It might be asking too much to find yourself living the manic, roving poet lifestyle of McConaughey. This isn’t talking about his Moondog character and wardrobe (which, as rumor has it, all went home with him). It takes gumption and practice to hit the beach with a style that says you’ve learned not to worry about today or tomorrow.
To really nail the beach bum lifestyle you need beach bum clothing. To get the beach gear that fits you, you need to set your parameters and let your inhibitions run loose.
It helps to be near a suitable beach area. The Key West climate (and amazing number of sun days) influences a lot of the choices. When everything feels comfortable in the warm breeze, you know you’ve got the feel, if not the look, down.
Read on for the essential times you’ll need to complete your look.
Beach Bum Clothing Essentials
Ideally, you’ll want a few variations on each of these items to keep yourself in the mix. Not every item needs to be worn all at once, but you’d be hard-pressed to call yourself a proper beach bum without all of these at the ready.
The Japanese have hakama and in Florida they have JNCO jeans. When you want the comfort and blowing breeze of a skirt but like to have individual legs, there’s nowhere else to turn.
These pants look the part and offer tons of functional benefits to the aspiring beach bum. Even without the meme appeal, there’s really nothing else to chose and be respected. They are the quintessential beach bum jeans.
Floral printed, brightly colored, and ample in size, a muumuu rides the line between being fully clothed and naked. You feel as if you’re barely wearing anything but gain a lot of benefits from sun blockage and a few essential storage pockets.
You can always strip it off and be ready to go with an impromptu beach blanket as well.
Be it a bed robe, a bathrobe, or a day robe doesn’t matter. As long as it is brightly colored and gives you that solar protection.
Like the muumuu, a robe can be used for many purposes while still offering a measure of style and flexibility.
Sleek robes make for a fine addition to an evening wear ensemble. Bathrobes and their terrycloth properties remove the need to keep a towel around.
No matter what kind of robe you chose, consider a flashy trim such as feathers, silk, or a faux fur to really feel the style.
There are some places where closed toes benefit you in the surf. For the majority of places, you want to look at picking up one of the many different types of sandals.
These functional chunks of leather, cork, and cloth keep your feet warm in the evening and cool across the hot sands. They dry easily and breathe well to keep your toes from sweating up in the heat.
Sandals also happen to be one of the most comfortable, best supports for your feet. An important thing to remember for those long strolls and hikes.
Tor those dressier days, a short-sleeved Polo in a loud color does the job. Polos are comfortable, add a touch of sophistication, and do wonders to conceal a body.
Whether this is to conceal a winter’s worth of gym skipping or make for a dramatic reveal is up to you.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be neon, but there’s little reason to go subtle when choosing a thong or mankini for beachwear. Work on your tan with nearly no tan lines or cut through the water with little to no friction.
Thongs also make wearing layers more comfortable while knowing that the goods are free from abrasion.
Not all beaches are easy walking territory. For those times when you want to rough it into the rockier and uneven regions, some Uggs keep your feet breathing but protected from the elements.
For a late-night fire-side, they also soak up the heat and let you wander from the fire for a quiet chat without feeling like you are losing circulation.
Decorate yours with a few appliques to maximize your bum day outfits.
To be a proper beach bum you need something that reaches beyond mere sunglasses. Mathew McConaughey’s glasses in the film were full-on shades. A helmet-esque mask that he could drop into place and distance himself from the world around.
there are plenty of designs to pick from in the world but you want that wrap around feel and snug to the face fit. This keeps you looking cool, feeling cool, and minimizes the risk of sudden winds and tumbles tossing your precious shades from your face.
Bold Print Shirts
Get a few shirts. Button-down, breezy affairs with bright prints and crazy patterns. Do up the shirt, or don’t. Keep the buttons or let them fall off over time. As long as it covers your back, makes a statement, and can be seen from a distance, you’re doing it right.
For extra effect, go outside of the traditional Hawaiian look and find something with a longer cut, something that reads short robe as much as a shirt.
Mixed or Matched Shorts
The final element of any good beach bum costume is the shorts. These can be bought in conjunction with a shirt or deliberately made not to match.
Shorts should be long, loose, and dry quickly.
Try to find some nautical themes or something that really draws attention to the buttocks. Nothing says shorts quite like DTF or Juicy across the cheeks.
With your closet or duffel brimming with beach bum clothing, it’s time to hit the sands. perhaps you’ll find some likeminded folks to commiserate with. If not, at least you won’t care as you enjoy the beach your way.
Get more out of your beach-going (and life) with more tips and articles like these.