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17 Best Bathing Suit Cover-Ups for Every Summer Style

Stylish bathing suit cover-ups are the cherry on top of the perfect swim look—and they shouldn’t be an afterthought.

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collage of swimsuit Cover Ups for the summervia, via, via

It’s only a complete look with a cover-up

While most of us are focused on finding the best swimsuits, flip-flops, and sunglasses, our beach and pool looks just aren’t complete without bathing suit cover-ups for protection, comfort, and style. “Swimsuit cover-ups truly make your poolside or beach outfit, and I always try to make sure that whatever I’m wearing over my suit somewhat matches and is suitable for every type of activity,” says Brittney Levine, a style and trend expert for major retailers like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. “You want to make sure you opt for one that’s stylish and flattering, yet comfortable and easygoing.”

There are options for every size, budget, and style, ranging from easy-to-pack sarongs to swim cover-ups with sun protection that just need the perfect matching sun hats to make a serious statement. Most of the selections on this list are incredibly affordable finds you can scoop from Amazon or Walmart, leaving you with plenty of spare cash for high-quality face sunscreen, luxurious beach towels, and super comfy beach chairs.

Maaji Coverupvia

Maaji Pareo

Whether you’re staying close to home this summer or hitting a far-off beach, you’ll get a ton of use out of this pareo from Maaji. It’s an incredibly versatile bathing suit cover-up—and a true summer wardrobe staple. “When dressing for the beach, swim cover-ups with lighter fabrics and colors are always a great option for staying cool under the sun,” explains Levine. “This multi-wear cover-up is a great choice since it offers flexibility in the style and can be worn as a halter dress or as a sarong.” All you’ll need is a creative mind to imagine and reimagine all the ways you can wear it—and the perfect pair of sandals, of course.

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Kaktus Plus Crochet Mesh Cover-Upvia

Kaktus Plus Crochet Mesh Cover-Up

This affordable find is one of Levine’s favorites for curvy body types, with made-in-the-USA construction that’s stylish and affordable at well under $20. “By creating a cinched waistline, you can allow your figure to be further accentuated, while leaving the tie undone will create a more subtle hourglass shape,” she explains. “This crochet cover-up is an on-trend swim cover-up option that looks great on so many body types.” It also comes in a handful of shade options—including a classic navy and a bright, cheerful hot pink—to suit everyone’s taste.

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White House Black Market Maxi Dressvia

White House Black Market Maxi Dress

The best bathing suit cover-ups for casual social events or lounging around the yard are maxi dresses, according to Levine. “A lightweight maxi or off-the-shoulder cover-up is ideal for a barbecue with friends or just lounging out on the deck with cocktails,” she says, adding that if the outdoor event is less casual, you can dress up the look with accessories. Choosing on-trend prints like palm fronds, tie-dye, or animal-inspired patterns will also elevate your look.

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Yincro Chiffon Beach Dressvia

Yincro Chiffon Beach Dress

This affordable frock is one of the best beach cover-ups for women on a budget and for those who want to add variety to their ensembles, thanks to more than a dozen available colors and patterns. With a vast array of sizing options ranging from XS to 4X, it’s also a great choice for women of every size and shape who want to coordinate their outfits with on-trend tassels and fringe. More than 6,800 Amazon reviewers who gave this cover-up five stars apparently agree!

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Cupshe Backless Cover Up With Tasselsvia

Cupshe Backless Cover-Up with Tassels

This one-size-fits-most swim cover is best for long days by the beach, easy coordination with nearly any suit (thanks to universally appealing sheer white fabric), and a shake-and-stash design that repels clingy sand. The fun, backless design offers a forever-young approach to summer styling and beach cover-ups, and the halter-style V-neck tie allows for easy adjusting that women of all ages will love. It’s a Walmart hidden gem you’ll be thrilled that you found.

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Seraphine Ivory Maternity Kaftanvia

Seraphine Ivory Maternity Kaftan

This ivory-hued piece is an ethereal, cool dream for a hot summer day by the pool—and the best bathing suit cover-up for pregnant and nursing moms, thanks to plenty of belly space and a button-down style. Made from soft, sheer viscose and featuring lace trim, the Seraphine kaftan has an elasticized empire waist and an open keyhole back. When you’re done with pregnancy and nursing, you can easily turn this timeless dress into a short beach frock or summer tunic. Repurposing summery maternity wear is one of the fashion rules you can break without guilt.

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Coolibar UPF 50+ Seacoast Swim Covervia

Coolibar UPF 50+ Seacoast Swim Cover

This beach tunic is sure to put a smile on your face, between the plethora of bright colors and patterns it comes in and the serious sun protection it offers. It boasts UPF 50+ and long sleeves, and its soft, lightweight, quick-drying fabric make it super practical, too. The pull-on style makes it easy to grab and go, and side vents and a drawcord make it both cool and flattering, even on the hottest summer days. You’ll want this one for long days on a boat, eating at beachside cafés, and milling about the pool. For more sun protection, invest in one of the best beach umbrellas that won’t blow over.

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Fadalo Plus Size Beach Cover Dressvia

Fadalo Plus-Size Beach Cover Dress

This wonder dress for curvy body types is amazing for a variety of reasons. For starers, it’s incredibly flattering, similar to these plus-size bathing suits. Also, while some swim cover-ups are tricky to figure out or require advanced knot-tying skills, this friendly frock creates a dramatic cross-over effect with the only required skill being getting arms into holes. Nice, right? It appears far more expensive than it is (it’s probably less than the cost of a beach chair rental at a popular seaside resort), comes in dozens of colors and prints, and offers an eye-catching backless design. Reviewers say it’s “beautifully made” and that they “get compliments all the time on how nice it is.”

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Twoyek Beach Cardiganvia

TwoYek Beach Cardigan

This open-front, cardigan-style accessory is just as great draped over a bathing suit and cut-off shorts as it is over a tailored black shirt and slim pants for a business casual ensemble. It’s a one-size-fits-most piece that comes in variety of colors, prints, and tassel designs, and it offers endless versatility, thanks to easy-drying, wrinkle-resistant polyester. That makes it one of the top vacation essentials you can buy—and pack. Wear it to the beach or pool, and then pop it over a dress or evening outfit without skipping a beat.

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Bsubseach Kaftanvia

Bsubseach Kaftan

Oh, the places you’ll go in this exciting, lightweight kaftan! It looks far more expensive than it actually is, neatly folds or rolls into suitcases and carry-ons, and only acts like one of the most stylish bathing suit cover-ups when you want it to. Translation: It’s a gorgeous summer dress when you’re not putting it to work by the pool, grill, or beach, and it’s easily dressed up a bit with a waist-cinching belt, wide-brimmed hat, and straw tote. It comes in nearly 40 colors and prints, and fits sizes small through large, ensuring there’s something for almost everyone.

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Époque Évolution The One Wrap Dressvia

Époque Évolution The One Wrap Dress

Adding a versatile wardrobe piece that can take you just about anywhere is one of the fashion secrets stylists won’t tell you for free—but we certainly will! This Époque Évolution wrap-style dress does just that. With a single wrap, you can wear it as a wrap skirt with a hidden pocket, a dress, sarong, and more. The fabric offers UPF 50 protection and is wrinkle-resistant, machine washable, and quick to dry. You can wear the wrap tied in the front or to the side, and it’s a gorgeous little black dress to wear to slightly more formal barbecues, dinners out, and beach parties.

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Cupshe Floral Print Buttoned Blousevia

Cupshe Floral Print Buttoned Blouse

If you’re looking for a feminine yet sensible swimsuit cover that’s easy to wear and care for, you’ve found it. This sheer, breezy Cupshe button-down offers subtle florals in a neutral color palette, flattering vertical stripes, and a loose fit that keeps you cool and dry. It also doubles as a summery loose-fit shirt that can be tucked into denim, a summery skirt, or other pieces in a pinch.

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Dia & Co Italia Kimonovia

Dia & Co Italia Kimono

Choose from an always-stylish red-check or ocean-inspired turquoise pattern, and then continue wearing this adorable cover-up all summer long with just about everything you own. It’s a magnificently gauzy, lightweight beach cover by day and an elegant kimono by night. It offers airy coverage, whimsical trim, and a smile-inducing vibe you’ll love. Pro tip: Wear it belted over a slim black midi-dress for a dinner out or an outdoor summer wedding.

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Ailunsnika Loose Kaftanvia

Ailunsnika Loose Kaftan

This loose-fitting kaftan from Ailunsnika makes a bold statement with its sheer chiffon, flattering V-neck, and flowy material. It’s great for heading to summer parties, daily wear by the beach or pool, or even layered over the best leggings for women to nail a sophisticated evening look. As one reviewer notes, “I wore it with a wedge heel, then switched to cute flip-flops. It can be dressed up or dressed down! I love it!” Others rave that it never wrinkles and that its “cute and flowy” style garners “tons of compliments.” Even better? It comes in dozens of bright, eye-catching colors and has generous sizing that allows curvy women and plus sizes to take advantage of this affordable find.

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Trina Turk Beach Pantsvia

Trina Turk Beach Pants

Who said that cover-ups had to be dress-like? These Trina Turk beach pants come in sizes XXS through XL and offer an innovative leg opening that makes them look like the summery lovechild of wide-leg pants and a maxi skirt. They’re made of 100 percent viscose for easy, breezy wearing, and you’ll love the pull-on closure and timeless summer prints. It’s an ideal alternative for those who simply prefer pants.

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Mordenmiss Linen Tunic Dressvia

Mordenmiss Linen Tunic Dress

This cooling, lightweight linen frock is great for modest types in search of natural materials that never go out of style. It comes in a variety of style options ranging from 100 percent linen to linen and cotton blends, all offering breathability and easy machine-washing, and can be worn to the beach, pool, family picnic, or anywhere else. It covers a good portion of the chest and collarbone area, as well as shoulders and upper arms, making it a great choice for those who prefer to be a bit more demure in their summer styling. You can easily extend the wear of this piece by pairing it with denim or leggings as the weather turns crisper, too.

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Michael Stars Amelee Linen Caftanvia

Michael Stars Amelee Linen Caftan

Nothing says summer like nautical blue and white stripes, and when paired with red sandals or a necklace, this Michael Stars linen beach cover-up is the 4th of July look you’ll love for years to come. It’s made of machine-washable, 100 percent linen that boasts an adjustable tie waistband, a V-neck collar, and short sleeves that offer just the right amount of shoulder and arm protection on sunny beach days. So, where should you wear all of these bathing suit cover-ups? Try the best beach near you.

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Next, check out the best bathing suits for women over 50.

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  • Brittney Levine, a style and trend expert for major retailers like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx

Bryce Gruber
Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.