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When summer’s on its way, it’s easy to stock up on swimsuits and little else. Because swimsuits are fun. Swimsuits are cute. Swimsuits instantly transport us to a world of shining sun and high temperatures—a reality that hasn’t been ours for far too long. The only issue? Rarely does one go to the beach, or pool, or lake in a swimsuit and only a swimsuit—nay, we adorn ourselves with swim cover-ups and other swim-centric clothing. Which is exactly why it’s important to work a little swim cover-up shopping into your swimsuit shopping.
I’d be lying if I suggested I was the right one to cast stones on this one. I have failed to stock up on swim cover-ups in what can only be described as a chronic fashion. I relied exclusively on one Forever 21 dress for far too long; having a go-to can make getting dressed a whole lot easier, but depending on how often you’re wearing it, it can also make things hella monotonous. (I could tell things had taken a turn for the worse when I no longer wanted to pose for beachside Instagrams because I was so thoroughly bored of my tried-and-true cover-up. A frivolous litmus test, to be sure—but this is 2019 we’re talking about.)
The good news here is that swim cover-up shopping can be just as fun and transportive as swimsuit shopping—if you’ll let it. Because the reality of swim cover-ups is that they’re as cute, vibrant and exciting as bathing suits—and the selection is pretty damn varied, too. Give our swim cover-up picks a perusal, and you’ll quickly notice you’re replacing your favorite bikini with your new favorite swim cover-up in all your imagined, idyllic Instagrams-to-be.
This summer’s swim cover-ups are fodder for attention, outfit inspiration and so much more. So instead of buying a 30th one-piece, consider snagging a caftan, or romper, or crochet naked dress, instead,
1. Roeqiya Garden Princess Caftan, $138 at Anthropologie
Elegant enough to sport to a beachside restaurant without thinking twice.
2. Brooke Cover-Up Dress, $140 at Anthropologie
Low-key enough to throw over whatever you’re already wearing—cute enough to put a smile on your face as you do.
3. Melissa Odabash Eloise Cover-Up Robe, $334 at Anthropologie
Sure to play as well with your favorite bikini as it will with your go-to tee-and-jeans combo.
4. Tiare Hawaii Amazonia Dress, $113 at Revolve
So elegantly sexy you might consider wearing it on your next date night, too.
5. Astrid Gauze Oversized Button-Front Top, $59 at Urban Outfitters
A classic for a reason.
6. Mara Hoffman Fiona Dress, $375 at Anthropologie
Turn heads without sacrificing comfort—or practicality.
7. We’re Chiffon It Tie-Dye Cover-Up Kimono, $25 at Nasty Gal
It was only a matter of time before our collective obsession with tie-dye made its way to beachwear, too.
8. All Caught Up Maxi Hoodie, $108 at Free People
Because 2019’s crochet trend lends itself oh-so naturally to the swim cover-up realm.
9. Joaan Cover-Up Caftan, $140 at Anthropologie
For the shopper who doesn’t actually want their cover-up to cover up their swimsuit.
10. Mara Hoffman Rosario Striped Dress, $325 at Anthropologie
So stunning you could probably repurpose it for wedding season—just saying.
11. Woven Fringe Ruana, $44 at Urban Outfitters
Low-key, and able to be repurposed in every summer context.
12. Sun Seeking Lace Swim Cover-Up Maxi Skirt, $44 at Lulus
Not sure if this’ll get you past “no shoes, no shirt, no service”—but it’s definitely cute enough to warrant a try.
13. Maternity Tie-Dye Jersey Beach Cover-Up, $29 at ASOS
Keep it casual, retro and on-trend all at once.
14. Give ‘Em Shade Maxi Cover-Up Kimono, $35 at Nasty Gal
The kind of thing you’ll want to throw on every morning on your next vacation.
15. Victory Cover-Up Maxi Dress, $180 at Anthropologie
Definitely nice enough to get you anywhere you need to go after the beach.
16. Seaside Retreat Cover-Up Maxi Dress, $42 at Lulus
A poolside take on the slip dress.
17. Colorblock Sarong Swim Cover-Up, $14.90 at Forever 21
Sarongs are an absolute look.
18. Lioness Despacito Metallic Open Knit Maxi Dress, $89 at Urban Outfitters
A naked dress fit for the beach and the bar, alike.
19. Frill Tile Print Top, $29 at ASOS
Oh yeah, matching set cover-ups are definitely a thing.
20. Tularosa Rae Reversible Robe, $218 at Revolve
Sweet enough to toss over your favorite swimsuit—or your favorite dress, or your favorite jeans, or your favorite anything.
21. South Beach Exclusive Leopard Print Jumpsuit, $48 at ASOS
The chicest way to dip your toes in the sand this summer.
22. Pink Stripe Wide-Leg Two-Piece, $40 at ASOS
Definite fodder for your next summer ‘gram.
23. Meribina Cover-Up Dress, $150 at Anthropologie
Simultaneously low-key and statement-making—yes, please.
24. Lovewave Reeves Crop, $138 at Revolve
Cute in and out of its matching set. (But let’s be real—we’d definitely shop this one in its matching set.)
25. Abstract Shapes Caftan, $350 at Anthropologie
A caftan sure to complement—not compete with—your go-to swimmy.
26. LPA Crochet High-Waist Culotte, $178 at Revolve
Culottes are a veritably underrated way to do the crochet trend.
27. Charlie Oversized Button-Down Shirt, $54 at Urban Outfitters
OK, this one’s at the top of my list.
28. Gauzy Long Cover-Up, $44 at Urban Outfitters
Lightweight enough to keep you going on summer’s most humid days.
29. Long-Sleeve Chiffon Maxi Beach Kimono, $45 at ASOS
A little edgy, a little glamorous—all kinds of versatile.
30. Jai Vasicek Anika Cover-Up Kimono, $138 at Anthropologie
A cover-up that simply wants to render you a walking work of art. (Let it!!)
31. Embellished Beach Short Two-Piece, $32 at ASOS
Coordinate your cover-up with your swimsuit top—because you can.
32. Apricot Button-Front Midaxi Dress, $52 at Topshop
A dress you could definitely rewear elsewhere.
33. PrettyLittleThing Stripe Wide-Leg Pants, $34 at ASOS
The beach equivalent of a power suit.
34. Channel Ombre Beach Cover-Up, $45 at ASOS
Silky, and tie-dye, and colorful—oh my.
35. Mara Hoffman Luna Maxi Dress, $375 at Anthropologie
Leave it to Mara Hoffman to create what can only be described as the cutest swim cover-up I’ve ever seen.
36. Lovewave Reeves Dress, $188 at Revolve
In case you prefer your orange stripes in dress form.
37. Fishnet Beach Maxi Kimono, $25 at Nasty Gal
A no-fail piece you can throw over anything.
38. Seafolly Sunflower Maxi Beach Dress, $177 at ASOS
A classic sure to put a smile on your face every time you throw it on.
39. House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve Alhambra Crop, $148 at Revolve
Would definitely repurpose this crochet crop for a night out.
40. Carolina K Helen Cover-Up Kimono, $368 at Anthropologie
As vibrant and delightful as you are.
41. Beach Riot x Revolve Suki Skirt, $121 at Revolve
Be the wild thang you wish to see in the world.
42. Juliet Dunn Botanical Puff Mini Top, $97 at Revolve
Throw a pair of mom jeans in your beach bag, and this top could take you anywhere.
43. House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve Opal Kimono, $178 at Revolve
All kinds of chic.
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