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When the weather turns warm, sun, surf, and sand are the first things that come to mind. And while you’re probably stocked up on swimsuits—one for every occasion, no less—have you thought about cute cover-ups to match?
Although they’re sometimes overlooked, cover-ups—the cardigans of the beach, if you will—are so convenient, especially on vacation. And once you have an ample supply, you’ll wonder how you ever survived a summer without them. They’re easy to throw over a swimsuit on your way to the water, and if you’re still a little damp after taking a dip, their breeziness never hinders your air dry.
Not only that, if you’re in a pinch with no time to change before dinner, most of them double as an adorable dress—totally appropriate for tapas on the beachfront, just throw on some comfy sandals to match.
The key to choosing the right one is prioritizing versatility. A great cover-up is comfortable, helps protects skin (in addition to plenty of sunscreen and a sun hat!), and has zero fussy fasteners or straps. After all, vacation is a time to relax. And when you need speedy coverage, the last thing you want is to fight with a button or clasp.
That said, finding a cute cover-up that looks nothing like your grandma’s favorite nightgown can be a challenge. But it’s one that we were up for, and you’ll be delighted to know that stylish picks do exist. Without further ado, here are the coolest options that will keep you feeling hot—even after you’ve stepped in for the night.
GDKEY Chiffon Tassel Beach Cover-Up
Available in a variety of colors, this lightweight, chiffon cover-up will keep you cool on a hot summer day. As one reviewer writes, “It covers me up but is still sexy at the same time. It is sheer but not too see-through and the cut is very flattering.”
Grecerelle Casual Short Sleeve Maxi Dress
Need to take your look from day to night? This super comfy cover-up will do the trick. Tie up the bottom during the day to keep sand at bay; at night, let the material flow and pair it with wedges for a gorgeous evening look.
Pinkmilly Floral Print Kimono
This floral kimono has airy fabric that wears perfectly over a bathing suit or a tank top and shorts. As one reviewer writes, “One of my favorite Amazon purchases for this upcoming season. Amazing quality, very lightweight, and perfect material that will dry fast if you plan to wear at the beach or light enough to layer over a tee/tank on warm days.”
Harhay Beach Cover-Up
A top seller on Amazon, this crochet cover-up is so soft you won’t want to take it off. Luckily, it’s available in a variety of colors—from summery yellow to pastel pink—so you can buy one that suits your suit (and style) best.
Beach Scene Seraphine Sarong
Perhaps you prefer to rock a cover-up your bottom half and let your swimsuit shine as a top. This lovely printed skirt wrap is perfect for that—and comes in one size, so all you have to do is tie it to your ideal fit.
PerZeal Women’s Casual Maxi Dress
This dress’s coral color and floor length scream effortless, which is exactly the vibe you want to emanate on the beach. The v-neck and spaghetti straps also offer a flirty touch—perfect for a date after hitting the waves. (Just note it’s available in various styles and prints if this one isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.)
Dotti Travel Muse Shirtdress Cover-Up
Hitting the Hamptons? Don’t forget to pack this perfectly preppy cover-up. Made of super soft cotton, it dries fast when it gets wet and can be washed easily. The shirt-dress style is super in, and it’s not see-through like others, which is a plus.
Volcom Coco Halter Cover-Up Romper
This simple, striped romper is a crowd-pleaser. The sleeve-less look keeps the vibe casual while the cinched waist offers a figure-flattering shape, no matter your size. Add a pair of low, heeled sandals and you’re ready for a night on the town after a day on the sand.
Tommy Bahama Lace-Up Chiffon Tunic
The print and chiffon material of this piece make it a cover-up of dreams. It’s so elegant, you’ll want to wear it even when you’re not going to the pool or beach.
Tiera Hawaii Riviera Cover-Up Maxi Dress
This one’s off-shoulder, ruffle, and split-middle details make it so darling you’ll never want to take it off. Think, Little House on the Prairie, but make it beach chic.
La Blanca Side Slit Cover-Up Pants
Pants! They can be cover-ups, too. This pair comes in a fun turquoise print that is sure to turn heads on the beach, and the side-slits promote air flow to keep you from feeling uncomfortably damp.
Swimsuits for All V-Neck Swim Caftan
If you prefer a longer, maxi-dress moment, this simple style comes in black and a navy polka dot pattern. It’s easy to pull on when you want to take a lunch break at the tiki bar, and it features a cute criss-cross keyhole detail.
BLEU Some Like It Hot Cover-Up Shirt
If you’re into animal print, this wild one has to be yours. It’s unique because it’s a long shirt rather than a dress, and it has a neat collar. Pair it with shorts and you’ve got a fashionable outfit that will stand out from the rest.
Elan Cover-Up Maxi Dress
Another animal print, we couldn’t resist. Channel the runway in this trendy maxi dress. It’s made from 100% rayon and has a drawstring to pull in the waist for a sleeker fit, if you so desire.
Tommy Bahama Cover-Up Tunic Sweater
This acts as an extension of your favorite hoodie, and it’s oh so cute. The slouchy style is easy to throw over anything, and can we talk about that tassel detail?
La Blanca Elemental Midi Cover-Up Dress
Tie-dye is all the rage right now, and this dress makes the pattern appear a bit more grown-up, perfect for the beach.
Kennedy Smocked Waist Beach Pants
This is not your average pair of black beach pants. The wide leg, ruffle trim, and swiss dot details will leave you strutting with confidence. Plus, they have functional pockets. Win-win.
Swimsuits for All Zip-Up Hoodie
If you’re looking for something more casual, this zip-up hoodie is your best bet. It’s comfortable, and will help keep you from getting chilly on those cool summer nights. The adjustable side-ties are a bonus, too.
Becca ETC Cover-Up Kimono
Kimonos are a staple in cover-up world, and this one is no exception. Its wrap style can be worn in multiple ways, depending on the vibe you’re going for, and the belt gives it shape no matter what.
Dotti Paradise Palms Flutter Sleeves Tunic
If you want a tropical feel but aren’t always into the bright colors that come with it, this black and white palm-printed tunic is perfect for you. It’s sophisticated, yet fun, and those flutter sleeves? Yes please.
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