Best Colors To Wear At The Beach

Trips to the beach instantly evoke memories of ice creams, sandcastles, and refreshing salty sea breezes. Whether you want to stand out, blend in, or make a statement, you also need to choose practical colors that won’t make you instantly overheat. We have taken a look at several scenarios and come up with a list of perfect shades to wear at the beach.

Summer days at the beach can feature bright tones and festive patterns. Light colors will look crisp and clean against the ocean palette for events like beach weddings or photoshoots. Lighter colors reflect heat more effectively than darker colors, but dark colors offer higher UV protection.

Packing for a trip to the beach is always exciting. The anticipation and excitement are part of the experience. You want every detail to be perfect, so you don’t want to take the wrong outfits. Let’s cover how to look great at the beach and also which colors you should definitely avoid.

Best Colors To Wear At The Beach

In a nutshell, the best colors to wear at the beach depending on the occasion. You would not choose the same colors to attend for a late afternoon beach wedding as you would for a day of swimming and relaxing on the shoreline.

The beach offers a simple yet dramatic backdrop for various events, from fashion photoshoots to marriage proposals and family holidays. The golden hues of sand, white-laced blue water, and magical yellow sunshine blend perfectly, and you can complete the picture by wearing the right colors.

Before we move on to the fashion aspect of which colors are best to wear to the beach, let’s check in with science. When it comes to staying cool, it is commonly accepted that white doesn’t heat up as quickly as dark colors or black because it tends to reflect, rather than absorb, light.  

However, the University Of Utah Cancer Institute advises beach goers to wear darker colors because they absorb more UV rays than light or white colors. This means better sun protection for your skin. So although white clothes may make you feel cooler, they may not be doing an effective job at protecting your skin.

So, while keeping temperature comfort and UV protection for our skins in mind, let’s get back to choosing the best colors to wear at the beach and give reasons why some may be better options than others.

Is White The Best Color To Wear At The Beach?

For some people, white is their color of choice at the beach for everything from loose flowing shirts and sarongs to sunhats. White is regarded as timeless and classic. However, there are some things that you need to remember about wearing solid white fabrics to the beach:

It’s a great choice of color for a sunhat as it’s less likely to heat up.If your swimsuit is white, ensure it is adequately lined before dipping into the ocean. White fabric may become see-through when it is wet.  
White will stay cooler than darker colorsWhite will show dirt quicker than other colors. Loose-fitting, comfortable white clothing may make you look bigger than other colors.  
It always looks crisp, classic, and elegant.It does not offer the same UV protection as darker colors
It is easy to team white up with other colors to create a variety of looks.White on its own may look a little too formal and dressy for a fun day on the sand.

Love it or hate it, white is often the first color that springs to mind when packing for a beach trip. Soft billowing white fabric flowing in the gentle breeze conjures up all the romantic thoughts associated with a trip to the ocean.

Are Bright Colors Good To Wear At The Beach?

Nothing spells happiness and fun at the beach more than bright pinks, yellows, and teals. Bright colors are ideal for the beach. They are cheerful and summery, and you can really stand out with a brightly colored sarong wrap cover-up and complementary color beach hat.

For anyone with kids, a good tip when planning a beach trip is to ensure that their outfits are as bright as possible so you will always be able to track them. For children, avoid neutral colors or blues that could be difficult to see on the sand or in the water. Stick only to bright colors so they can have fun and they pop in the seaside setting.

The only time that you may want to hold back on too many bright colors when you are at the beach is if you are attending a formal event like a wedding. But you can’t go wrong with cheerful bright colors for beach parties and general fun in the sun. For some extra festive fun, you and your best friend can even coordinate your bright colors to stand out on your beach trip.

Is Blue A Good Color To Wear To The Beach?

Blue is a good choice if you want a lovely soft color that will tone in with the surroundings. Shades of turquoise and teal, mixed with sea-green, instantly make you feel like part of the natural environment.

If you plan to swim in the ocean, blue and green are not the safest colors as they are not as visible in the water. People who do a lot of swimming should opt for brightly colored swimsuits. Blue and green are never recommended for children at the beach.

Surprisingly, although blue is a prevalent color choice for the beach, and it photographs well against an ocean backdrop, research has found that blue and dark green is near the top of the list when measuring the surface heat of colors – black is at the top. So if you do want to wear blue, stick with lighter tones to stay cool at the beach.

What Colors Should Be Avoided At The Beach?

Although black can look elegant at most events, it doesn’t really lend itself to fun day trips to the beach. Too much black can look too severe against the setting of ocean waves and sand.

However, black swimsuits are popular as they are classic and slimming; however, if your swimsuit is black, it’s a good idea to team it up with another lighter. If you absolutely love your black outfits, you can use a bright scarf or towel to add some color to the overall effect.

You have probably heard that black will keep you hotter than any other color, which is why it is often not the most popular color choice for hot summer days at the beach. This was confirmed in a study conducted by the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan, but their research also yielded some other, somewhat surprising results.

The team measured the surface temperature of different color polo shirts placed in the sun. In addition to black, other colors heated up almost as quickly, and high on the list, were blue and dark green. Purple was somewhere in the middle. This is surprising as green and blue are popular choices in beachwear.

Another reason to avoid too much black or any dark color like navy is that sand particles become highly visible. You don’t want to be constantly brushing sand off your outfit when you should be relaxing and enjoying your time at the ocean.

Photographers specializing in beach photography for groups agree that black and dark colors are often a little too overwhelming against the subtle beach tones of blue and gold. When planning a beach photoshoot, plan and coordinate your color palette to tone in with the gorgeous setting. 

What Colors Will Keep You Coolest At The Beach?

While it is not only the color of a garment that determines its coolness, it does play a part. Generally, the darker the color, the more heat will be absorbed by the outside of the material.

The trick to staying cool is not only about not wearing dark colors; it’s about ensuring adequate ventilation around your skin.

Famously, the Bedouins of the Sinai desert cope with heat perfectly covered head to foot in black robes. Scientists were baffled but discovered that the color is not as much a factor as the fit of the garment. The black robes cover the wearer’s skin, but they are loose and allow a sort of heat convection action out of the attire. The outside of the outfits does get hot, but the heat escapes before it contacts the wearer’s skin.

So although some colors like black, dark blue, green, and purple will absorb more heat on the outside of the material, if the fabric isn’t in direct contact with your skin, it is forming a beneficial barrier between your skin and harmful UV rays.

However, the colors that have been scientifically shown to stay coolest on the outside of fabric are white, yellow, grey, and red. Red is a surprise for most people, as it is a warm color associated with all things hot and fiery. However, it can be a great stand-out color at the beach and also a super safe color for kids to wear.

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Best Color To Wear For Family Photos On The Beach

We’ve all seen gorgeous photos of families walking hand in hand down a picturesque beach. If you are planning a beach photoshoot, deciding what to wear can be tricky. You want the images to be timeless and bring back memories of sand and salt air, so colors should remain neutral… unless, of course, you want something a bit different.

Many families opt for crisp whites for their beach photos. However, you don’t have to. While it is better to avoid black or even navy or maroon, which will show specks of sand, and the solid color may overpower the images, white isn’t the only choice.

The primary consideration when choosing the color of clothing for a group photo on the beach is that the colors coordinate. That doesn’t mean everyone has to dress the same, but rather that you use tones on a theme. So if you are using blues, try to ensure that everyone has a small blue detail in a matching shade on their outfit so the group looks unified.

If you decide to stick with whites, avoid using slightly off-white colors. It may look like a reflection off the sand and give the color photos a slightly yellowy tinge. For classic photos, crisp whites with khaki or soft tones of light blue and teal work well with the sea background.

Remember that you may want to print some of your photos in black and white or sepia, so before you decide on a color theme, think about how they will look if the pictures are not printed in full color. Dark colors tend to stand out more and may look solid against the soft background waves.

What Color Should I Wear To A Beach Wedding?

Beach weddings have become extremely popular, and sooner or later, most of us will be invited to attend one. They are usually held in summer, so you must stick with light, cool fabrics. However, this is one function where your color choices are very important because you don’t want to wear dark colors, and you also don’t want to outshine the bride in white.

The best colors to choose to attend a beach wedding are soft and fun. Light tones of green, blue, or apricot – choose light fabrics that fit loosely around your body. The couple selected the beach to get married because they wanted a more casual setting to exchange vows, so you can ditch the high heels and tight skirts.

Prints and patterns can also look lovely, so long as they are subtle. Remember that you will probably appear in photographs with the bridal couple, and you don’t want to stick out. The overall tone should be joyous, classic, and elegant.

Although white is a popular color to wear to the beach, it is better to avoid wearing too much white when you are a guest at a wedding. If you love white, pinstripes or a floral over the white can look beautiful.


When it comes to dressing for a trip to the beach, light colors are high on the list of popularity. However, to avoid harmful skin damage from UV rays, dark colors are more highly recommended by experts. They may not make you feel cooler, but they form a better barrier between your skin and the sun.

In the end, the best colors to wear to the beach are those you love. A trip to the beach should be a time to make happy memories and relax, so wear whatever color makes you feel happy inside!