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They are not just something that looks pretty. We would definitely put them in the sun protection category, too, since even the CDC recommends clothing as a line of defense against the sun’s UV rays. If that’s primarily why you are buying one, then look for pieces that are made from lightweight and tightly woven fabrics.
A beach coverup also comes in very handy when you need a break from sunbathing or you want to grab a quick bite for lunch. Slipping into a breezy caftan or a jumpsuit without having to use one of your regular dresses is the most logical thing to do.
Or, if you are the creative type, you can opt for a large pareo and teach yourself a few cool ways to tie it so you end up with a new outfit every time you hit the beach.
One thing is certain: whether you choose a dress, skirt, or scarf, our picks will make you the chicest sunbather this summer.
Melissa Odabash Lillie Embroidered Cotton Dress
Melissa Odabash does resort and beachwear best and this beautiful semi-sheer dress proves it. The cobalt blue embroidery is absolutely stunning. A place like Santorini would be the perfect destination to wear this coverup.
To buy: $372, mytheresa.com
Acacia Swimwear 2019 Sumbawa Cotton Silk Dress in Hibiscus
Bring the aloha spirit with you thanks to this gorgeous cotton dress, which features a vibrant hibiscus print (Hawaii’s state flower). The designer, Naomi Newirth, grew up in Maui and her 2019 collection was partly inspired by the island’s gorgeous beaches.
To buy: $174, societybikini.com
Marie France Van Damme Printed Silk-Chiffon Kimono
Slip into this stylish and breezy ankle-length kimono for a sophisticated pool-side look.
To buy: $980, net-a-porter.com
Missoni Mare Rainbow Stripe Jumpsuit
Wide flared legs and Missoni’s signature striped pattern make this semi-sheer jumpsuit a comfortable and stylish option to wear on and off the beach.
To buy: $980, intermixonline.com
Camilla Blouson Sleeve Floral-Printed Playsuit
Whether you wear this boldly-printed silk playsuit on or off the shoulder, one thing is sure—you’re going to be racking up compliments this summer.
To buy: $600, intermixonline.com
La Vie Style House Floral-Embroidered Maxi Caftan
If this stunning caftan wasn’t as sheer, we’d probably wear it as a formal dress. It features bell sleeves and a banded collar, but, of course, it’s that vibrant embroidery that steals the show.
To buy: $650, barneys.com
Max Mara Viscose Crepe Dress
Max Mara has transformed the classic beach jersey dress into an elegant frock thanks to the one-shoulder silhouette and that hammered metal detail at the shoulder.
To buy: $280, maxmara.com
Lisa Marie Fernandez White Gauze Ruffle Peasant Skirt
Wear this peasant skirt over your one-piece swimsuit and you are ready to grab lunch by the ocean. The skirt reaches just above the ankles so if you have a cool pair of sandals of wedges you’d like to show off, this piece is perfect.
To buy: $675, lisamariefernandez.com
Dolce & Gabbana Floral-Print Cotton-Voile Pareo
This cotton pareo flaunts an allover floral print and is big enough to be worn as a skirt or a dress.
To buy: $375, net-a-porter.com
Norma Kamali Ernie Stretch-Jersey Pareo
The neon color of this large pareo will pop so beautifully against your sunkissed skin.
To buy: $195, net-a-porter.com
Coolibar Tangier Kaftan UPF 50+
This long-sleeved kaftan sports a loose fit and reaches just above the ankles for maximum coverage. The best thing about it though is that the lightweight fabric provides UV protection.
To buy: $125, coolibar.com