Summer is in full swing, and that means it’s time to hit the beach! While swimwear is the star of the show, beach cover-ups play a vital role in creating a complete, stylish look. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, strolling along the shore, or grabbing a bite at a beachside café, the right cover-up can enhance your swimwear and boost your confidence. In this guide, we’ll explore various types of cover-ups and offer tips on how to style them with your swimwear for the perfect beach ensemble.

Understanding Beach Cover-Ups

Before diving into styling tips, it’s important to understand the different types of beach cover-ups available. Each type offers a unique aesthetic and level of coverage, allowing you to choose one that complements your personal style and needs.

1. Sarongs

Sarongs are versatile pieces of fabric that can be tied in numerous ways to create skirts, dresses, or even tops. They are lightweight, easy to pack, and come in a variety of colours and patterns.

2. Kaftans

Kaftans are loose, flowing garments that provide excellent coverage while remaining breathable and comfortable. They often feature intricate designs, embroidery, or beadwork, making them a fashionable choice.

3. Tunics

Tunics are longer tops that typically fall mid-thigh. They can be sheer or opaque, and often come with embellishments or patterns. Tunics are perfect for those looking for a casual yet chic look.

4. Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses are long, flowing dresses that can be worn over swimwear. They are elegant and provide full coverage, making them ideal for transitioning from the beach to a more formal setting.

5. Rompers and Jumpsuits

Rompers and jumpsuits are one-piece outfits that combine a top and shorts (rompers) or pants (jumpsuits). They are stylish and practical, offering a more structured look.

6. Kimonos

Kimonos are lightweight, open-front cover-ups that typically feature wide sleeves and vibrant patterns. They add a bohemian flair to any beach outfit.

Styling Tips for Beach Cover-Ups

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into how to style these cover-ups with your swimwear. The key is to create a balanced look that highlights your swimwear while adding an extra layer of style and functionality.

Sarongs: The Ultimate Versatile Piece

Match Your Sarong to Your Swimwear

To create a cohesive look, choose a sarong that complements the colour or pattern of your swimwear. For example, if you’re wearing a solid-coloured bikini, opt for a patterned sarong that incorporates that colour.

Experiment with Tying Techniques

One of the best things about sarongs is their versatility. Experiment with different tying techniques to create various looks. Tie it around your waist for a skirt, drape it over one shoulder for a dress, or fold it into a halter top.

Accessorise Wisely

Enhance your sarong look with the right accessories. A wide-brimmed hat, oversized sunglasses, and a straw tote can elevate your beach style. Don’t forget a pair of comfortable sandals to complete the outfit.

Kaftans: Effortless Elegance

Choose the Right Length

Kaftans come in various lengths, from mini to maxi. Select a length that suits your body type and comfort level. Short kaftans are great for showing off your legs, while long ones provide more coverage and a touch of sophistication.

Play with Patterns

Kaftans often feature bold patterns and vibrant colours. Don’t be afraid to embrace these designs. Pair a patterned kaftan with a solid-coloured swimsuit for a balanced look. If your swimwear is patterned, opt for a simpler kaftan.

Cinch at the Waist

To add shape to your kaftan, cinch it at the waist with a belt. This not only enhances your silhouette but also adds a stylish touch. Choose a belt that complements your swimwear and kaftan.

Tunics: Casual and Chic

Go Sheer

Sheer tunics are perfect for showing off your swimwear while still providing coverage. Pair a sheer tunic with a brightly coloured bikini or one-piece to create a striking contrast.

Add Statement Jewellery

Elevate your tunic look with statement jewellery. Long necklaces, chunky bracelets, and large hoop earrings can add a touch of glamour to your beach outfit.

Opt for Embellishments

Tunics with embellishments like embroidery, sequins, or beads can add an extra layer of style. These details can make your beach outfit look more polished and put-together.

Maxi Dresses: Beach to Dinner Ready

Choose Light Fabrics

Maxi dresses in light, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen are ideal for the beach. They keep you cool and comfortable while providing full coverage.

Embrace Prints

Printed maxi dresses are perfect for making a statement. Floral, tropical, or geometric prints can add a fun and vibrant touch to your beach look. Pair them with solid-coloured swimwear for a cohesive outfit.

Layer with Jewelry

Don’t be afraid to accessorise your maxi dress with layered jewellery. Long necklaces, bangles, and anklets can enhance your overall look. Just be mindful of the beach environment and choose pieces that can withstand sand and water.

Rompers and Jumpsuits: Stylish and Practical

Opt for Bold Colours

Rompers and jumpsuits in bold colours can make you stand out on the beach. Pair a brightly coloured romper with a neutral swimsuit to create a balanced look.

Choose the Right Fit

Fit is crucial when it comes to rompers and jumpsuits. Make sure your cover-up is comfortable and not too tight. A loose fit will keep you cool and comfortable while still looking stylish.

Pair with Simple Accessories

Since rompers and jumpsuits are statement pieces on their own, keep your accessories simple. A pair of sunglasses, a hat, and some sandals are all you need to complete the look.

Kimonos: Boho Chic

Play with Patterns

Kimonos are known for their vibrant patterns and prints. Pair a patterned kimono with a solid-coloured swimsuit for a balanced look. Alternatively, mix and match patterns for a bold and eclectic style.

Belt It Up

To add shape to your kimono, cinch it at the waist with a belt. This can create a more defined silhouette and add a touch of sophistication to your beach outfit.

Layer with Jewelry

Layering jewellery can enhance the bohemian vibe of a kimono. Long necklaces, beaded bracelets, and hoop earrings can add an extra layer of style to your look.

Practical Tips for Choosing and Wearing Beach Cover-Ups

In addition to styling tips, here are some practical considerations to keep in mind when choosing and wearing beach cover-ups:

  1. Comfort is Key

Choose cover-ups made from lightweight, breathable fabrics that will keep you cool and comfortable. Natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and bamboo are excellent choices.

  1. Consider the Occasion

Think about where you’ll be wearing your cover-up. For a casual beach day, a sarong or tunic may be perfect. If you plan to go to a beachside restaurant, a maxi dress or kaftan might be more appropriate.

  1. Pack Smart

When packing for a beach trip, choose cover-ups that are easy to fold and don’t wrinkle easily. This will save space in your suitcase and ensure you look fresh and put-together.

  1. Mix and Match

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your cover-ups with different swimwear. Experimenting with different combinations can help you discover new looks and make the most of your beach wardrobe.

  1. Protect Your Skin

While cover-ups provide some protection from the sun, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed areas. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and reapply it regularly, especially after swimming.

  1. Personalise Your Look

Finally, make your beach outfit your own by adding personal touches. Whether it’s a favourite piece of jewellery, a unique hat, or a special pair of sandals, these details can make your beach style truly unique.

Styling swimwear with beach cover-ups is all about balancing functionality with fashion. With the right combination of pieces, you can create a look that’s not only stylish but also practical and comfortable. Whether you prefer the versatility of sarongs, the elegance of kaftans, the casual chic of tunics, the elegance of maxi dresses, the practicality of rompers and jumpsuits, or the boho flair of kimonos, there’s a cover-up to suit every taste and occasion.

Remember, the key to great beach style is confidence. Wear what makes you feel good, and you’re sure to look amazing. So, go ahead and experiment with different styles, colours, and patterns to find your perfect beach look. Happy styling!


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