What To Wear Over 40 to the Beach

fashion accessories for the beachIn my  What to Wear to the Beach contest I invited readers to unleash their creative side by designing Polyvore creations of beachwear for women over 40.

From functional cover-ups to fun totes, I wanted to see the way you would style beach clothes for women our age to wear surfside.

Today, I start with the first and second runner-up. First Runner-Up ~ “Ready for Fun in the Sun” by Barbara Gillespie



Graphic Prints have had a really strong influence on fashion this spring, even in the swimsuit department. Here’s a fashionable look that Barbara pulled together that so many of you really took a liking to.

Color and Style

Black and White with a pop of color is the theme of this beachwear entry, making this outfit modern and sleek with a touch of playful.

Who ever said women over 40 are shy at the beach? This one piece swimsuit is pretty sexy with its well positioned cutout below the bust. It picks up on the peekaboo styles that have been another big trend this spring.  This swimsuit is an interesting way of showing off some skin, but in an area where you don’t have to worry about cellulite! (LOL)


You can’t go to the beach without a cover-up and Barbara has chosen a fringed shawl style sarong for a sexy beach cover up and big floppy straw hat to add a bit of a bohemian feel. Jewel flips flops are pretty and practical and then there’s the tote…bright and summery in sunny yellow.

Second Runner-Up ~ “Lingering Relaxing Moments” by Barbara Gillespie




Barbara is a 2-time winner in our what to wear to the beach contest. This time she takes inspiration from a feminine floral tote in beachy summer colors that are soft and muted.

Choose a Swimsuits that Camouflages Problem Areas

I talked about ruching and shirring before being a is a favorite detail in clothes for women over 40. That’s because all that extra material arranged just so nicely camouflages any little lumps and bumps that we may not be so thrilled with. This swimsuit also has a sexy halter tie top instead of just straps which adds instant glamour and more shape to your bustline.

Pay Attention to Your Beachwear Cover-Up

When we talk about beachwear, beach cover up dresses for women are an important topic. Why? …because too many women throw on whatever is around like a baggy shirt or unattractive top. This cover-up, above, is good example of what you should be wearing. It covers everything but has still has shape to it instead of being just a big loose piece of cloth. An empire neckline with deep V like this is always flattering to the bust, too, and it’s pretty!

Play With a Hat

These days you need a hat and even then you have to be careful because the sun can still get at you so wear a good sunscreen. Just as everything has been color blocked this year so has this hat with its wide yellow band. It’s little details like this that make you look modern and in fashion, so also more youthful.

Sunglasses add Style

One of the most important beachwear accessories for women is a great pair of sunglasses. A word about sunglasses this spring: Go Big or go Home! Oversize is in.  That’s all I have to say.

Flip Flops are Fun

Plain and simple these keep it casual, but if you wanted to dress things up you could always go for something with a little more embellishment.

Barbara, fabulous job on both these looks!

To take a look at all the other wonderful creations submitted, visit my Pinterest board What To Wear To The Beach.  Wondering who was the grand prize winner of the best collage of Beachwear for Women over 40? Click here.

More From Fabulous After 40

Leave a Reply

Share Your Comments, Feedback, & Opinions:

Comments, Feedback, & Opinions:

  1. Darlene Hockin says:

    What type of wardrobe should I pack for an all inclusive vacation to Dominican Republic for 2 weeks.Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Ruth Skaziak says:

    I like the site but when outfits are recommended they should always be shown on a model. The model should be 40 or older which is the whole purpose of this site. When I see models being used that are definitely younger than 40, I become disinterested. Realistically the clothing must not look good on 40 or older otherwise a model over 40 would have been used to model the clothing.

  3. Isn’t it so hard to figure out what to wear to the beach?! It has to be practical but at the same time you have to look and feel AMAZING :)