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Beach Bound: Stylish Cover-ups to Wear Now

Woman wearing sheer cover-up on the beach

In the 90s it was a Hawaiian print sarong. In the early 2000s, it was all about board shorts. But today? It’s less about any one silhouette that’s popular and more what suits your own style — and of course, swimwear.

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An essential nearly as important to the summer season as the bikini itself, the swimwear cover-up eliminates the need for an entire outfit. It works as an easy-going look-topper to take you to the boardwalk, the cantina, and beyond.

Any single piece that’s light, airy and long enough to cover at least a little of your behind will do. With a little imagination, beach babes can set themselves apart on their next trip or vacation, shopping outside the beachwear section. 

There are exciting options everywhere — and if you get out into the other departments, you just might find something creative enough that you can work into your regular wardrobe when you aren’t waterside.

Beach Cover-ups To Love This Summer

The poncho cover-up

For adventures on the coast that you know will turn into long evenings or maybe even a bonfire bash, there’s no better option than a throw-and-go poncho.

The kimono beach cover-up

For the festival gal who loves a bit of vintage-inspired, rock-n-roll charm, the kimono is the lightweight number that makes pool outfits pop. In a desert oasis, your own backyard, or at a cabana in good ol’ Sin City, strutting your stuff with one of these showstoppers turns a bikini or one-piece into a tried-and-true ensemble.

The oxford as cover-up

For trips to the docks and setting sail that require that French girl-cool, pull a card from old cinema. For a look that screams The Talented Mr. Ripley, take a borrowed-from-the-boys approach and go for a men’s oxford. Think Gwyneth Paltrow and old-school Ray-Ban shades.

This classic combination offers up a little European sex-appeal that’s  subtle and subdued. Take the soft cotton shirt and relaxed fit you love for lazy hours in the bedroom and simply bring it the boat or shore.

The caftan

The caftan is a tried-and-true favorite poolside. Sheer versions have a beach club vibe. They’ll take you to the pool bar to refill your cocktail and for long walks in the sand.

The tunic beach cover-up

A belted tunic dress provides the same carefree feel as a caftan, but with a bit more structure. And in the off-season, you can wear this style over leggings when you feel like reminiscing about those warm summer days.

The beach pant

Beach pants are the perfect option when you feel like showing off your top half. They pair well with a bikini top or crop top, an anklet and a light, strappy sandal.

Which beach cover-up look are you wearing this summer?

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Saturday 20th of December 2008

I love cover ups! I recently got a cover up called a Towelini and it was great. It’s cool because you can use it like a beach towel as well. Any way, I just wanted to mention that. You can see it on


Saturday 7th of June 2008

My favorite is the one pictured. I love cover-ups. It’s like a whole new outfit when you leave the beach and wear your suit under it. They’re really handy when there’s a restaurant or bar on the shore that you walk to from the sand. The cover up lets you dress appropriately without having to bring a whole new outfit along.

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