For an unforgettable summer by the water, you’d want to look effortlessly stylish without sacrificing comfort, especially when the temperatures rise. Overheating in the wrong outfit can quickly dampen your fun. 

And to note, finding the perfect balance between fashion and functionality for beach or pool days isn’t always easy. Sweating it out in a too-tight sundress or shivering in a wet swimsuit that took forever to dry is commonplace.

As part of our Travel Apparel tips, the following are top summer activities to enjoy near the water and the most stylish apparel to wear for each one.

Top Water Activities & Outfit Combos

Whether you’re a beach bum, a pool party enthusiast, or water sports fanatic, the following list of stylish and practical outfit combinations will help you gear up for summer adventures. 

1. Beach Day

On a classic beach day, you might be swimming in the ocean, soaking up the sun on the sand, or playing a game of beach volleyball.

For this activity, opt for flowy maxi dresses that keep you cool and comfortable while still looking stylish. When it’s time to take a break from the sun, throw on a lightweight cover-up. And don’t forget a stylish wide-brimmed hat to protect your face from the sun’s rays.

2. Pool Party

Whether you’re lounging poolside, taking a dip to cool off, or chatting with friends, your outfit should reflect the laid-back yet stylish atmosphere.

You can’t go wrong with a trendy one-piece swimsuit. If you prefer a two-piece, choose a chic high-waisted bikini set for a retro vibe. And no pool party look is complete without a pair of statement sunglasses to add a touch of glamor and protect your eyes from the sun.

To complete the look, you can easily throw on a casual cover-up or a pair of shorts and a tank top for when you’re not in the water.

3. Boating/Sailing

Whether you’re cruising along the coast or enjoying a leisurely sail,  comfort and style are key for a day out on the water. You’ll likely be enjoying the scenery, feeling the wind in your hair, and maybe even trying your hand at sailing.

For this nautical adventure, embrace the classic look with nautical-inspired stripes. These can be found on dresses, shirts, or even swimsuits. To stay cool and comfortable, opt for breathable linen shirts that offer a relaxed yet sophisticated vibe. Complete your outfit with comfortable boat shoes or sandals that provide good traction and support on the deck. If you’re planning a cruise in the US and are still looking for options – read this.

Watch this video for some of the best boating destinations in the US:

4. Water Sports

If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, or surfing might be your summer calling. These activities call for an outfit that can withstand the elements while allowing you to move freely.

Choose quick-drying rash guards or swim shirts to protect your skin from the sun and any friction. Pair them with board shorts that offer comfort and flexibility. Don’t forget water shoes to protect your feet from sharp rocks or shells and provide traction on slippery surfaces.

5. Lakeside Relaxation

For a more serene water experience, a day at the lake can be the perfect escape. You might be having a picnic, casting a line for fish, or taking a refreshing swim.

To keep your look casual and comfy, go for denim shorts in a classic blue or white wash. Pair them with breezy tank tops in fun patterns or solid colors. And don’t forget a pair of versatile sandals that can take you from the shore to the picnic blanket with ease.

Essential Summer Apparel Tips

Choosing the right summer apparel is crucial. The fabrics and materials you choose significantly affect your comfort and style.

  • Fabric Choices: Natural fabrics help you stay cool and comfortable in the summer heat. Look for breathable options like linen, cotton, and rayon. These fabrics allow air to circulate, keeping you cool and preventing you from feeling sticky or sweaty.
Top Summer Activities Near Water
Photo from Adobe Stock
  • Color Palettes: Opt for light, summery colors like white, pastels, or bright shades. These colors not only reflect sunlight, helping you stay cooler, but also evoke a cheerful and carefree summer vibe.
  • Layering: Summer weather can be unpredictable, so layering is key to staying comfortable throughout the day. A lightweight cardigan or a kimono can easily be thrown over your swimsuit when you need a little extra warmth or want to cover up. A denim jacket or a linen shirt can be tied around your waist for a casual look and added warmth when the sun goes down.
  • Accessorizing: A wide-brimmed hat adds a touch of elegance and provides much-needed shade on sunny days. A pair of stylish sunglasses protects your eyes from harmful UV rays and adds a cool factor to any outfit. When it comes to jewelry, opt for waterproof options if you’ll be spending time in the water. Consider delicate necklaces, stackable bracelets, or hoop earrings. For a beachy vibe, try incorporating natural elements like shells or beads into your jewelry.


These practical outfit ideas will help you look and feel your best no matter what your summer plans entail. For an extra touch of summer magic, don’t hesitate to explore local boutiques for unique finds. You might discover one-of-a-kind pieces that perfectly complement your personal style. And remember, fashion is all about self-expression, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations and try something new.

With the right outfit and a positive attitude, you’ll be ready to make this summer your most stylish and enjoyable one yet.