Cute Outfit Ideas and Beach Essentials You Can Find at a Thrift Store  


Going to the beach is an occasion that many people look forward to each year. It’s a time to relax, have fun and show off your new summer outfits. However, as styles change and trends come and go, shopping for a new beach outfit every year can get costly.

At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we recommend saving your money. There’s no reason to go out and spend big bucks for clothes that you might wear once or twice. We’ll look at beach essentials you can find at a thrift store for both women and men that you could potentially wear all summer long.

Beach Ideas for Women

Conservative dress may have its advantages, but there’s no reason to opt for it when you’re going somewhere as carefree as the beach. Use these ideas to plan an outfit that will keep you comfortable and confident.

The Sun Goddess Look

Sundresses are the must-have look for the beach, and there are so many options out there depending on your preferences. From solid white to multi-colored prints, sundresses are as cute as they are plentiful. At Goodwill, we want you to know that they may be even more versatile than you think.

When you’re looking at a dress at a thrift store, one that might look a little old-fashioned, try thinking about it in a different light. If you cut away a few bits here or a lot of fabric there, would you have a simple dress in a unique pattern?

Sometimes going to a thrift store is about finding perfection as soon as you walk in the door. More often than not though, you have to use your imagination as the first step on the way to your destination.

Cool and Breezy Clothes

Often described as the Bohemian look, these coverups keep you cool under even the hottest of suns. Throw it on over your tank and let the extra movement catch people’s eyes. These coverups look a bit like a dress, which can add a little extra personality to your look. People might think they see one thing, only to look a little closer and find another. Plus, they’re very handy. These coverups will be easy to throw on if you’re headed for dinner after you finish up on the sand.

You can also consider a muumuu, a type of clothing that literally means cut off in the Hawaiin language. Roomy and comfortable, you won’t have to worry about anything digging into your skin or cutting off your circulation.

If you’d prefer not to go the dress route, you can find pants that are every bit as flowy. Try repurposing pajama pants into palazzo pants to get the same free-moving item for a lot less. Or find a light-colored pair of linen pants that will never go out of style.

Beach Jewelry

Beach jewelry is inexpensive and a perfect way to complement your outfit. Look for bracelets that could double as an anklet or a necklace that goes well with your swimsuit. When you’re headed to the beach, take a look at all the options at a thrift store. From big earrings to multiple necklaces, this is a fashion statement that can make a big impression.

Striped Everything

The water has long been associated with stripes, stretching back to early costumes for sailors. Looking for striped shirts, pants, and purses at a thrift store can turn into a kind of treasure hunt that you’ll remember long after your vacation day.

You can even make your own striped T-shirt with a little bit of spray paint and cardboard. All you have to do is find a plain white T-shirt and stencil a stripe with the help of some masking tape. You get to pick your colors and the width of the stripe, giving you a look like no one else on the beach.

Jean Shorts

This is one of the more classic looks at the beach, and at Goodwill, we’d never steer you away from honoring a tried-and-true tradition. Jean shorts can be made just as easily as they can be purchased as-is. Cut-off shorts are easy to do yourself. They only require a pair of jeans and some scissors. Remember, this is not about perfection, so don’t feel pressured to get it right. You’ll be rocking the frayed look before you know it.

Beach Ideas for Men

Men will have plenty of options at a thrift store if they’re looking to construct the perfect outfit before they hit the waves. If you’re heading to your nearest consignment shop in Arizona, here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

Button-Down Shirts

Few people want to have their dress shirts exposed to salty air, but there’s no reason to be worried when you’re wearing a casual button-down you picked up at a thrift store. All you have to do is match it with your favorite pair of shorts and open the top few buttons for a casual look. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, consider adding a summer hat for a little extra flair.

Bold Prints

Being at the beach is an excuse to wear something that might normally never cross your mind. From board shorts to Bermuda shirts, you can be on the hunt for some seriously eye-catching patterns. Being at the beach is all about giving into the beauty of the weather, and you won’t look out of place if you spice it up a little.

Plain White T-Shirts

Going in the exact opposite direction, a V-neck t-shirt in pure white is a classic look and goes perfect with a pair of boardshorts or bright-colored Bermuda shorts. This thrift store pick is designed to work with the rest of your outfit as opposed to standing out on its own. So if you wanted to tone down some very loud board shorts, this is an excellent way to tie your outfit together.

You can also pair the item with white shorts for an interesting monochromatic look, though just be aware that white is difficult to keep white — even for a day.

Cloth Loafers

Loafers aren’t just for striding down the street. You can find some relaxed versions that will be comfortable and predictable when you’re lounging on the beach and strolling on the sand. Try pairing these with your shorts and button-down look to really draw some attention when you’re out and about.

Check Out Your Local Goodwill

Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona is here to give you all the beach looks you could ever crave this summer. Going to a consignment store is not about having the perfect outfit in mind and then finding it ready-made, but about getting a few general ideas together and working with what you have. If you’re heading to the beach this summer — whether it’s once or every weekend — don’t be afraid to use consignment items to their full potential.

Female friends enjoying cycling on a summer day

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*Daily deals valid at select Metro Phoenix, Prescott and Yuma locations. Please check with your neighborhood Goodwill for details.

Discount valid on used merchandise only. Not valid on food or drink, new goods, seasonal or holiday items. Not valid at Goodwill Clearance Center. Our REDESIGN by Goodwill and Clearance Outlet are excluded. REDESIGN operates separate sales and discounts from other Goodwill stores.