Once you’ve sourced the perfect swimsuit — which, let’s face it, is no easy feat — it’s time to shop for the
best swimsuit cover-ups to go with it. Some of them are standalone pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in a casual restaurant, while others are beachy and breezy for soaking up the sun. Get them in a quick-drying fabric so you (and your suit) towel off faster, then lie back and let the waves roll in.
If you’re shopping for something that can go straight to lunch after a dip, look for conventional clothing in airy fabrics that can pull double-duty, like maxi dresses or shorter T-shirt swing dresses. If you prefer pants, there’s a pair of trousers here with UPF sun protection built in, as well as a cute romper for a one-and-done look. All are easy to slip on over a suit, and can be dressed up or down with a few carefully chosen accessories.
Of course, half the joy of shopping for swimwear is the fact that it’s an instant vacation. For
cover-up pieces that are just plain fun, look into lace kimonos, hippie-chic crocheted tunics, or goddess caftans. A gauze wrap is also nice because it can be worn lots of different ways when you crave variety (or need to pack light).
If you’re interested in a practical cover-up that will dry in a flash,
look for synthetics like acrylic and nylon and polyester, which are quick-drying (plus, they help make the delicate fabrics more durable). That said, there’s something to be said for a cover-up in drapey rayon (or viscose, its derivative) that will be silky soft and lightweight, although not as quick-drying as polyester. An all-natural fiber like cotton will be soft and breathable but it’s also more likely to stay soggy when drenched.
Whether you’re headed to the beach, the pool, or your own backyard, here are 13 of the
best cover-ups that will have you feeling made in the shade. 1 This Crochet Caftan With A Cult Following
With over 12,000 ratings,
this caftan cover-up is a certified Amazon fan favorite for striking a balance between breezily beachy and stylishly covered. It’s sheer without being see-through — you can show a bit of your suit without feeling totally exposed — in a thick, crochet knit woven from a blend of cotton and polyester. The tunic cut has just the right amount of drape paired with a V-neckline and elbow-length dolman sleeves; plus, the open side seams lace up with tasseled cord for extra movement. “The holy grail of beach cover ups! I get so many compliments when I wear this, it really is very stylish,” a shopper praised. There’s also another button-down style in the same listing with ‘90s vibes. Available options: 29 Available sizes: One size 2 A Gorgeous Flowy Kimono With A Fabulous Selection Of Prints
p retty kimono cover-up comes in one-of-a-kind patterns from artsy-chic inkblot designs to ikat and tie-dye. It’s long and dramatic and looks just as good with a swimsuit as it does over a pair of jeans with a camisole, and it’s tacked on each side to stay put when you slip it on. The 100% viscose is downy-soft with a silk-like flow. “Absolutely gorgeous,” one fan raved. “The quality of the fabric and the colors are beautiful plus it is extremely soft. You need to have this item in your life.” Available colors: 24 Available sizes: One size 3 This Breezy Cover-Up With Pom-Pom Trim
sheer cover-up puts a modern spin on the caftan with festive pom-pom trim for a vacation state of mind. It’s cut like a breezy tunic in a cloud of chiffon that reveals a peek of suit. The elbow sleeves help protect your shoulders against the sun, and the sides are stitched shut with baby slits at the hem for ease of movement. Plus, the polyester-spandex blend promises to be quick-drying. “This cover up is exactly as described! It is light, airy, roomy and very comfortable. I am going to love using this for my cruise,” a fan thrilled. Available colors: 7 Available sizes: 16 Plus — 28 Plus 4 A Swingy Tank Cover-Up That’s Your New Vacation Uniform
Meet your new vacation uniform: This
short cover-up dress can go anywhere. It has a shoulder-baring racer cut and a flare skirt that hits about mid-thigh for a kicky, carefree look. The rayon knit is beautifully flowy — plus, it belts so well when you want to dress it up. “It's kind of the perfect all-in-one if you need to pack light,” a reviewer noted. “Can be a beach cover up, dress it up for the evening and soft enough to sleep in even!” Available colors: 28 Available sizes: X-Small — 3X-Large 5 A Pair Of Beach Pants With UV Protection
If you want a water-worthy cover-up that gets plenty of use on dry land, a nice pair of
beach pants might be in order. The Coolibar Windley pants are upscale casual in UPF 50+ fabric that’s made from a cooling blend of cotton and bamboo viscose and infused with zinc oxide to help block 98% of damaging rays. Meanwhile, a flat drawstring waist keeps things easygoing while looking a little bit nicer than gathered elastic, so you can head straight to lunch from the pool if you want. The only thing you’d wish for might be a pair of pockets. “These are NOT your typical sweats. The material is a little bit thicker than a traditional sweat pant and & they are finished beautifully,” a reviewer noted. “They have a nice drape to them & are dressy enough to wear to work with a longer top...so comfortable to wear that it felt like I was in pajamas.” Available colors: 5 Available sizes: X-Small — 3X 6 This Chic Tunic With Sophisticated Vibes
Tailored and classic,
this tunic cover-up has a notched collar and roll-tab sleeves for a timeless menswear-inspired look. The split high-low hem feels nicely breezy, and with its wardrobe-staple appeal and soft rayon fabric, you could easily wear it in the off-season with your favorite leggings. “I absolutely love this swim cover! So simple but so cute. Very lightweight but not too see through. I ended up wearing this as a summer outfit with shorts and a tank, tied at the waist,” a reviewer wrote of its versatility. Available colors: 38 Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large 7 A Versatile Maxi Dress Cover-Up You’ll Live In
Wear this laidback
maxi dress cover-up to the pool then slip on a pair of pretty sandals and head to dinner. It’s easygoing with a roomy cut and split hem, which gives you plenty of room to move and looks so cute knotted up for a different look (and keeps the hem out of puddles). A soft V-neckline front and back coupled with drapey rayon makes for a graceful look whether you’re wearing it as a cover-up or a flowy house dress, and adjustable straps ensure you get the right fit. “This dress is an absolute WINNER...The pockets are amazing and can fit my phone, wallet, and keys without issue,” a shopper wrote. “I’ve worn this dress about 4 times since I bought it and every time someone has complimented me on it. 100% worth it.” Available options: 39 Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large 8 A Sporty Hooded Cover-Up With Pockets
athletic cover-up towels you off in record time thanks to an absorbent terry lining. The proprietary cotton blend was engineered to be lightweight and quick-drying with built-in sun protection, thanks to its hood and UPF 50+ rating that slashes 98% of rays. There are two deep pockets for holding essentials, and you can even rock the full-zip style as a light jacket: the extra length works so well with leggings. “Perfect cross between a sweatshirt and a robe,” one reviewer wrote. “The fabric is a lightweight sweatshirt material, very absorbent, and dries fairly quickly...Have also used it as a travel bathrobe! Overall am quite happy with it.” It only comes in sizes up to XL, but this plus-size athletic cover-up is similarly sporty and cozy in hooded terry. Available colors: 5 Available sizes: Small — X-Large 9 These Cover-Up Pants In Hippie-Chic Crochet
swim cover-up pants let your bathing suit show while you wind down from the water. They’re easygoing with a drawstring waist and ankle-skimming cuffs but there’s not much else to detract from their beachy style. The acrylic crochet knit is surprisingly thick and soft — not to mention quick-drying. Also be sure to check out the cute crochet shorts available in the same listing, as well as the tassled harem pants. “They fit perfect and I wore these things out this summer,” a shopper confessed. “So cute and everyone asks where I got these. Also, these have survived my washer and dryer without much shrinkage or signs of wear...One of my best buys this summer for sure!” Available options: 29 Available sizes: Small — X-Large 10 A ‘70s-Jetset Caftan That Dresses Up With A Belt
When you want to pull out all the stops,
this long caftan has that kind of ‘70s-jetset energy for swanning around your imaginary villa. This fan-favorite comes in so many styles — from the gauzy faux linen with homespun stripes shown here to colorful geometric prints and Grecian-inspired looks — that you might end up with a couple. This one is made from a blend of rayon and polyester that’s airy and quick to dry while the loose fit ensures you stay cool underneath it all. “Good quality soft, silky matte material,” a shopper remarked. “Purchased for an upcoming resort vacation, this piece can be used as a swimsuit cover up or dressed up with wedges/belt/jewelry for evening. I also anticipate wearing it around the house to stay cool on hot, humid summer days.” Available colors: 1 in this listing, multiple other styles available here Available sizes: One size 11 A Sheer Cover-Up With Fluttery Fringe
lace swimsuit cover-up is so pretty with a sash-tie waist and swingy fringe hem. The nylon lace is soft and sturdy with a bit of sheen, with a good quality drawstring that cinches at the waist if you want to wear it shut. Hell, it could even be used to jazz up a simple tank dress when you aren’t poolside for extra versatility. “This is beautiful! This covers the perfect amount of skin while still looking great,” a fan reported. “It actually made me want to go to the lake just so I can wear this.” Available options: 14 Available sizes: Small — XX-Large 12 This Adorable Romper Cover-Up
If dresses aren’t your thing but you’d like a cover-up that pulls double-duty,
a romper gives you similar functionality in a playful package. This one comes in the best tie-dye hues and nautical stripes, plus solids if you want to max out your versatility. The wide straps will hide a suit if you want it to be fully incognito after a swim, and the elastic waist has an adjustable drawstring that makes it easy to slip on. In a soft rayon knit blend, it feels like pajamas but can go just about anywhere. “Basically, you NEED to order this,” a reviewer declared. “Perfect as a cover-up for the pool or can be dressed up or down. AND it has pockets!” Available colors: 13 Available sizes: Small — X-Large 13 A Gauzy Wrap You Can Wear *So* Many Ways
all-purpose cover-up is a vacation staple (especially if you’re traveling light). Wear it as a wrap, a top, or a skirt — there are even maxi skirt cover-ups if you want more drama and length. The gauzy polyester has a handspun finish that’s edged with embroidered trim and short frayed tassels to look like you picked it up from a local artisan. Shoppers were surprised by how often they reached for this, noting it was quick-drying and made a good stand-in beach blanket when necessary. “These are such a great value! They are thin but well-crafted,” a fan pointed out. “Nice and breezy for wearing over your favorite bathing suit for some extra coverage.” Available options: 33 Available sizes: One size 14 Also Nice: This Ruffled Bikini That’s An Internet Phenomenon
With an impressive 4.4-star rating after more than 15,000 Amazon reviews, this
cute high-waisted bikini is set to become a new favorite. The top has an inner layer that fits like a sports bra and its topped by a floaty handkerchief ruffle that comes nearly to the waist. The strappy back is fully adjustable for a custom fit. Meanwhile, the ruched high-waisted bottoms are retro adorable and hit right under the top for fit and flow with a flash of midriff: a great balance between a bikini and tankini. “This product completely exceeded all expectations. This is the first suit I’ve ever tried on that I didn’t have to think twice about,” a shopper gushed. Available colors: 24 Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large
Get Even More From Bustle — Sign Up For The Newsletter
From hair trends to relationship advice, our daily newsletter has everything you need to sound like a person who’s on TikTok, even if you aren’t.
Subscribe to our newsletter >