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27 Different Types of Beach Cover-Ups for Women

Looking for stylish beach covers to protect you from direct sunlight? You're in the right place! Explore different types of beach cover-ups for women here!

Woman in red shirt and a beach hat.

Getting sunburned is not fun, to which I can attest. I have suffered through my share of shoulders, legs, and back peeling, but have you ever burned the tips of your ears or the tops of your feet? Fortunately, these we can cover with hats, shoes, and layers of sun cream.

We can also wear beach cover-ups to protect our bodies. But, covering up does not have to mean no glamour, though, does it?

Choose from this list of a variety of beach cover-ups to achieve the look you want.

Wraps

Woman wearing a shirt while playing ukulele.

When you reach for a beach cover-up, a wrap is likely to be the first on your list. Wraps are light and quick to put on.

Sarongs

Woman wearing black sarong.

The ultimate beach cover-up has to be a sarong. These flowing garments are made of light pieces of fabric that can be draped around or tied around your body in a variety of ways. Tie the sarong around your waist as a skirt, or drape it over your shoulders as a shawl.

The way you use the sarong depends on where you will be and how quickly you need to cover up. A sarong tied twisted around your neck as a dress can be worn to the shops and makes the perfect beach party wear.

Kikoi

Woman spreading her beach kikoi.

Second to the sarong for variety and a typical beach feel is the kikoi. These traditional garments from Africa have quickly become a favorite for many beach goers. They are long pieces of cotton, quite loosely woven, usually with fringes along the narrow ends.

Wrap a kikoi around your waist to form a form of a wrap-around skirt. Fold it in half lengthwise to create a mini look.

Beach towel wraparound

Beach towel for cover.

When you are on the beach, a towel is an essential piece of equipment. You need it to lie on and to dry yourself. A beach towel wraparound gives you the best of both and forms a great beach cover-up.

This useful garment is something like a cross between a sleeveless kaftan and a toweling gown, which is absorbent and has a lot more flow.

Kaftans

Woman wearing beach kaftan.

A kaftan is an adaptation of the robe or tunic worn for centuries in Asia. The characteristic looseness and flow of the fabric make kaftans a perfect beach cover-up.

Full-length kaftan

Woman wearing floral kaftan.

A kaftan is the ultimate garment of flow that echoes the movement of the sea and wind on the beach. The loose design and the light fabric will protect you effectively from the sun, but still allow you to keep cool during those long days in the sun.

Batwing Kaftan

Model wearing a batwing kaftan.

Batwings give you the classic flow of a full-length kaftan, but with the fullness of the sleeves. The garment doesn’t have separate sleeves but drapes easily over the whole body.

Lace Kaftan

Woman wearing lace kaftan.

When it comes to leaving the beach for a quick visit to the shop or to get a compulsory ice cream, a lace kaftan is perfect. This garment covers what it needs to, and the lace gives you a greater sense of beauty. You will also keep perfectly cool.

Dresses

Woman on a beach wearing maxi dress.

A dress is an easy garment to put on and forms a great beach cover-up with little hassle. For a beach cover-up, a long dress is not usually the best option.

Midi dress

Woman on beach wearing midi dress.

When you know you are going to be on and around the beach, then a dress is a good option to choose for a beach cover-up. Choose a midi dress that covers most of your body from the sun, but which also leaves some leg exposed.

Shirt dress

Woman wearing a shirt dress.

Did you even imagine that a classic shirt dress could make the perfect beach cover-up? With the option of wearing it open and loose, or doing up the buttons to form a more complete coverage, this is a really great option to reach for.

Mini dress

Woman in a mini dress.

Wearing a mini dress as a cover-up is a great choice for the beach, giving some cover, but keeping cool.

Lace mini dress

Woman on a red background with lace mini dress.

Choose a lace mini dress as an informal cover-up for a beach party. It will both look good and keep you cool.

Slit mini-dress

A dress, even a mini-dress, doesn’t have to cover up all of your beach glamour. Choose one with a slit on one side and watch the eyes turn your way on the beach.

Flared mini-dress

Woman in a flare dress.

Why not choose a mini dress with some actual flare? These beach cover-ups don’t have to be straight and classic, but can be fuller and kick out around your legs.

Pants

Woman wearing beach pants.

Skirts and dresses may seem to be the easiest beach cover-ups to reach for, but don’t forget the practicality and usefulness of pants.

Shorts

Man walking wearing beach shorts.

The obvious choice for pants to wear on the beach must surely be shorts, even only if they are simply cool.

Board shorts

Man in board shorts preparing to surf.

Board shorts are one of the classic garments worn on the beach by just about anyone. They are usually made in a fabric that dries quickly, so you can even wear them in the water. In fact, if you choose to wear a pair of board shorts as a cover-up, you won’t need to take them off the whole day. There are many options of shorts that match the fabric of a bikini. This brings fashion to the beach in a completely different league.

Swim shorts

Man on a lounge wearing swimming shorts.

Why should men have all the fun in swim shorts? Why not take a step out of the ordinary and create a new look with a beach cover-up that is a pair of classic swim shorts? You may even begin a new trend. The beauty of swim shorts is that they cover more of your leg than board shorts, which means less sun. Wear them with flair and make a fashion statement at the same time as being safe.

Lycra swim shorts

Man lying on a lounge wearing lycra shorts.

Then, of course, there are lycra swim shorts. These are sleek and figure hugging and definitely designed for some water fun. In fact, why bother taking off this beach cover-up? The lycra dries quite quickly, so you will be able to keep them on quite happily during the day. They will also keep the sun off quite a lot of your legs.

High waist shorts

Woman wearing high waist shorts.

Covering up for the beach doesn’t have to be about practicality or even glamour, but it can simply make a fashion statement. It is also important for any beach cover-up to be able to be put on easily. Shorts are a really good option in this case. If you choose a pair of high-waisted shorts, you will have everything you need to cover up on the beach and will fit right in with the look of the day.

Long pants

Woman on a beach wearing long pants.

Shorts are not the only option for a pants cover-up. If longer pants are made of the correct fabric, they will be cool and make the best beach cover-up. They also offer the best sun protection you can choose from. A pair of loose pants made of light fabric like chiffon makes a perfect, flowing beach cover-up that looks great both on and off the beach.

Jumpsuits

Woman wearing beach jumpsuit on a purple background.

What happens if you want to combine a pair of pants with a top as a beach cover-up, but don’t want to have to fiddle around with putting on two garments? A jumpsuit covers this. Choose this single garment that will give you both options.

Low back jumpsuit

Woman watching sunset wearing low back jumpsuit.

A low back jumpsuit is quick and easy to put on. It will provide a loose cover of most of your body, keeping you safe from the sun, and is also very practical. The low back gives that ‘beach’ look to the garment.

Straight neck jumpsuit

Sometimes you want to cover as much of your body as possible from the elements, especially the sun, but keep the practicality of wearing pants as a beach cover-up. A jumpsuit with a straight neckline at the back and front definitely allows for this.

Romper

Women's romper beach outfit.

Just like a jumpsuit, a romper is both practical and cool. It is also an attractive garment, both on and off the beach. Pull on your romper when you want to go for an ice cream, or to cool down with a cold drink. It is also a great garment to wear to a beach barbeque on a balmy summer evening.

Shirts

Couple in white shirts enjoying the beach.

Who needs to wear shorts, pants, or even a skirt on the beach, right? Not when a shirt will do just as well. You can choose a shirt of any length, to make sure you get the look you want.

Oversize button-down shirt

Man on a boat wearing buttoned down shirt.

A button-down shirt may seem to be an ordinary, workday garment that is most often worn with jeans or even formal pants. There’s no reason you can’t bring it to the beach, though. In fact, an oversize button-down shirt makes just about the perfect beach cover-up.

Body swing beach shirt

Woman wearing swing beach shirt.

The beach is about sun, sand, and fun. Using a body swing shirt as a cover-up means you have the flow and practicality of an oversize shirt, but with just a little bit more flair and flow.

Lacy shirt cover-up

Woman wearing lace shirt.

Choosing lace as the fabric for a shirt cover-up seems to be counter-productive if you are going for protection from the sun and glamour. Well, the glamour is covered. You’d be surprised, though, just how much protection lace can give. And don’t forget that glamour.

Puff sleeve shirt

Girl wearing puff shirt.

Puff sleeves always introduce a classic note to a garment. Choose a flowing shirt in a pastel color, with puff sleeves. This will keep you cool on the beach and is an attractive garment to wear beyond the beach too.