The 30 Best Swimsuit Cover-Ups for Every Occasion

There's one for every occasion.

A guest attends the Etam Cruise 2022 Collection at Domaine de Murtoli on May 12, 2022 in Corsica,France.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We’re officially in the dog days of summer, meaning it’s hot as hell for the vast majority of us. With temps near-scorching, our weekends are still very much filled with beach days, pool parties, and backyard BBQs, which give us plenty of opportunities to bust out our warm-weather wardrobes. While you can't go wrong with a summer dress for any event, a great bikini is probably top of mind if water is anywhere near your agenda. Sure, swimwear is the obvious wardrobe staple when it comes to summer, but let me remind you of another fashion must-have for the season: a swimsuit cover-up. 

The best swim cover-ups instantly elevate your beachwear look, whether you're heading on vacation to Spain or just to your community pool. Plus, plenty of options can double as chic daytime wear, meaning they're one of the most versatile fashion items in your closet. For summer, we'd argue that a cover-up is just as crucial to your look as the swimsuit underneath it. 

Ahead, we've rounded up our favorite cover-up dresses, button-downs, matching sets, and more from across the market. Rest assured each one of these pieces is breezy, versatile, and will take you from the water to your next location in style. And because a cover-up can mean something different to everyone, we've arranged this list by category so you can find exactly what you're looking for.


You really can't go wrong with a cover-up dress. They're easy to pop over your swimsuit, whether you're rocking a bikini or a one-piece, plus they're incredibly easy to style. Just throw on your favorite sandals and some waterproof jewelry and you're beach-ready in a flash. Opt for crochet and open-knit styles to give a sly peek at your swimsuit, or go with something gauzy, linen, or cotton to stay cool. With the sheer trend still going strong, these dresses can also work off the beach with coordinating underwear or you can even free the nipple if you're feeling daring. 


I'm willing to bet you have a button-down in your closet. Their incredible versatility means they're a wardrobe staple no matter the season. But as a bathing suit cover-up, might I suggest choosing lighter fabrics and more of an oversized fit? Semi-sheer fabrics along with naturally-breathable materials like cotton and linen are the ideal pick for days at the pool. As for the fit, a more oversized style will feel more comfortable and give you more coverage if you decide to go sans pants. 

Sarongs and Pareos

Sarongs and pareos are the quintessential beachwear piece. Period. In case you're not familiar, sarongs and pareos are large, single pieces of fabric that can be worn as a skirt or dress. While they look similar in appearance, pareos are typically longer than a sarong and they originate from Tahiti whereas sarongs are traditionally worn in Southeast Asia, however, in Western fashion, the terms are often used interchangeably. When it comes to cover-ups, sarongs and pareos are easy to throw on with a few knots, plus take little to no room in a suitcase. 

Matching Sets

There's something about a matching set, particularly a pair of pull-on shorts and a short-sleeve button-up, that is effortlessly cool. You can go with a set that matches your bikini, as seen in the printed Show Me Your Mumu option, below, or a solid color to go with anything you wear underneath it. The best part of a matching set, though, is the near-endless styling options! Wear the top open, tied, or buttoned all the way up and mix and match the pieces to your hearts content. 


If the thought of wearing pants to the pool or beach throws you for a loop, take a look at the options below. I promise you won't feel sweltering hot with these pants. From crochet and mesh picks to ultra-flowy wide-legged pairs, these pants were made to wear in warm weather. In my opinion, you don't need anything other than your bikini top with pants like these—they pull all of the heavy lifting of your beach look. 

Brooke Knappenberger
Associate Commerce Editor

Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she specializes in crafting shopping stories—from sales content to buying guides that span every vertical on the site. She also oversees holiday coverage with an emphasis on gifting guides as well as Power Pick, our monthly column on the items that power the lives of MC’s editors. She also tackled shopping content as Marie Claire's Editorial Fellow prior to her role as Associate Commerce Editor.

She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.