How to Wear Beach Clothes in a Metropolitan City

No sand required but if you find some, cool


GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!! Am I right? Sure, I love the concrete sidewalks that define New York, and they’re all the more enticing to look at with the sun shining pretty on them. But you know what’s cool, too? Sand between my toes. Between my toes, and up my nose, and, you know, inside of my HEART. Of course, though, I have life to attend to, and by the boundaries that define mine, beach time is limited, which means it is my obligation as a samaritan and woman who prides herself on the ability to espouse the transformative quality of clothes to dress like I might be going to the beach, even if I’m not.

Care for a demonstration?


Well, this is awkward.

Exhibit 1:


Maryam Nassir Zadeh bra, Protagonist shirt, Tibi shorts, Louis Vuitton shoes, Roger Vivier bag

Here is a poplin bikini top, which technically shouldn’t be worn on the beach lest you plan to keep yourself outside of the ocean (snooze!) styled under a similarly poplin button down shirt (you may remember it from 3 New Ways To Wear Your Button Down Shirt), left unbuttoned for dramatic effect and to compliment the sequined-ass board shorts, also questionable as appropriate wear for the beach, but not completely off base. The heels make it seem like you’re not walking anywhere and the satin bag? Why the bag is for your lipstick.

Example 2:


Maryam Nassir Zadeh bra top, Rosie Assoulin turtleneck, Chanel clogs, Shourouk bag — another basket option here

This is one of the more peculiar ideas I’ve had in my day, pairing a gray flannel bikini top (best served with a t-shirt worn under, quite frankly), plus a shiny-ass turtleneck that I turned into a button down and even more metallics in the form of a-line shorts. The clogs and straw bag bring us way back around to the beach as a reminder that it’s neither near nor far so long as you can keep your heart waves crashing.

I don’t even know what that means, but I’m going with it.

And finally!


Man Repeller x Atea shirt dress, Rosie Assoulin top, Harvey Faircloth “shorts,” — other striped bottoms options here and here, Alumnae shoes, Nancy Gonzalez handbag, Aurélie Bidermann earrings

One cool thing about this look is that I hope it illustrates how unnecessary a clean bikini line is — if that’s what is holding you back from forgoing your pants, stop right there, thank you very much and consider this: I know you think onlookers care, but they don’t. They really don’t! So neither should you! Plus, the reason you’re wearing a shirt dress as though it were a robe is because sometimes it gets cold and when it does, you can wrap that shirt or button it closed and boom! You’re warm.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.


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  • The outfit number 2 is gorgeous!

  • Vickee

    I LOVE outfit #2 Leandra!!

  • Stephanie
  • Junglesiren

    I live at the beach and do enjoy dressing “up” a bit sometimes. Venice is filled with hot chicks with beachy hair and $300 jeans that look like $50 ones, or perfectly short shorts, ripped just so. There is a uniform that is very recognizable… and not very exciting… Thank you so much for this. I love all of it. Especially love that you turned that turtleneck into a button down! You brilliant thing!

  • Aydan

    Oh god I’m so jealous of all of this! I’m in San Diego for work and I look like a trussed up NYC office jockey compared to the plethora of flip flops around me right now (and I’m seriously just wearing a casual navy blue shift dress and nude flats). HELP I WANT TO BE AT THE BEACH AND NOT WORKING!!!

  • Love it! You rock those “shorts”!

  • So very smart! Love the Louis V shoes! xoxo Daphne

  • I can’t wait to wear bikini tops as actual tops and treat one pieces as bodysuits this summer

  • This is so creative! You actually look perfect to be in the city, miles away from the real beach. However, you are special, and NY is special… here they would think that I’m too “open”


    This beach look is hysterical. I am a New Yorker living in LA, clearly this young lady has had very little beach experience.

  • Aggie

    I love love love this! Not sure I would wear this on the subway though, fear of the onlookers :/

  • I agree — #2 outfit is exceptional!!

  • Love all three of these looks, so tastefully done Leandra you look stunning. I especially love the 1st outfit.

  • Mary Yasmine Arrouche

    The bra top in your second outfit is to die for

  • LOVE! but it’s also breaking my heart because it’s winter in Cape Town 🙁
    I’ll get to work on my summer outfit moodboard soon…