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An Ode to the Chic Bathing Suit Cover-Up

Plus, shop 18 of our favorite styles you won’t be able to take off.

swimsuit cover-ups
The quest for the perfect bathing suit cover-up often seems fruitless. There is always a vast disconnect between aspiration and reality. Our thoughts often drift to the mental image of a film star donning a luxe caftan, sunning herself by the pool of a large estate in Monaco. However, most days our cover-up typically consists of an oversized t-shirt casually thrown over a bikini. Where is the middle ground?

There’s a certain air of sophistication that comes from wearing a traditional swimsuit cover-up. It seems like a mature thing to have certain clothing (aside from your bathing suit) specifically dedicated to beachwear. However, the only thing that defines a cover-up is the act of covering up. This entails complete creative freedom in your choice and means there is technically no wrong answer. In my own case, I often gravitate towards a white linen button-down or just a pair of denim shorts, but this is my personal vow to experiment more.

There are almost too many options in this category: dresses, sarongs, shorts, pants, even jumpsuits. You only want to steer clear of anything tight or restricting. Use your preferred style of swimwear as a guide to help narrow your options. Simple one-pieces may only require a sarong or pair of shorts with a shorter hemline. If you are wearing a two-piece with less coverage, I would opt for a longer skirt or even a dress. Transparency is always a great option—think mesh or even eyelet lace—and kimonos or button-down shirts pair with just about anything. Whether it’s a sweeping floor-length caftan or mini sarong, we’ve rounded up our favorite cover-ups, in every sense of the word, to pack for your next tropical vacation.

Shop Our Favorites:

Adama Dress


Cabana Shirt

Solid & Striped

Shelsea Pants

Mara Hoffman
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