As much as we’d like to truly live in swimwear all summer long, a cover-up is often required for transitioning to and from the shore. Beach cover-ups are rather subjective in nature—practically any item of clothing can qualify. While in theory we are rocking our Pucci kaftans on the regular as if our lives mimicked a Slim Aarons photograph, the choice often leans more toward utility, favoring what’s on hand at the moment. Perhaps that’s an oversize button-down or playful sarong. Maybe you’re more traditional and opt for a gauzy dress or skirt. To help with a few recommendations, we’ve asked seven stylish friends of Coveteur to divulge the styles they often gravitate to, and the results are across the board. Side note: If you’re trying to think proactively about summer shopping, most of the pieces don’t have to be worn solely to the beach but can be reworked with other summer staples to create intriguing seasonal ensembles.

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“I don’t have one specific formula for a beach cover-up, but I do have a few favorites. I look for something that’s comfortable, a tinge sexy, and can translate into an actual outfit off the beach. These picks—two sarongs that can easily play as a skirt, and a Tombolo button-down that I like to wear unbuttoned—check all the boxes.”

“Last month I took the Nigerian brand Sisiano‘s Accordion Long-Sleeve Top for a spin during a trip to Jamaica. I don’t typically wear a top as a dress, but seeing as I was going to the beach and had a swimsuit underneath it, the top served as a really comfortable, flowy, and striking swimsuit cover-up. It also paired nicely with Jamaica’s tropical landscape and made for some amazing pictures. The fabric is really light and breathable, so I wasn’t hot at all. I love when my beach cover-up look can transition from a day at the beach to a night out on the town, and that’s just what the Galaxy Wrap Dress by South African brand W35T does. I’ve worn this to a club with a cute strappy heel, and during the same trip, paired it over a bikini and threw on a pair of flat sandals. The Clear Hybrid Dress by Nigerian brand Orange Culture is perfect for when I want a more luxurious and elevated cover-up look. I love the texture of the dress and how different the shape is. If I’m ever going to an upscale pool or beach event, this is the dress that I would grab to cover up a white or black one-piece or bikini look. I would pair the dress with a nice pair of thin, flat leather sandals or a tiny block heel.”

beach cover ups

Photo: Courtesy of CUUP

“With my black Balconette and High Waist, I prefer a summer shirting look with an oversize button-down. With my seaweed Plunge and Bikini, I prefer loose cotton shorts from either James Perse or Mollusk. With my earth Scoop and Tap, I prefer a linen set—I love the Na Nin Chloe short with the Marni tank. I also love throwing a vintage pullover on top.”

beach cover ups

Photo: Courtesy of Abena Boamah

“I really love swimsuits that come with cover-ups, like what Riot Swim does! They make the perfect cover-up skirt that fits your curves perfectly. I also love a cute robe—I have a beautiful Carolina K robe that I love to wear over my suits too, especially when at the beach.”

beach cover ups

Photo: Courtesy of House Of

“I love styling swim with ready-to-wear in colorful prints and textures. So often, I look at pieces and think it would be so cute over a swimsuit! Obviously pareos are the go-to cover-up, but when the beach isn’t the only destination on the agenda, it’s nice to have some versatility to be able to grab a bite afterwards or walk around. I love a short-sleeve button-down for its tropical surfer vibes. I usually wear them either open or tied at the waist. Knit bottoms give a bit more coverage while still being breezy enough for high temps. And of course, my go-to slip dress—this one has thicker straps, so it’s a bit sportier to work with different swimsuit straps and necklines.”

“I had a baby eight months ago, so my idea of a beach cover-up is something high-waisted that I can wear with my bikini top. These are simple transitional looks that I will often wear whether I’m running errands in the city or at the beach. I love the breathability and texture of cheesecloth fabric, especially at the beach. I have a bright yellow oversize vintage cheesecloth shirt that I throw on over everything. It’s so easy and versatile and works perfectly over a bikini and shorts. It’s no secret that I love crochet, knitwear, and anything made from netting. And finally, a slip dress is never not the answer, and I always find myself gravitating to the ease and simplicity of a bold colored slip.”

beach cover ups

Photo: Courtesy of Cara Cara

“Diving deep into escapism to design the new collection, we drew inspiration from dream itineraries to Hawaii, Belize, and the height of summer in the Hamptons. Naturally, we incorporated more than a few caftan options, as our girl loves to travel, but she also needs versatility and comfort—two things that make this silhouette a dream to wear. We are working moms and love a piece that easily packs into the weekender and can be casually thrown over a bathing suit for afternoons in the sun and then dressed up for evenings by adding statement jewels and heels. The Hobbs has an effortless and flattering fit and channels a Slim Aarons pool scene.”

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