When you hit the beach this summer, a beach cover-up will be your best friend. Whether you’re more of a flowy, laid-back beach cover-up person or a sporty, form-fitting rash-guard gal, your beach cover-up will make sure you’re comfortable, stylish, and protected from all the elements, including sun, sand, and temperature shifts. Throwing one in your beach bag or wearing one to the beach is one of the best decisions you can make when you head down to the shore, ensuring that you’ll be ready for whatever the day throws at you.
A beach cover-up is any piece of clothing that you can wear over your swimsuit and can adapt to fit your style. Many cover-ups can easily evolve into something you’ll end up wearing all day, or even on a day when you’re not even going to the beach! They’re built to be versatile and to fit into your life, not the other way around. You may even be surprised at what qualifies as a cover-up and find that you already have one in your wardrobe. Here’s our guide to the best beach cover-ups for summer.
Perfect for shading your skin during a beach day from the sun or making a quick run to the boardwalk for a snack, the cover-up dress is a staple of any beach lover’s wardrobe. We love how easy it is to throw it on over our swimsuit as we’re getting ready to head out the door — it’s a whole outfit in one and ensures that we’re not rifling through our drawers to find a comfortable pair of shorts that are still comfortable after they’re covered in sand and a shirt that manages to look good over our bathing suit.
Many opt for a short sleeveless cotton jersey cover-up that hits just above the knee, giving an airy, breathable option for those hot summer days. We also love the maxi cover-up dress, a casual, comfortable, and elegant choice that goes all the way to the floor, offering even more protection from the sun. This is a great choice for anyone looking to elongate their figure as well, with its slinky silhouette that’s flattering on just about anyone. There’s also the super cozy terrycloth cover-up dresses, which are loose-fitting, hooded, and basically like wearing your favorite towel as a flattering wardrobe item. Once you’ve chosen your cut, pick out your favorite color and print to suit your style. Perhaps you’re more of a neutral person, opting for a solid, classic color or a striped nautical look. If you’re a fan of louder patterns and colors, there are so many options out there for you, from bold summery patterns to color-blocking looks.
The rash guard is another ideal cover-up for any avid beachgoer (or anyone who spends time outdoors for that matter), protecting your skin from the elements, especially the sun, with the superpower of UPF fabric. When you wear a rash guard on top of a layer of sunscreen, you’re ready to spend hours on the beach without worrying about getting a sunburn on the covered areas. Rash guards, like cover-up dresses, come in all shapes and sizes and are generally more slim-fitting. They’re great for any athletic activity, from swimming to running to tennis, and many have moisture-wicking fabric that helps soak up sweat (perfect for summer).
Cover-ups aren’t just for your upper half… It’s just as important to stay protected from the sun on the bottom, which is why we’re glad there are so many great options for cover-up pants that are both stylish and functional. If you’re in the market for something a little more flowy and bohemian, we’re a big fan of cover-up pareo pants and cover-up skirts. So thin and comfortable that it practically feels like you’re wearing nothing at all, pareo pants and flowy skirts will protect your skin from the sun, combined with sunscreen, and will add a helpful layer when the sun starts to go down or when you’re en route to or from the beach. Swim leggings and women's swim shorts are another way to cover up on the bottom if you’re looking for something a little more form-fitting to go with your rash guard.
For something even simpler, go for the original cover-up: the sarong. Wear it around your waist or your shoulders, or tie it into a clever dress for the ultimate in classic beachwear that will keep you comfortable and protected whenever you wear it.
A cover-up is a perfect addition to your beach look, however you decide to wear it. Check out the links below for even more tips and tricks from Lands’ End!