An Ode to the Chic Bathing Suit Cover-Up

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The quest for the perfect bathing suit cover-up often seems fruitless. There is always a vast disconnect between aspiration and reality. Our thoughts often drift to the mental image of a film star donning a luxe caftan, sunning herself by the pool of a large estate in Monaco. However, most days our cover-up typically consists of an oversized t-shirt casually thrown over a bikini. Where is the middle ground?

There’s a certain air of sophistication that comes from wearing a traditional swimsuit cover-up. It seems like a mature thing to have certain clothing (aside from your bathing suit) specifically dedicated to beachwear. However, the only thing that defines a cover-up is the act of covering up. This entails complete creative freedom in your choice and means there is technically no wrong answer. In my own case, I often gravitate towards a white linen button-down or just a pair of denim shorts, but this is my personal vow to experiment more.

 

 

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There are almost too many options in this category: dresses, sarongs, shorts, pants, even jumpsuits. You only want to steer clear of anything tight or restricting. Use your preferred style of swimwear as a guide to help narrow your options. Simple one-pieces may only require a sarong or pair of shorts with a shorter hemline. If you are wearing a two-piece with less coverage, I would opt for a longer skirt or even a dress. Transparency is always a great option—think mesh or even eyelet lace—and kimonos or button-down shirts pair with just about anything. Whether it’s a sweeping floor-length caftan or mini sarong, we’ve rounded up our favorite cover-ups, in every sense of the word, to pack for your next tropical vacation.

 

 

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Shop Our Favorites:

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Caravana

+ Net Sustain Open-back Leather-trimmed Cotton-gauze Jumpsuit$405

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Johanna Ortiz

Territorio Sagrado Guacas Printed Cotton-voile Pareo$250 $175

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Cloe Cassandro

+ Net Sustain Lea Organic Cotton-gauze Midi Dress$385 $231

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Diarrablu

Adama Dress$195

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Su Paris

Luma Fringed Striped Cotton-voile Kaftan$390

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Lemlem

Lola Long Caftan$330

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Uniqlo

Premium Linen Long-sleeve Shirt$30

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Figue

Tie-dyed Silk Pareo$295 $177

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Solid & Striped

Cabana Shirt$98

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Zara

Pinstripe Shirt$50

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Onia

Renee Multi Stripe Dress$250

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Charo Ruiz

Saza Crocheted Lace-trimmed Broderie Anglaise Cotton-blend Shorts$291

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Jaline

Nieves Fringed Tasseled Cotton-gauze Pareo$195 $98

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Matteau

Open-back Gathered Cotton-poplin Maxi Dress$540 $270

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Caroline Constas

Paillette-embellished Crochet-knit Mini Dress$495 $297

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Mara Hoffman

Shelsea Pants$325

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Hannah Artwear

Ischia Belted Printed Linen Mini Dress$209 $146

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Gabriel for Sach

Pareo Fringed Cotton-terry Sarong$108

Top photo: Getty

 

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An Ode to the Chic Bathing Suit Cover-Up