How To Make An Affordable Bathing Suit Look Like A Million Bucks

Can you believe summer is almost over? By now, your best bathing suits have probably gotten their moments in the spotlight: That one you splurged on at the beginning of the season has already made a few appearances on your 'gram. And if you hit up a few of those end-of-season sales, you likely scored a few bikinis and one-pieces for super-cheap. (Hey, we don't blame you for not wanting to spend a ton on a swimsuit when you could be getting a head start on your fall shopping). The only challenge now? Making them look like a million bucks for those end-of-summer happenings.

Really, it all comes down to the styling; a $20 bathing suit will look a lot more expensive with some hoop earrings and photo-worthy sandals than it will with a T-shirt and running shorts. For pairings that look so expensive, click on. And when the compliments start rolling in poolside, all that'll be left to say is, "Oh, this old thing?"

If you are going to go for shorts, opt for a quirky, printed pair. Sport those with a crisp, white oxford and a contrasting (and very on-trend) straw bag and no one will know your bathing suit costed you less than $40 total. Talk about bragging rights.

H&M Triangle Bikini Top, $17.99, available at H&M; H&M Bikini Bottoms, $12.99, available at H&M; Topshop Matchstick Print Shorts, $30, available at Topshop; Kayu Straw Tote, $60, available at Net-A-Porter; J.Crew New Perfect Shirt, $69.50, available at J.Crew.
All it takes is a good pair of wide-leg pants to amp up the drama and make a one-piece suit look straight-up designer. Step into a pair of chic, front-pleated trousers (just avoid the cocktail sauce — too risky), and finish things off with a colorful bag, strappy slides, and a topper that's just as sun-protectant as it is "Who is she?"-worthy.

Zara Swimsuit, $35.90, available at Zara; Rebecca Taylor Crepe Pant, $375, available at Rebecca Taylor; Madewell The Small Transport Crossbody, $128, available at Madewell; Lack Of Color Cruz Panama, $189, available at Lack Of Color; Jaggar Series Slide, $135, available at Revolve.
For a suit that's more on the plain side, just run with the minimalist vibe. Keep it laid-back with a pair of straight-leg jeans, then finish the outfit with some flip-flops. Simple-yet-statement-making accessories will make this classic look a home-run.

COS Swimsuit with Tie Back, $59, available at COS; Saf Safu Heart Earrings, $175, available at Saf Safu; Cult Gaia Small Multi Acrylic Ark, $320, available at Moda Operandi; 6397 495 Jean in Yuri Wash, $103.99, available at Need Supply; Reef Escape Lux, $26, available at Reef.
Got a ruffled bikini top? Keep the texture going on the bottom with a cute mini skirt (oh, and just wear the bathing suit as your shirt). As for shoes, try a low-top sneaker, then match some oversized sunglasses to the rest of the outfit. Done and done.

Aerie Crop Bikini Top, $19.77, available at American Eagle; Aerie Cheeky Bikini Bottom, $11.97, available at American Eagle; Gentle Monster Didi a s1, $215, available at Gentle Monster; Mango Ruffled Skirt, $24.99, available at Mango; Nisolo Elayna Sneaker, $148, available at Nisolo.