carmel by the sea outfits

Carmel By The Sea Outfits (& Fashion Tips!)

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Want to feel like you jumped into a fairytale book about a little town by the sea? Then just go to Carmel! Carmel-by-the-Sea or “Carmel” is a small beach city that oozes charm and boasts boutique shopping, delicious food, and amazing ocean views, of course! You’ll feel removed from the United States and placed in a make-believe enchanting seaside village. Is this place on your destination list this year? Then keep reading for style tips to help you put together your Carmel by the Sea outfits!

top | pants (similar) | shoes (similar) | purse

Pack Stylish Layers

Despite being in California, Carmel by the Sea can actually be pretty chilly as this town is often under a big fog. At least that was my experience, even visiting during the summer in June.

There’s really no “best time” to visit this charming place, as the temps are usually mild and moderate throughout the whole year, though some of the highest temps have been recorded in September. An average high temperature throughout the year is 57 degrees.

It’s a good idea to bring a stylish outerwear layer, such as a denim jacket, button-down to be worn open, light jacket, or light sweater. Even if you don’t need an extra layer in town, you’re going to want it when you head to Carmel beach as it can be pretty windy!

dress | sneakers

Embrace a Beachy Summer Style

To be honest, most locals dress “normally” in casual jeans, for example, so if you’re wearing a sundress at 8 am you’ll probably look like a tourist- but who cares! Vacation is a fun time to try out new clothes and dress in outfits you wouldn’t normally wear, so I’d encourage you to embrace a beachy summer aesthetic.

Not only is it more fun to dress up and not only will you feel cuter, but a stylish outfit will photograph perfectly amongst all the beautiful flowers and old-time architecture!

Since this is a beach town, consider going for a nautical style, such as stripes, mariner sweaters, and white pants. Whether you love to wear dresses or not, linen pants and chinos make great outfit options. Not only will you stay warm, but they can be oh so chic too.

shirt (similar) | pants (similar)

But because this town is so charming, you could also channel that into your look with flirty and feminine details, like a girly dress.

dress (similar) | purse | beret | wedges

It’s never a bad idea to put your best foot forward, as this town usually draws in wealthy and influential people. Did you know that famous actor Clint Eastwood has a restaurant and hotel here? It’s Mission Ranch!

Think Twice About Your Swimwear

California can often have cooler temperatures, remember? And as previously said, the beaches can be really windy! Consider getting a swimsuit that covers up more of your body so you can still enjoy the beach and the Pacific Ocean without freezing!


Comfortable Yet Stylish Footwear

Though it’s not uncommon for me to throw some wedges in my bag just for a photo op, you’ll most likely find me wearing flats or white sneakers. Like any vacation, you’re going to want comfortable yet stylish shoes for all your exploring…and shopping! Leave the high heels at home.

Carmel Plaza is an upscale and outdoor shopping center and you’re sure to find many of your new favorite spots here, not to mention beautiful clothes and luxurious designer brands! Or if you’re into arts and culture, downtown Carmel offers art galleries with fine art. Into sweets? Then you’ll love Carmel bakery and the Cottage of Sweets. Thankfully, most of what you want to see will be a short walk from each other.

dress | purse | button down (similar) | shoes (similar)

You don’t have to spend much money to put together great Carmel by the sea outfits. Yes, I sound like a broken record at times, but it’s all about having timeless clothing! Linen pants, easy sundresses, stripes, and classic sandals are going to be your best friends when visiting this coastal town.

No matter the time of year you go, Carmel-by-the-Sea could easily become one of your favorite places, but it’s a smaller small town, so it’s not usually one you’d spend more than a weekend exploring.

But lucky for you, there are so many things to do near this seaside charmer, such as exploring Carmel Valley, taking a scenic drive through Big Sur, snapping photos of the lone cypress, hiking through Point Lobos, or visiting Pebble Beach, just to name a few.

Stay tuned for my blog post on those activities! In the meantime, check out these other California travel posts:
Things To Do in Napa Valley With Kids
What To Wear in Napa Valley In The Summer
Napa Valley Photography That Will Make You Think You’re In Europe

what to wear in carmel by the sea
Carmel By The Sea Outfits


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.