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What to wear to a pool party

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The best outfits to wear to a pool party

Whether you’re hosting a pool party or attending one, finding the right outfit is a priority. From practical cover-ups to comfortable shorts, there are several options worth considering.

Pool party attire usually includes casual, laid-back styles that are comfortable. Some people wear comfortable, lightweight outfits, whereas others are partial to pieces that let them transition easily between the pool and patio. Those seeking sun protection at the party often wear hats, sunglasses or UPF clothing.

Shop this article: Essentials Men's Lightweight French Terry Hooded SweatshirtColumbia Men’s Tamiami II Short Sleeve Shirt and SOJOS Aviator Polarized Sunglasses for Women and Men

What to know about pool party attire

Dress code

Essentials Men's Lightweight French Terry Hooded Sweatshirt

Most pool parties have casual dress codes and invite guests to wear laid-back, comfortable clothing. This often includes cover-ups, shorts, summer dresses and T-shirts. If the party carries over into the night, it’s a good idea to bring either a summer hoodie or light sweater to wear once the temperature drops. 

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Sun protection

Hanging out at a pool party means spending several hours in direct sunlight. Hats and glasses often come to mind first, and it’s a smart idea to stock up on other sun protection essentials like face, body and lip sunscreen

Columbia Men’s Tamiami II Short Sleeve Shirt

Some types of clothing offer sun protection, such as the Columbia Men’s Tamiami II Short Sleeve Shirt. It’s designed with OMNI-SHADE material, a tight weave that is effective at blocking UVA and UVB rays.

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As far as footwear is concerned for pool parties, sandals, boat shoes and wedges remain popular choices. Guests that expect to play lawn games, like volleyball or frisbee, may wish to wear or bring casual sneakers that are safer and more stable on grass or dirt during gameplay.


Besides hats and sunglasses, many guests wonder which accessories look best with pool party attire. Jewelry is generally considered the finishing touch for most party outfits, but that’s not always the case with pool parties.

Unfortunately, chlorine in pools may damage or discolor jewelry, especially silver, gold and platinum. As a result, many pool party guests either forgo jewelry or stick to costume jewelry that can be easily and affordably replaced if it sustains damage.

Best outfits to wear to pool parties

A pair of aviator shades

SOJOS Aviator Polarized Sunglasses for Women and Men

Sunglasses are pool party staples because they’re both practical and fashionable. This pair of aviators is praised for its comfortable, lightweight design. The lenses are polarized and offer 100% UVA/UVB protection.

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A beach cover-up

La Blanca Island Fare Cotton Crochet-Trim Tunic

Beach cover-ups are ideal transition pieces with lightweight fabrics that dry quickly. La Blanca’s cotton crochet cover-up has a relaxed tunic silhouette. Its crisp, fresh look emerges as a statement piece in its own right. 

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A lightweight polo

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Classic-Fit Ivy Polo

Lightweight polo shirts are preppy options that pair well with most bottoms, from cargo shorts to khakis. This classic Tommy Hilfiger style is made with soft, breathable cotton. It’s available in dozens of summer-ready colors, such as coral and pink heather.

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A maxi dress

Style & Co Tie-Dyed Sleeveless Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are considered easy to wear since they’re essentially self-contained outfits, such as this fun tie-dye design. It features a relaxed fit that lets wearers move freely and lounge comfortably at pool parties. The maxi is often worn as a cover-up, too.

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A comfortable jumpsuit

Nine West Women’s Surplice-Front Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits are here to stay, and they often make a splash at pool parties. Nine West’s unique style has a smocked waistline that gives wearers an hourglass silhouette. The style features cropped wide-leg pants that offer a comfortable, breezy fit.

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A Hawaiian shirt

Club Room Men’s Winslow Tropical Print Shirt

Hawaiian shirts often make appearances at pool parties, given their bright colors and lively designs. Club Room’s easy-care style is made with stretchy, wick-away material that keeps you cool and comfortable.

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A pair of board shorts

O’Neill Hyperfreak S Seam Board Shorts

Board shorts are considered practical pool party attire because they can be worn casually or as swimwear. This newer O’Neill board short features an ombre color scheme and has a long inseam.  

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A pair of cargo shorts

Lee Big & Tall Extreme Motion Crossroads Cargo Shorts

Cargo shorts typically have spacious cuts that can be worn on their own or over swim trunks. Lee’s popular style is equipped with six pockets, including one for smartphones. The shorts are made with a soft, flexible blend of cotton, nylon and Spandex.

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A band tee

American Classics Def Leppard 1980s Hysteria T-Shirt

Band tees are timeless, and the crowd goes wild when they show up at pool parties. This throwback Def Leppard tour t-shirt coordinates with most bottoms, and it works well as a retro-inspired cover-up. 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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