Swimwear Cover-ups for Cool Girls

Collage of swimwear coverups

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.

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.

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. Choose a classic Baja surf hoodie for when you want to get snuggly in the sand, or a juicy-hued pompom number that practically screams island getaway.

Total opposites in terms of aesthetic, both the Baja surf hoodie and pompom version serve as a cool-girl cover-up iteration in their own right

The Kimono 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.

Sheer and full length or a shorter fringed bed jacket give you plenty of variety–and versatility–to conquer wild weekends

Romwe Head Print Chiffon Long Kimono 

printed bed jacket
Giana Bini Vega Bed Jacket

The Oxford

Navy blue oxford top
Us Rags Oxford Shirt Tunic

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.

What cover-up look are you wearing this summer?


Melissa is creative communications professional with 9+ years of experience writing for the beauty and fashion industries.