Do you remember how, back in the day, it used to be cool to wear an Abercrombie tank paired with some cheeky Hollister denim
underwear shorts on top of your bikini to the beach?? Clearly nothing said “style” like that infamous moose logo—like, watch out Rachel Zoe! Well, as you probably realized while trying to shove those post-college thighs back into those miniscule shorts, things have changed. That cover-up outfit is no longer acceptable and, last I heard, Abercrombie was in the shitter. Regardless, you’re (hopefully) a civilized member of society now, and that means that even your beach cover-ups should reflect that.
That being said, I’m not going to sit here and suggest running to your local Marshalls and buying a dress from their blatantly labeled “swim section.” (If that’s all I was here to do, this article would be hella short. Lol.) Instead of throwing away your money on some garbage tie-dye cover-up dress, invest in a quality piece of everyday clothing that can also function as a cover-up. Not only is it more budget-friendly, but you’ll also look wayyyy more fashionable than everybody else. I know, I’m the best, right?
These are the summer wardrobe essentials that are worth purchasing, or are already in your closet, that dually function as beach cover-ups.
1. Button-Down Shirts
These are my go-to, ride-or-die, loyal af cover-up option. You can legit wear it to work on Friday and then to the beach on Saturday. I mean, how much more versatile can you get? Not only do button-downs look chic as hell, but they also give you a sexy cool-girl vibe, and we all know your crazy ass needs all the help she can get with that one. Wearing a button-down shirt as a cover-up is very “Hamptons meets walk-of-shame glam.” A little Fifty Shades of Grey vibe, if you will.
Free People Nordic Day solid top
2. Flowy Pants
“Flowy pants” means that the pants are, in fact, flowy. I needed to emphasize this so all you basic hoes don’t go confusing “flowy pants” with those tight patterned flare pants as seen on every girl at a frat party. Contrary to those, your flowy pants should be made of a lightweight material, and they should also coordinate seamlessly with your swimsuit. When done correctly, a flowy beach pant looks boho-chic and effortlessly cool. Be sure to look for a pair that aren’t see-through or too revealing, so that way you can also wear them as regular pants any other day of the week.
Billabong Happy Dance Stripe wide leg pants
Is it no longer PC to even refer to them as “kimonos”? Lmk. Seems like it shouldn’t be…but, whatevs, for now that’s what I’m sticking with. Your ideal beach kimono should, like your flowy pants, be lightweight and casual. You should look for one in a neutral color or print so it pairs with multiple different swimsuits in your closet. Your kimono and swimsuit should seamlessly complement each other—like the Kim to your Kanye, the Kylie to your Travis, the Khloé to your Tris…errrrrr. Fuck you, Tristan Thompson. Fuck you.
4. Casual Romper
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can pretty much wear any of your casual daytime rompers as a cover-up to the beach, as long as it is lightweight enough. The romper that you choose to wear over your swimsuit should have a relatively summery vibe to it aka it should not be one you would even consider wearing to “da club.”
Bella Dahl Ruffle Sleeve romper
Shorts that are overalls, known as “shortalls,” look supes cool as a cover-up while also truly doing the job of covering up. Well, at least enough for happy hour, which is all you really need them for anyway. Pick a pair of denim or white shortalls to guarantee that they’ll match all of your swimsuits. Important note: I feel like this should go without saying, but they need to be SHORTS overalls. If you are dumb enough to wear regular pant overalls to the beach, then just be aware that you will legit look like a lost farmer.
Free People Summer Babe high-low overall
If you’re money conscious, buying something that can be worn for multiple different occasions probably brings you a newfound comfort when shopping. You’re welcome. If you’re not, then I apologize in advance for giving you justification for buying another romper because, ya know, it’s multi-functional and all. Shopaholics beware.
Images: @yasinhosgor / Unsplash; Free People (2); South Moon Under (2); Revolve
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I deal with stressful things in life like most rational people: procrastinate incessantly by doing other equally important things (shopping, thoroughly organizing my closet, eating takeout…etc.) and delaying until the last possible second. Then I wonder why my anxiety level is constantly that of Britney Spears’ 2007 meltdown. For example, this often happens with packing. Like, running a mile sounds better than packing for anything ever, even a vacation that I know will be fun. It is literally so annoying to plan out your outfits because no matter how hard you try not to, you end up packing enough clothes to last you 6 years, even when you’re only staying 3 days. Whether it’s for a tropical vacation or just spending the day at the beach, I know overpacking is almost as bad of a habit as binge drinking. To (slightly) condense your beach suitcase bag, here are cover-ups that you can easily throw over your swimsuit and also run to the closest happy hour in. Because time is money when two-for-one specials are involved.
I’ll only accept the fact that you don’t own a kimono by now if you were like, homeschooled or something. If you have yet to buy one, find a bright, fun-printed style like Camilla Open Front Cardi Carpe. If you’re feeling extra bold, keep your bikini top on or opt for a lacy bralette underneath, and pair with denim shorts or jeans.
2. Off-The-Shoulder Dress
Why wear pants to the beach (or at all, honestly) if you can just wear a dress? Wear a comfortable, loose-fitted one like Lush Stripe Off The Shoulder Dress, so that way, you can slip off your swimsuit when you’re ready to leave. If tan lines make you feel better about yourself, find a strapless dress so everyone can compliment your dramatic transformation.
Rompers are my go-to because nobody has the time to search for both a shirt and a pair of pants. Whether you laid outside or on a tanning bed recently, you can show off all your hard work by wearing white like this Topshop Jersey Wrap Cover Romper so that it’s bound to highlight your (faux) tan on a rooftop. I’d say don’t forget to pack a strapless bra, but it’s 2017 so no one really gives a shit whether you wear one or not anymore.
Even though it’s basically like wearing a sexualized child’s onesie, bodysuits are the easiest and most convenient thing to make a hot AF outfit ASAP. Find one like the Chase Me Down Plunging Bodysuit that comes with a strappy design and attached choker. Pair with dark jeans and your fave pumps—just don’t fucking forget that you need to unclasp before you break the seal.
5. Matching Set
It’s about time fashion companies came to the realization that we need everything already done for us because like, life is hard and I shouldn’t have to stress over whether my outfit matches too. It just leads to frustration aka settling on wearing all black. Get a matching set from Fashion Nova (a company celebs also buy from). This ivory La La Land Set can be worn together (fucking duh) or you can mix and match the items with other pieces in your closet. It’s cute and you’re getting two for the price of one so, get ready to buy multiples.