10 swimsuit cover-ups that can be worn away from the beach

10 swimsuit cover-ups that can be worn away from the beach

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 3 Comments

When I lived at the beach, I was the Queen of Swimsuit Cover-Ups. My wardrobe bulged with all manner of colourful, patterned, tasseled, sequinned, lightweight, throw-on delights.

I’ve lived in the city for almost four years now and swimsuit cover-ups are still very much a part of my wardrobe but my need for them is far less than it was. In summer, yes, I love “playing resorts” at home by the pool and we love a beach holiday or weekend away but apart from that I don’t have the same need I once had.

What I quickly realised was that the best kind of swimsuit cover-up for my life right now were pieces I can still quickly throw on over a swimsuit but also wear as part of my #everydaystyle wardrobe.

This double duty of any garment is a good thing for building a wardrobe that works FOR you. You know I’m a big believer in that.

To that end, I’ve found the best swimsuit cover-ups for my lifestyle are t-shirt or shift dresses. Both of these styles I can employ for beach duty but also wear casually at home or out and about.

For you it might be a kaftan style or a maxi dress? The key is finding a double-duty cover-up that works for your lifestyle and your personal style. Read on for my tips on how to find your perfect cover-up.

Tips for finding swimsuit cover-ups that can be worn away from the beach

{This is me in Croatia earlier this year – wet swimsuit and a fave sassind t-shirt dress as a cover-up}

Tips for finding swimsuit cover-ups that can be worn away from the beach

1. Look for easy-care, breathable fabrics. Whether you’re at home or on holiday, who can be bothered ironing a dress that is all about keeping cool. Lightweight kaftans, beach dresses or cover-ups in cotton, viscose or rayon are my friends.

2. Think about the length. If you’re legs are your best assets then go as short as you like. If you appreciate a bit of modesty, just on knee-length is most flattering. Maxi styles are very ok too.

3. Think about your personal style.  If you’re a classic-love-your-black kind of girl, no need to ditch that. If you’re a colour and pattern style queen then don’t let me stop you from kaftan-ing it up. If you swing both ways, then go for it.

4. Err on the side of caution when shopping for cover-ups on holidays at the beach. It’s so easy to be seduced by all the pretties when in the moment … sand between your toes, salt in your hair, cocktail in hand. Always look for styles that will double up for you in your natural habitat. Unless your natural habitat is the beach … then as you were.

5. Don’t be afraid of volume. The cover-up is all about loose and lovely but be cautious. If the fabric isn’t sheer and we can’t see your shape underneath in a swimsuit or slip, it may be too tent-like and it’s likely you’ll feel overwhelmed wearing it. Try sizing down to reduce the volume in the fabric. Also look for styles that come with a built-in or optional tie or defined waist.

6. Embrace all the styles. Or don’t. Swimsuit cover-ups will typically be tunic-style, dress-style, t-shirt dress style, kaftan-style or maxi-dress style. My beach wardrobe is across all of them but the ones I reach for the most are t-shirt dresses and kaftans.

7. Get double duty out of your swimsuit cover-up. If you buy a cover-up that works just as well with thongs and a hat as it does after-hours with wedges and a statement earring, then your holiday wardrobe just doubled. This dress-up/dress-down versatility is also key to your swimsuit cover-up working as a dress in your everyday life.

8. Get serious about sun safety. Not all swimsuit cover-ups will protect you from sunscreen as the fabric will not be UPF50+ rated. Most also don’t offer coverage in the neck and chest zone. I also have a lightweight scarf on hand and am sunscreen-ed before heading to the beach. There are also some great UPF20 and 50+ cover-ups on the market. Check out Bamboo Body.

10 swimsuit cover-ups that can be worn away from the beach

This is just a small selection of what’s available to buy right now in a number of different swimsuit cover-up styles that very much double as summer wardrobe pieces for your non-holiday life.

10 swimsuit cover-ups that can be worn away from the beach

1. bird keepers beach throw $69.95 | 2. bird keepers the swing dress $69.95 | 3. Kmart boho dress $25 | 4. Jeanswest dress $74.99 (on sale) | 5. Country Road t-shirt dress $119 | 6. Katies dress $34.97 (on sale) | 7. Solito maxi dress $159.95 @ birdsnest | 8. Threadz printed dress $109 @ birdsnest | 9. Bohemian Traders dress $129 | 10. City Chic dress $99.95

Other swimsuit cover-up stores to check out

Keep an eye out in coming weeks in your favourite chain stores for when they release the summer holiday collections. This is a great time to pick up swimsuit cover-ups.

Here are just a few independents that I love for cover-ups and summer dressing:



Blue Bungalow

Hunt + Kelly

Sequins and Sand


Basic Luxe Co

So tell me, what do you look for in a swimsuit cover-up? Which style would I most likely find in your wardrobe?

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Comments 3

  1. Hi Nikki
    Just purchased the KMart Boho dress this morning and a lovely big sun hat to wear as well. On my way for just over $30 altogether
    Barb xxx

  2. I try to find something with sleeves … for some reason my shoulders always get sunburnt!! No matter how much sunscreen I use. Sussan have also brought out a Resort Collection which has some nice pieces, guessing they will add more in the coming months.

  3. Great post Nikki I couldn’t agree more, my swimsuit coverups have to do double duty too as I live nowhere near the beach but I do “play Resorts” at home because we have a pool they have to be able to be worn as a dress as well.I love a comfy t shirt dress or a pretty boho kaftan Xx

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