Summer is (unofficially) here, and that means it’s time to make sure you’re outfitted with the necessities. Not only will you need a stylish swimsuit or two that makes you look and feel your best, you’ll want a couple of swim cover-ups to protect you from the sun and provide a little modesty, whether you’re lounging next to the pool or running back to the house to stock up on snacks.
The problem with many swim cover-ups these days though, is that they seem to cover less and less — which can make us feel self-conscious, especially when we’re already in our bathing suits. So we’ve rounded up some of our favorite modest-yet-stylish options, in a variety of designs and price points, to suit every taste and budget. Whether you prefer something flowing and feminine, or a classic tunic, we’ve got cover-up for you.
Keep scrolling to shop our picks for the best swim cover-ups!
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Where to buy: $69, Nordstrom
This knit cover-up feels like a warm hug, yet it’s breathable enough to wear to the beach or pool. The loose fit skims your figure, smoothing over any problem areas. It also comes with a hood to protect you during those random mid-afternoon rain showers, and when it gets cool at night.
One buyer wrote, “Really cute, flattering, versatile cover-up. I sized up for the benefit of more flow and roominess, but I think the piece is generally made true to size. The material is soft and lightweight. I wondered if the stripes would make me look wider, but they don’t because the piece is cut in cute slouchy way. I think it’d be flattering on just about anyone. Highly recommend.”
Where to buy: $120, Vitamin A
Tiny metallic silver stripes are shot through the white linen fabric of this loose-fitting, lightweight shirtdress, making it sparkle in the sun. An easy-tie belt and mother-of-pearl buttons dress it up, and generous pockets make it practical. Perfect to pull over a swimsuit, it’s also dressy enough to wear to a nice brunch or fancy picnic on the beach! Pairs equally well with flip-flops, bare feet, or your favorite summer sandals.
Writes one happy buyer, “I have a very small build so was a little worried this shirtdress would be too baggy and unflattering — I was wrong. Once you tie the belt, it’s perfect. Tasteful enough to eat at a resort restaurant, but not too heavy material to be too hot. The metallic threading is a nice detail.”
Where to buy: $68, Nordstrom
A maxi dress is an easy, breezy option for beachwear, and this billowy frock from Elan features spaghetti straps and a deep V-back to balance out the flowy bottom half. Depending on how loose of a fit you prefer, shoppers recommend sizing down. The subtle black micro stripes pattern adds an interesting element to this otherwise basic maxi dress, but our favorite part is the pockets on both sides — the perfect place to store any essentials that won’t fit in your beach bag.
One reviewer wrote, “Love this! It’s flowy and a lounge-around kind of outfit. Good for hot summer evenings entertaining.”
Where to buy: $16.99, Amazon
You can’t go wrong with this cute, casual cover-up. It’s one size fits all, which takes the guesswork out. And given the glowing reviews, hundreds of women have found it worked for them, too. Buyers rave that the material doesn’t wrinkle, which means you can toss it in your bag without a second thought.
One customer wrote, “Nice fabric. Good length. Tassels were a cute touch! Fabric drapes nicely, and the length was just right. It is sheer enough to see the color of the bathing suit, didn’t stick to the wet suit, and dried out quickly. It didn’t wrinkle during packing or while stuffed in the beach bag during the day.”
Where to buy: $59.95, Nordstrom
This fluttery, floral cover-up features a hibiscus bloom print that gives it a boho vibe we love. It has three-quarter length sleeves, slits up the sides, and an open front, making it easy to slip on and off. Made of 100 percent rayon, it’s a hand-wash, dry-flat item, which means you can rinse it out in the ocean and dry it over the back of your beach chair!
Raves one reviewer, “I love this kimono! Colors are more vibrant and beautiful in person. Very comfy and lightweight.”
Where to buy: From $20.99, Amazon
This casual beach dress has pockets and comes in a whopping 18 different solids and prints! From florals to leopard print to classic black, you’re sure to find one that you love. Stretchy fabric and a relaxed fit make it ideal for lounging and flattering for all types of figures. Hundreds of five-star Amazon reviews can’t steer you wrong!
One woman wrote, “I absolutely love this dress! The pockets are such a nice addition. I got the white color, [which] is a little see-through, but the black is not. They’re great bathing suit cover-ups or just a basic, casual dress. I love how flowy it is and it’s not too short. It’s even comfortable to wear as pajamas. Honestly, I would live in this if it was socially acceptable.”