires you take the entire thing off. Cover-ups should be easy to wear, not require an instruction manual. What’s worse, the sand from your legs is bound to transfer elsewhere, creating an itchy and uncomfortable trip.

10. Sneakers

Black female runner in forest tying shoe

Black female runner in forest tying shoe | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Sand has a remarkable power to get — and stay — just about everywhere. In between your toes, behind your ear, and all over the smartphone you haven’t used in hours. While running on the beach is a great way to have some fun in the sun, we recommend you don’t bring your fresh kicks to the beach. Trust us, sand will find a way to seep inside.

Follow Kelsey on Twitter @Kmulvs and Instagram @Kmulvs