What’s your beach style? Do you anoint yourself with tanning oil of a daringly low SPF, lie out and slow roast in the sun? Do you stake the sand with an umbrella, unfold a lounge chair and dive into the latest Elena Ferrante novel? Are you one of those superhuman beings who somehow, despite 90-degree heat and the threat of incidental exfoliation, enjoy seaside sports? Or would you rather float otter-like among the waves?
Whatever your relaxation style, we know what your literal beach style entails: a swimsuit (most likely a one-piece, based on current trends) and some form of comfortable, loosely hanging beach cover-up. There are certain criteria said cover-up should meet. It shouldn’t be too dainty since it’ll inevitably find itself tossed aside at the first sight of water. It should be reasonably priced (same logic). Ideally, it should be sleek and chic enough that, should your sandy bottom choose to sit for a casual cocktail or dinner, you won’t be violating dress code.
Which is why we’re throwing our support behind cover-ups that don’t look like cover-ups. Think loose dresses, skirts that could also work in the office, see-through tops you’d normally layer over tank tops and summer staples like flirty shirtdresses. They get the job done and make for a noticeably more polished beach look.
Upgrade your beachwear game by checking out the 21 swimsuit cover-up alternatives in the slideshow above. You’ll also find tips on how to style them by the water and on the street.