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How To Style 1 Bikini For Every Kind Of Vacation Moment

Yes, an entire week’s worth of OOTD’s with the same. Exact. Bathing suit.

by Samantha Sutton
How To Style 1 Bikini/Bathing Suit Every Day Of Spring Break
Spring Break Forever
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There are two versions of me: who I am normally and who I am on vacation. On most days, I dress somewhat casually and enjoy bulky sweatshirts, soft pants, or the always-classic T-shirt and jeans. Whenever I travel, though, it’s as if I’m cosplaying the person I *want* to be.

Spring break, in particular, has always brought out my fashion-forward side; it inspires me to experiment with trends, rock vibrant colors, and show a bit more skin than I usually would, especially when it’s in a typically sunny spring break location. If I’m headed somewhere warm, then I’m planning to spend about 99.9% of my time by the water, which means most of my outfits have to include the quintessential beach vacay item: a bathing suit.

Thankfully, styling bikini ’fits is pretty easy. It’s like rocking a crop top or bralette, which means it’ll pair well with matching sets, sheer materials, denim shorts, or breezy printed pants. By working your two-piece into your look, you’ll be ready for anything, so you could essentially spend the day outdoors, have some lunch, then end the night in a Kim K-approved lewk, without having to head back to your room to change.

Since versatility is key here, a solid-colored swimsuit is best. Right now, I’m a big fan of this deep green underwire top and high-waisted bottom from Hollister:

Not only is the top super supportive with its T-shirt-bra-like design, the crisscross high V-waist on the bottoms gives me more of the hourglass shape I love while providing full coverage. *Orders all the colorways.*

Samantha Sutton

Whether you choose to pack only one bikini — to save money and/or room in your suitcase — or are simply looking for spring break outfit inspo, below, you can find a week’s worth of outfits to fit all your vacation needs.

For Poolside Lounging

There’s no shame in rocking oversized shorts or a baggy tee over your bathing suit, but if you’re searching for a coverup that’s equal parts function and fashion, a knitted tunic or dress is the way to go.

Samantha Sutton

So many influencers go for similar airy designs, likely because it’s such a classic look and perfect for expressing personal style. Though simple at first glance, you can accessorize however you want to, adding a fun hat, sunglasses, and hoop earrings (like I did) or letting body chains peek out from underneath to add a little spice.

Should you go with a knit tunic, you might also be able to save space in your suitcase. At one point, I wore this piece as a top and styled it with a long denim skirt, creating yet another cute outfit without much extra effort.

For Girl Lunch

A vacation isn’t really a vacation if you aren’t checking out the hottest restaurants in the area. The second I book a trip, I do an extensive search to find out where all the it girls eat (or at least snap pics of their food).

Samantha Sutton

If the main event of the day is grabbing a meal, a sheer, ruffled, front-tie shirt could really elevate your attire. Not only is it statement-making and easy to slip on over a bikini top, but pairing it with your bathing suit saves you the trouble of figuring out which undergarments to wear underneath it.

You can complete the look with a pair of high-rise denim shorts and metallic strappy sandals, the ultimate vacation must-haves because there are so many ways to wear ’em. I also experimented with a headscarf and glam sunglasses, because if you can’t channel coastal Italian vibes while OOO, when can you?

For Whatever Comes Your Way

You might want to wear your bathing suit just in case without having it be the focus of your whole ’fit. Maybe you’ll go in the water, maybe you’ll hit up a beach party, maybe you’ll be too busy shopping. You never know what could happen, so it’s always better to be prepared for anything.

Samantha Sutton

With a cutout mini (or even a button-down) dress, the bathing suit peeks out just a bit, adding some interest to the look as well as another pop of color. The cotton material is soft and stretchy, so you won’t feel uncomfortable a few hours into your day. At the same time, this piece has an elevated, preppy, athleisure feel thanks to the collar detail.

I leaned into practicality with this one by pairing it with chunky sandals that will hold up while walking long distances, and added a bag big enough to fit a water bottle, a small towel, and other essentials I might need throughout the day.

For A Standout Moment

This year, I’m extremely into this coral eyelet shorts set. It’s somewhat structured yet soft at the same time, and while it’s meant to be layered over a bathing suit as a coverup, you could easily wear it out and about. It’s also the perfect spring break pick since the pieces can be worn both together and separately, multiplying your outfit options.

Samantha Sutton

Lots of brands and popular styles are still leaning into the quiet luxury trend (a lot of what’s out there is beige and black, which is boring for vacation, IMHO), so the bright citrusy color stands out. Yet, while this set may be vibrant, it can still be styled with other bold-colored items, like that green bikini or a yellow bucket bag.

Should all those different shades feel too OTT, feel free to work a few neutrals into your outfit. I chose to finish things off with white slides to help balance everything out.

For Rainy ~DaZe~

Even if you’re traveling somewhere that’s usually warm and sunny, you can’t control the weather. Staying in one place for an extended period of time means you’ll likely encounter some rain, at least for part of the day, so it’s smart pack a cozy sweater and some light pants for times when you’re just chilling, waiting for a storm to clear. (Bonus: This could also work for a boat day.)

Samantha Sutton

Poplin pajama pants took off on TikTok last summer, and the trend of working them into your everyday look is still going strong. The gingham option even looks great styled with just the bikini top. If you’re looking for a layer you can easily shrug on to keep warm, a cardigan is your best bet. I personally enjoy the mixing of prints — the navy blue theme ties the striped and gingham together, making the combo feel less in-your-face.

A baseball cap is perfect for sun protection, but the thought process here was more about the hair. If you don’t want to fuss with it, just slip on a hat before heading out the door.

For Morning Workouts

Somehow, I always end up traveling with people who want to work out in the morning. Though normal me might say, “Mm, no thanks,” I’m a different person on vacay, with a whole new outlook on life.

Samantha Sutton

If the plan involves a lighter activity, like going for a long walk or doing beach yoga, I’m usually pretty game, so I end up packing a few pieces of athleticwear, mostly for the extra motivation.

To me, this look says “I’ll sweat for a bit, then I’m jumping in the pool.” Since the bikini top is already pretty supportive, I can wear it in place of a sports bra and pair it with biker shorts to move in, running shoes, a cozy sweatshirt, and a bag that allows me to keep my hands free (for the iced coffee or smoothie I’ll inevitably end up grabbing). It’s an outfit built for rigorous activity, yet comfortable enough for those not trying to be a fitness influencer during their time off.

For A Day-To-Night Situation

If you’re heading straight from the beach to your dinner plans or are hoping to take a dip in the jacuzzi after dessert, slip on a sheer dress. This long, lacy design is body-hugging and when paired with a bikini, will help you nail the celeb-approved exposed underwear trend.

Samantha Sutton

While I love the idea of completing this look with stilettos, I’m all about ease and comfort while on spring break (and, to be honest, am unwilling to risk taking a tumble). These silver block heels are easy to walk in yet still feel fancy, and the addition of elaborate statement earrings really pulls the whole look together while providing a hint of sparkle.

Aupen makes my favorite going-out bags (Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo love them too!) and this angular purse has become my vacation go-to. It’s small enough to squeeze into your suitcase or carry-on and the black colorway means it usually goes with whatever you’re wearing, dressy or otherwise.