Coastal Chic: A Fashion-Forward Guide to South Carolina’s Beach Destinations

by Amber Edwards

When packing for a beach getaway in South Carolina, it’s important to understand the unique style that sets this region apart from other coastal destinations. Southern beach style is all about embracing classic silhouettes, rich colors, and high-end designer pieces while maintaining a refined, yet relaxed vibe.

Classic southern style is rooted in timeless pieces like seersucker, linen, and silk. High-end brands like Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and Tory Burch embody this aesthetic with their collections of expertly tailored dresses, premium quality shorts, and elegant button-downs. These brands offer the perfect blend of sophistication and relaxed styles that work well for South Carolina’s coastal destinations.

When comparing South Carolina beach style to that of Florida, you’ll find that South Carolina tends to lean more towards classic, preppy looks, while Florida often embraces a more tropical, bohemian vibe. In South Carolina, you might opt for a tailored seersucker swimsuit cover-up from Stella McCartney, while in Florida, a flowing, silk cover-up from Camilla might be more fitting.

While classic pieces form the foundation of southern beach style, there’s always room to incorporate current designer trends. Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses have been a popular choice in recent years, offering a sophisticated and feminine look that’s perfect for a seaside dinner or cocktail hour. Brands like Johanna Ortiz and Lisa Marie Fernandez offer a variety of off-the-shoulder options in both solid colors and prints, crafted from the finest materials.

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Another trend to try is the high-waisted bikini, which offers a retro-inspired look that’s both chic and flattering. Luxury swimwear brands like Eres and Melissa Odabash have embraced this trend with their collections of elegant, patterned high-waisted bikinis that pair perfectly with a wide-brimmed sun hat from Eugenia Kim or Maison Michel.

No southern beach outfit is complete without the right accessories. A classic straw hat from a brand like Janessa Leone or Sensi Studio is a must-have for protecting your face from the sun while adding a touch of vintage-inspired charm to your look. Pair it with a set of oversized sunglasses from Celine or Dior for a timeless, glamorous vibe.

When it comes to footwear, comfort and style go hand in hand. Ancient Greek Sandals offers a variety of handcrafted, leather sandals that are perfect for strolling along the beach or exploring charming coastal towns. For a dressier option, try a pair of Aquazzura or Gianvito Rossi sandals, known for their exquisite craftsmanship and available in a range of colors and designs.

To truly capture the essence of southern beach style, don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and colors. Pair a striped Breton top from Saint James with a floral skirt from Dolce & Gabbana, or mix a gingham bikini top from Marysia with a polka dot bottom from Zimmermann. The key is to keep the colors complementary and the silhouettes classic for a look that’s both playful and refined.

Finally, remember that southern style is as much about attitude as it is about the clothes you wear. Embrace the laid-back, yet refined vibe of South Carolina’s coastal destinations, and let your personal style shine through with confidence and ease. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, exploring historic Charleston, or dancing the night away at a beachfront bar, let your fashion choices reflect the joy and relaxation of your seaside getaway.

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