When it comes to your must-have summer wardrobe, the usual suspects come to mind: A comfortable pair of Birkenstocks, your favorite swim suit, and a trusty (and unbreakable!) set of shades. But if there's one wardrobe staple that can truly give you a fashionable advantage this summer, it's a cute and affordable cover-up. Think about it: Cover-ups keep you looking polished and pulled-together, even in hot and humid weather. As a bonus, they definitely add a little more edge to your ensemble than your average T-shirt and shorts combination.
The only trouble with this unstoppable ensemble is that there are so many options, it's hard to choose just one! For example, if you're headed on a tropical vacation with friends or family, you may want to pack a simple, white button-down shirtdress for a beach cover-up that keeps things classic and sophisticated. But if you're in need of something a little more romantic — say, for a couple's getaway to Hawaii — a more tropical option, like a floral print dress, might be a better option.
Whatever you choose, wearing something comfortable that you love being seen in will make your much-deserved trip even more memorable. That's why we found ten cover-up options for every type of getaway that will have you counting down the days until vacation.
1. The Oversized Graphic Tee
This eye-catching oversized graphic tee is the ideal cover-up to pack for an overnight trip with your girlfriends. The soft and comfortable ensemble will take you from a round of sand volleyball with the locals, to a wine and game night back at the beach house. Plus, you won't even need a clever caption for the #girlgangvacay pics you'll be posting!
2. The High-Low Tunic
When temperatures are reaching record highs, you need something loose and breathable — like this semi-sheer high-low tunic. With a relaxed silhouette for added comfort, this tunic is unlined and feels ultra lightweight, keeping you looking (and feeling) cool even during the hottest part of the day. As an added bonus, this classic polka dot print ensures you'll be in style, wherever your destination may be.
3. The Lace-Up Tunic
If your getaway resort has an outdoor dance floor, and you just can't wait to get your groove on, be sure to score this sheer chiffon lace-up tunic before you go! This hot number will take you straight from drinks in the pool to dancing by the DJ stand. Throw this soft and lightweight cover-up over high waisted shorts and a bikini top for a look that will keep you comfortable and cool all night long.
4. The Adjustable Wrap
During oceanside vacations, the tide isn't the only thing that changes. Temperatures can also rise and fall quickly and without warning. That's why you need something casual and adjustable to throw on over your suit, like this belted kimono cover-up by O'Neill. It's a great choice for roasting s'mores with your cousins, or sharing a brew with the family in front of a campfire. The tie dye print gives off a cool, beachy vibe, and the tie-waist style lets you adjust to a warmer fit when temperatures drop. Pro tip: Be sure to hand-wash this cover-up if you want to be able to wear it over and over again during your vacation.
5. The Off-The-Shoulder Look
This floral cover-up features flirty, off-the-shoulder details so you can show off your tan. Bell sleeves and straps disguise the easy cover-up as a much-dressier summer piece, making it a great go-to option when you want to minimize beach-to-boardwalk travel time. To totally master the boho look straight off the sand, add a chunky statement necklace and keep sea salt spray in your bag.
6. The Classic Shirt Dress
If you're looking for something classic and versatile — say, your partner invited you on their family vacation for the first time, and you have no idea what to pack — this sophisticated, soft cotton button-down is perfect for crabbing on the boat before heading straight to dinner. Just throw on some wayfarers and a simple pair of sandals, and you'll be outfitted for any waterside activities.
7. The Tropical Print Dress
If you and your S.O. have a romantic getaway planned to Hawaii, you need a cover-up that matches the exotic scenery. This breezy tropical print dress is an excellent cover-up to throw on over your suit, whether you're hiking to waterfalls, or drinking daiquiris under a beach hut. With a strappy back detail and scoop neckline, this dress isn't just stylish — it's also super comfortable.
8. The See-Through Crochet Cover-Up
You shouldn't have to completely cover up your brand new suit when you leave the pool — and this sheer lace dress makes sure you won't have to! With romantic, boho-inspired crochet, a high-low hem adds perfect, thoughtful detail to this dress. Pro Tip: Hand-wash this cute cover up, and line dry it for long-lasting results.
9. The Wide-Leg Romper
Even if you're wearing your cutest suit, a gust of wind catching your cover-up can be annoying and awkward when you're taking a stroll on the boardwalk. This V-neckline racerback romper has got you covered. Offering comfort and style with aztec-patterned adjustable straps, the wide, flowing pant legs will save you from needing to constantly hold your dress down. Easy, breezy!
10. The Hooded Zip-Front Robe
If your idea of a vacation means constantly jumping up from your chair to start a game of frisbee, or rounding up your family for your annual game of soccer, you need a laid-back cover-up that can keep up with you. This terry hooded robe by Speedo has a 'throw it on and go' zip front, and is comfortable enough to move in after splashing around the waves. Users give this piece top ratings for being versatile, as it works as a cover-up, robe, or even jacket, if need be. Game on.
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