How to Dress for the Beach

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Rachel Flinn takes us into summer with a guide for how to dress to impress whilst walking through the waves.

So, after being in St. Andrew’s for nearly a whole academic year now – who knew it would fly-by so fast? – I feel I’ve gained a true insight into the small town’s bonus’ and it’s not so ‘up-there’ qualities (nightlife).

Seemingly, the beach seems to be top of most of our lists, and may even be the reason some enrolled here. Scottish weather seems to be our archenemy. Recently, we will wake to the gleaming beams of sunlight bellowing through our windows and think instantly ‘let’s hit the beach’ and will later find that the weather fooled us after an hour of measurably poor sun which soon plays hide and seek with us behind the heavy dismal grey cloud. 

However, there is light (sunlight that is) at the end of the tunnel! Summer is a’brewin’ and the sun seems to be coming out to play – and we will most definitely be making more trips to the glorious East/West Sands with exams nearing. So here’s a tip list for what we St.Andrean’s should wear and pack in order to make the most of our ‘lucky days’ when the sun decides to give us a bloody break.

Pen and paper at the ready.

What to doll yourself up in:


First and foremost, you should never be ‘dolling-yourself-up’ in St Andrews, unless it’s in preparation for one of the many Balls or for graduation. There is no need to go all London Town on your appearance; you will stand out for all the wrong reasons. 


So, with that said, keep the makeup natural looking with a light bronze shimmer the face (we can still pretend that we might accumulate a light tan in this weather), minimal brow/eyeliner and necessary mascara, maybe even a cheeky rose pink blossom to the lip – but remember not to push it, the more natural (hangover depending) the better.

Boys – please just shower, makeup if preferred. (JOKES)

Hair-do:  it really doesn’t matter, but as messed up and natural as can be, we’re going for the beach look ’ere.

How one must clothe oneself

Now, as a simple starter, no matter which part of the world you beautiful little selves have originated from, you have to remember that you are in Scotland – not Sunny Cali or South Africa – OK? Ok.

Therefore, we must always prepare for the worst (Not to be pessimistic). 

California girls 

We will enhance the Cali look – think Katy Perry vid with a little more clothing.

Vests (or slouchy shirt) and shorts should always be accompanied with a light hoodie/cardi/denim J – weather in mind (You can leave your Barbour behind for this special occasion). Go for a simple skinny jean with a sneaky turn-up at the ankle (cheeky) original blue or the newer trended pale palette.

Go wild and customise some denim high-waisted shorts yourself from men’s charity shop jeans, works a wonder – especially when you find the odd levis brand – urban outfitters eat your heart out.


On days with the best of weather, a cozzy/bikini can be at the ready, but remember, it’s the North Sea, not the Mediterranean. (Don’t underestimate the frightfully cold temperature)

Go for a casual sling bag rather than your typical longchamp/mulberry – the beach is all about relaxing and not looking too put-together, we’re not talking tramp, were talking chilled. Go for that bag you bought in Kenya last summer that’s a tad more alternative and will add a bit of wacky colour to your summer look, or go for the more laid back leather satchel.

Sandals/flip-flops/canvas (converse in the bag at the ready for an unexpected chill).

Leave behind your designer brand jewellery – go for the mass of holiday-weaved friendship collection you’re sporting by your mirror – and wear them all. 

Surfer boys

We can all dream right? 

Let’s just follow the look through…

Boys are pretty simple – we go to the beach to relax, so there’s no need for your suave tweed Jacket or Jack Wills shirt, similarly with the chinos (at this point I’ll note: if you want to go for the typical Jack Will look – go ahead – but most of us girls would like to see something a little more alternative to the typical St Andrews’ JW ‘stud’).


The best summer look for a guy, in my opinion, is denim/cargo/twill shorts. Just do it. It’s cool, and looks fit, and has to be more comfy that fitted chinos. Team with any tee you like: I said it was going to be pretty simple boys!

Vests – not too deep-a-chest-cut. Try some Aztec, iz cooool. Not so much the tees with Kate Moss’ or Rihanna’s face printed right across the front – we girls have idols we want to look like; we don’t need you to shove it in our faces that you’d like us to look like that too.

As many bracelets as you like to add a more lust worthy surfer style to your look.

Flip-flops, espadrilles or vans, not boat shoes (I’m sick of the bloody sight).

Top-less is absolutely acceptable if the sun is a’shinin’ and you’re feelin’ it – cos we ladies always are.

Last minute grabs:

Ray-bans (or trusty fakes), aviators.

Picnic blanky – tartan preferred by the Scottish villager (believe it or not, you might see the odd person that isn’t a student!)

Food and lots of it – Tesco’s central for cider:Kopperberg,magners,bulmers,strongbow – go mad.

Bibi’s cupcakes and Gorgeous’ sandwiches… maybe even a nifty Jannetta’s ice-cream to add to the holiday vibe!

iPod and docking station – prepare your summer playlist: Gypsy Kings, Jack Johnson, Manu Chao, Colbie Caillat, The Beach boys (necessary) whatever tickles your summer fancy.

Rugby ball and Frisbee (watch out for those ultimate fribee-ers, the dangerous game-ruining kind).

A well-and-truly-needed umbrella – this should never leave your bag.

Off you tiddle… the St.Andrews beach awaits you for a glorious day ahead. 

(fingers crossed)

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