12 Best Bathing Suit Cover-Ups for Every Summer Style
Stylish bathing suit cover-ups are the cherry on top of the perfect swim look—and they shouldn’t be an afterthought.
It’s only a complete look with a cover-up
While most of us are focused on finding the best swimsuits, flip-flops, and sunglasses, our beach and pool looks just aren’t complete without bathing suit cover-ups for protection, comfort, and style. “Swimsuit cover-ups truly make your poolside or beach outfit, and I always try to make sure that whatever I’m wearing over my suit somewhat matches and is suitable for every type of activity,” says Brittney Levine, a style and trend expert for major retailers like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. “You want to make sure you opt for one that’s stylish and flattering, yet comfortable and easygoing.”
There are options for every size, budget, and style, ranging from easy-to-pack sarongs to swim cover-ups with sun protection that just need the perfect matching sun hats to make a serious statement. Most of the selections on this list are incredibly affordable finds you can scoop from Amazon or Walmart, leaving you with plenty of spare cash for high-quality face sunscreen, luxurious beach towels, super comfy beach chairs, and tons of new beach reads.
Whether you’re staying close to home this summer or hitting a far-off beach, you’ll get a ton of use out of this pareo from Maaji. It’s an incredibly versatile bathing suit cover-up—and a true summer wardrobe staple. “When dressing for the beach, swim cover-ups with lighter fabrics and colors are always a great option for staying cool under the sun,” explains Levine. “This multi-wear cover-up is a great choice since it offers flexibility in the style and can be worn as a halter dress or as a sarong.” All you’ll need is a creative mind to imagine and reimagine all the ways you can wear it—and the perfect pair of sandals, of course.
White House Black Market Maxi Dress
The best bathing suit cover-ups for casual social events or lounging around the yard are maxi dresses, according to Levine. “A lightweight maxi or off-the-shoulder cover-up is ideal for a barbecue with friends or just lounging out on the deck with cocktails,” she says, adding that if the outdoor event is less casual, you can dress up the look with accessories. Choosing on-trend prints like palm fronds, tie-dye, or animal-inspired patterns will also elevate your look.
Cupshe Backless Cover-Up with Tassels
This one-size-fits-most swim cover is best for long days by the beach, easy coordination with nearly any suit (thanks to universally appealing sheer white fabric), and a shake-and-stash design that repels clingy sand. The fun, backless design offers a forever-young approach to summer styling and beach cover-ups, and the halter-style V-neck tie allows for easy adjusting that women of all ages will love. It’s a Walmart hidden gem you’ll be thrilled that you found.
Seraphine Ivory Maternity Kaftan
This ivory-hued piece is an ethereal, cool dream for a hot summer day by the pool—and the best bathing suit cover-up for pregnant and nursing moms, thanks to plenty of belly space and a button-down style. Made from soft, sheer viscose and featuring lace trim, the Seraphine kaftan has an elasticized empire waist and an open keyhole back. When you’re done with pregnancy and nursing, you can easily turn this timeless dress into a short beach frock or summer tunic. Repurposing summery maternity wear is one of the fashion rules you can break without guilt.
(Related: 6 Canadian Sports Bras for Bigger Busts)
Coolibar UPF 50+ Seacoast Swim Cover
This beach tunic is sure to put a smile on your face, between the plethora of bright colors and patterns it comes in and the serious sun protection it offers. It boasts UPF 50+ and long sleeves, and its soft, lightweight, quick-drying fabric make it super practical, too. The pull-on style makes it easy to grab and go, and side vents and a drawcord make it both cool and flattering, even on the hottest summer days. You’ll want this one for long days on a boat, eating at beachside cafés, and milling about the pool.
Fadalo Plus-Size Beach Cover Dress
This wonder dress for curvy body types is amazing for a variety of reasons. For starers, it’s incredibly flattering. Also, while some swim cover-ups are tricky to figure out or require advanced knot-tying skills, this friendly frock creates a dramatic cross-over effect with the only required skill being getting arms into holes. Nice, right? It appears far more expensive than it is (it’s probably less than the cost of a beach chair rental at a popular seaside resort), comes in dozens of colors and prints, and offers an eye-catching backless design. Reviewers say it’s “beautifully made” and that they “get compliments all the time on how nice it is.”
$19 – $98, amazon.ca.
Oh, the places you’ll go in this exciting, lightweight kaftan! It looks far more expensive than it actually is, neatly folds or rolls into suitcases and carry-ons, and only acts like one of the most stylish bathing suit cover-ups when you want it to. Translation: It’s a gorgeous summer dress when you’re not putting it to work by the pool, grill, or beach, and it’s easily dressed up a bit with a waist-cinching belt, wide-brimmed hat, and straw tote. It comes in nearly 40 colors and prints, and fits sizes small through large, ensuring there’s something for almost everyone.
Hat Attack Beach Hoodie
This prep-forward take on swim cover-ups is the 100 percent cotton classic you’ll find yourself wearing for years to come, thanks to high-quality construction and natural materials. It’s lightweight and easy to wear, and the hood offers much-needed sun protection for the face and scalp. This kaftan is also body-friendly and feels more like wearing a light blanket than dressing up or putting on a show.
Cole Signature Watercolor Paisley Sarong
You need this sarong in your life. This playful paisley number from Anne Cole turns up the heat on any basic black bathing suit, and it has a fashion-forward knot ring that keeps it tied, secure, and perfectly styled as long as you choose to wear it. Made of a light, sheer rayon, it will work for several seasons to come since it’s a classic style that’s less focused on trends and more focused on a classic, figure-flattering silhouette. You’d be at home in it by the pool—whether that pool is close to home or at an all-inclusive Hawaiian resort.
Époque Évolution The One Wrap Dress
Adding a versatile wardrobe piece that can take you just about anywhere is one of the fashion secrets stylists won’t tell you for free—but we certainly will! This Époque Évolution wrap-style dress does just that. With a single wrap, you can wear it as a wrap skirt with a hidden pocket, a dress, sarong, and more. The fabric offers UPF 50 protection and is wrinkle-resistant, machine washable, and quick to dry. You can wear the wrap tied in the front or to the side, and it’s a gorgeous little black dress to wear to slightly more formal barbecues, dinners out, and beach parties.
Cupshe Floral Print Buttoned Blouse
If you’re looking for a feminine yet sensible swimsuit cover that’s easy to wear and care for, you’ve found it. This sheer, breezy Cupshe button-down offers subtle florals in a neutral color palette, flattering vertical stripes, and a loose fit that keeps you cool and dry. It also doubles as a summery loose-fit shirt that can be tucked into denim, a summery skirt, or other pieces in a pinch.
Michael Stars Amelee Linen Caftan
Nothing says summer like nautical blue and white stripes, and when paired with red sandals or a necklace, this Michael Stars linen beach cover-up is the 4th of July look you’ll love for years to come. It’s made of machine-washable, 100 percent linen that boasts an adjustable tie waistband, a V-neck collar, and short sleeves that offer just the right amount of shoulder and arm protection on sunny beach days. So, where should you wear all of these bathing suit cover-ups? Try the best beach near you.
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