Bottoms fit for a day of sun and sand.
While a throw-on-and-go beach dress might be top-of-mind, consider a pair of beach pants this summer and beyond. They are loose, easy, stretch around the waist as you move, and most pull-on with little thought as well.
Plus, if you’re looking to save valuable suitcase space, there are plenty of options that are chic enough to wear to more than just the beach.
How to Style
Read on to find out what style of beach pants are best for your summer wardrobe and summer plans!
‘Tis the season to hit the beach, so it’s time to start shopping for some seaside essentials. And, while you’ve surely begun to build your epic swimsuit selection for the season, don’t sleep on the cover-up section of your wardrobe either.
Viva Cabana Pick!
Perfect for the beach and beyond.
RELATED: 14 Linen Pants to Keep You Cool This Summer
Styling Beach Pants
While many on the list are casual cool beachside bottoms, some do double duty as after-hours styles as well—with just a slight switch of your top and accessories, of course!
Tip 1! For the ultimate beach look, add a pair of statement sunglasses and a sun hat while you stroll along the shore.
Tip 2! Balance the volume on the bottom with a more fitted bodysuit or tank top. Or opt for a coordinating button-up offered by brands like Nasty Gal or Oséree.
Tip 3! Swap your beach sandals for espadrilles or strappy sandals and delicate, minimalistic jewelry. Avoid bulky shoes and accessories; they’ll weigh down the carefree element and light look of the pants.
Style Tip: expand your summer wardrobe
Beach pants are the perfect way to step outside your comfort zone just the right amount.
The loose silhouette and elastic waistband is familiar via your favorite sweatpants, so try a bold print or even an unexpected material like crochet.
RELATED: 17 Chic Beach Cover Up Pants
We’ve rounded up the best beach sandals that will match your swimsuit collection. Check out all of our favorites, just in time for summer.
Our Top Picks
Best Beach-to-Drinks Look
Why We Love: Agua by Agua Bendita has mastered the on-and-off the beach look with ease.
With an army of puff sleeve dresses, bustier tops, and—yes—wide-leg, high-waisted pants, you’ll have a wardrobe full of beach-friendly favorites that look just as great at dinnertime afterward.
Helpful Tip! Style these floral bottoms with a coordinated top or classic white T-shirt for an easeful look that’s perfect this summer.
Material: 100% linen
Best See-Through Knits
Why We Love: While these pants are fit for the beach and very little else, what they do…they do well. You’ll love the boho nod, as the pants are crafted of a cotton-blend crochet, with an easy wide waistband and added drawstring detail.
With a wide-leg silhouette, they move with you and show off just enough skin as a swimsuit topper during the hottest of days.
Helpful Tip! If the crochet feels revealing, opt for a swimsuit style with fuller coverage to balance out what you do and don’t show off.
Material: 65% cotton, 35% nylon
Best Preppy Style
Why We Love: If you want that classic colorful Lilly print, the brand has designed a pair of easy pull-on-and-go pants that are fit for a beach vacation. You’ll love these colorful bottoms for all your seaside activities.
Helpful Tip! For a more casual look, throw those over a swimsuit or with a bright white tee for a quick lunch. Add a white blouse and sandals for a chic, breezy al fresco dinner.
Material: 77% viscose, 23% polyester
Best Early-Aughts Throwback
Why We Love: The early aughts are back and ready for action, taking their trends to the beach. Shop these pull-on cover-up pants with a wide-leg silhouette that boast the iconic early-aughts smocked waist.
Helpful Tip! Since these are on the sheerer side, pair them with a white swimsuit to feel less like it’s a wardrobe mishap.
Material: 100% viscose
Why We Love: There are few beach pants more classic than a pair of Missoni pants. They are high-waisted, pull-on, wide-legged, and feature that slightly sheer iconic zigzag weave that is so well-known of the house.
These beach pants are practically begging for a bikini pairing, be it a bright white solid or contrasting Missoni weave. Take your pick.
Material: 100% polyester
Best Retro Vibe
Why We Love: Throw it back to the ‘60s and ’70s with these colorful beach pants.
With a psychedelic print in tones of pink, red, and orange, these side-tie pants have a flowing wide leg and slightly sheer look that make for the perfect swim cover up by the pool or beach.
Helpful Tip! Lean into the retro vibe and pair these bright beach pants with a crochet swimsuit.
Material: 95% polyester, 5% elastane
Best Side Slit Style
Why We Love: If you’re looking for a pair of pants for the beach that moves with you, these are the ones for you. You’ll love their wide-leg silhouette that boasts thigh-high slits on either side that simultaneously bare some skin and nothing at all.
Reviewers love the fit and style of these striped pants: “Loose and only fitted (but not tight) at the waist. Perfect for wearing over a bathing suit or with nude underwear.”
Helpful Tip! The navy and white stripes that elongate your legs, even while barefoot on the beach.
Material: 48% rayon, 48% polyester, 4% elastane
Best Tailored Style
Why We Love: Just because your beach pants are fit for seaside swimsuit pairings doesn’t mean that they have to scream coverup. Case in point?
These Hooever pants feature a partially elasticized waist but also a tailored silhouette, slit pockets, and zip-front. Wearers also love that they’re “warm-weather pants that aren’t linen or gauzy, but also aren’t dressy trousers.”
Helpful Tip! They equally as well with a shirt and sandals for everyday activities as they do with a bikini by the sea.
Material: 49% rayon, 42% polyester, 6% nylon, 3% spandex
Best All-Around Favorite
Why We Love: If you can’t decide what your beachside style is going to be, these pants effortlessly pair with all of the above.
They pull-on with a smocked waistband and boast side slits that, while statement-making, don’t travel all the way up your leg like some others.
With side pockets and embroidered detail down the side, they are also slightly more fitted for lunch with friends after a dip in the ocean than some other more casual beach pant styles.
Material: 100% cotton
Why We Love: For the girl who loves to turn heads on and off the beach, slip into one of the biggest trends of the season with the metallic beach pants that make for the perfect eye-catching cover up when you’re sitting seaside.
Helpful Tip! These are the ultimate beach to dinner pants! Pair them with your favorite swimsuit by day and a white bodysuit and heels by night.
Material: 64% polyamide, 36% metallic fiber
Best ‘90s Look
Why We Love: These beach-ready pants are just as cool for everyday wear as poolside styling. Made of lightweight and breathable linen, these low-rise, wide-leg pants are pulled straight from your wardrobe circa-1995.
Helpful Tip! Effortlessly style these with other ‘90s favorites like slide sandals and a baby tee…over a swimsuit when at the water’s edge, of course!
Material: 100% linen
Best Understated Style
Why We Love: Meet the most easeful and understated beach pants out there. With a drawstring waist, these white linen pants are a great go-anywhere topper for all your swimsuit looks this summer and beyond.
They feature a loose, straight leg fit that you can wear all day long.
Helpful Tip: The bright white tone looks killer with classic black and rainbow printed swimsuits alike.
Material: 100% linen
Best Budget Pants
Why We Love: When you’re spending your day on a wet, sandy, beach sometimes the budget option is the best one.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style for price points. At under $45—for the top and pants set!—these Nasty Gal pull-on pants are a great option for all those beach days.
Helpful Tip! A set is the perfect fuss-free choice when packing, plus you always have the option of wearing them separately to expand your outfit possibilities.
Material: 100% cotton
Best Surfer Girl Style
Why We Love: For those who love a sportier look, shop surfer favorite Billabong. These lightweight beach pants with a wide smocked waistband give you that California surfer vibe with ease.
All you need is an athletic-inspired maillot and you’re good to go.
Along with the sporty style, reviewers love the fit: “The waistband is the right width and slimming. They have the right balance of fit and flow—tailored through the butt/ thighs and the right amount of flow through the legs.”
Material: 100% cotton
Best Beach Shorts Under $85
If you don’t like the full length, go for the shorter options.
Best Beach Sandals Under $65
Cute beach sandals to match your beach pants!
The general silhouette of beach pants tends to follow the same blueprint: a wide elastic, smocked, or drawstring waistband with flowy legs.
But there are still plenty of variations out there, from thigh-high slits and even pairs that more closely resemble trousers.
In linen, cotton, and the like, you’ll fall in love with these beach pants that will take you to the water’s edge and to drinks afterward. You’ll find them in classic shades of white, as well as sparkles and stripes, and statement patterns.
What to Look for
Easeful fits and pull-on styles are best for beach-ready pants.
Material: Lightweight materials that are both sun and sand friendly—and won’t get ruined if they get sprayed by some waves too!
Fit: Oversized, loose, and other moveable fits are preferred.
Size: Cropped or long, pick your usual size or size up for a more easeful fit.
Pro Tip 😎
Choose pull-on styles that are very wash-and-wear so that you don’t have to worry about them while you’re topping your wet swimsuits with the bottoms you love.
It’s easy enough to elevate these comfortable, chic beach pants to be ready to dine outside, whether you prefer a porch picnic or a restaurant’s rooftop.
What are the best types of beach pants?
The best types of beach pants are made of cotton, linen, or another water-friendly alternative. After all, you don’t want to top your wet swimsuits with pants made of a material too dear for the sun and sand.
Additionally, the ease of an elastic waist is preferred, and most wearers similarly love a slightly more wide-leg silhouette that boasts more movement than the alternative.
How do you style your beach pants?
While you can throw on a pair of beach pants with a bikini or one-piece maillot swimsuit, they can also be styled for post-oceanfront wear as well.
More tailored styles pair well with a linen top or silk camisole, while more casual looks need little more than a cotton tee to make the look.
Best Swimsuit Cover Up Options for 2023
17 Beach Dresses You’ll Love for Every Vacation
All products featured on Viva Cabana are independently selected by our editorial team, and the company may earn commission through affiliate links.