10 Ways to Wear Beach Cover Ups in Real Life

Beach cover ups are a must for days on the waterfront, and they can be so much more than a caftan or sarong! From cotton trousers to silk dresses, you’ll find something here to fit your style and look effortless while you’re on vacation.

Collage of four beach cover ups

Do you have summer travel plans?  If you’re packing your bags this spring or summer, chances are there’s a beach involved!  Since there’s nothing that bogs down a trip more than over packing, keep it minimal in your suitcase and pack clothes that can do double duty. (You’ll thank yourself when you’re not shlepping an overweight bag through the airport or paying additional baggage fees!) Consider letting those beach cover ups do double duty and imagine them for more than just the sand.  There’s nothing more chic than a semi-sheer dress with a bikini top for dinner or wide-leg pants that can go just about anywhere with you throughout your day. Here are a few favorite ways that we like to wear beachwear for more than just an umbrella in the sand…

Model wearing a cover up dress on the beach

A simple silk dress easily goes from cover-up to lunch cocktails via Natasha Oakley

Model wearing a cover up over jean shorts

Finished at the beach? Tuck a flowy cover-up into a pair of denim cut offs and you’re ready for some midday sight seeing via Lindsay Marcella

Model in a summer dress

Pull your hair up, add a statement earring and a soft lip, and your mini beach dress is ready for it’s next act via Vogue

Model in a denim shirt cover up on the beach

A denim mini dress that’s fit for the sand and also goes with cropped denim when you’re ready to catch your next flight via The Effortless Chic

Pink and Green in Bermuda… add a cardigan and you’re ready for dinner! via Atlantic-Pacific

Model sitting in trouser cover up

Gauzy, cotton pants pair perfect with a bikini top for a day by the sea and a crisp, woven tank for an evening wandering cobblestone roads abroad via Free People

Model in a cover up shirt on the beach

This lace up tunic is the epitome of effortless chic whether paired with a bikini for day or chunky heels for night via Fashion Me Now

Model walking towards camera

Lose the jeans and tee and your favorite caftan makes quite the statement over a bathing suit on the sand via Elle

Model in a denim dress cover up

A denim off-the-shoulder dress for beachy days and not so beachy ones via Anthropologie

Model in a blue mini skirt cover up

Easy cotton separates fit for the sand and for laidback lunches on the shore via Collage Vintage

Model in a white dress

You can never go wrong with a little white dress for travel… unless you’re traveling with toddlers. This one via Teen Vogue is summer perfect!

Cotton Beach Cover Ups

Cotton is a great way to go when we are talking beach wear. Cotton lets your skin breath and it’s light and airy. It dries quickly if you venture into the sea with it and it folds up into your bag easily.

Bathing Suit Cover Ups

The key to a good beach cover up is to get something that is easily slipped on and off over your bathing suit – some would even say practical!  I love the effortless style of these looks, cool and casual wins it for me!

Be sure to check out these other beach related posts!

What To Wear // Beach Weekend

The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Packing for a Beach Holiday

20 of the Best One Piece Swimsuits Under $100

What do you wear to cover up at the beach? Which of these is your favorite style?  I love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment below!

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  3. These beach cover ups are so cute!

    xx Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    • Jen Pinkston


      Thanks, Jennifer! Counting down the days until we are actually back at the beach!

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