On the beach, you should feel free to bare some skin. The warm sand and the cool water (and the promise of a line-free tan) will get you out in the sun and relaxed in no time. When the sun is shining and the waves are crashing, you should feel comfortable in your own skin.
However, if you are planning on going anywhere before or after your time on the beach, you do need to consider covering up; even those shops and restaurants near the seashore typically require shirts and shoes before service. To that end, here are five comfortable cover-ups that are as cute and cozy as your swimsuit.
Traditionally, a caftan, or kaftan, is a long, belted tunic, commonly worn by men in the Near East. However, after being adopted by American hippies in the ‘60s, the caftan has long been a standby of Western beach culture.
The primary benefit of the caftan is its lightness, which prevents you from feeling hot or getting sweaty during a warm summer beach day; the material is usually breathable, so you remain cool and comfortable. More conventional caftans come in beautiful patterns with fringe or lacing, but these days you can find solid colors in simple cuts ― or whatever style complements your swim suit. In fact, some designers almost devote their entire summer collections to caftans.
Perhaps more form-fitting than caftans, dresses should still easily slip on and off if they are to be beach-appropriate. Therefore, if you would prefer a dress cover-up, you might consider finding one with some of the following qualities:
- Loose ― perhaps not as flowy as a caftan, but perhaps slightly more concealing
- Mesh ― or crochet let your skin dry and breathe while providing some cover
- Shirt ― button-up dresses are incredibly in right now, but you might also coverup with any oversized top
If you match your dress with some stylish, beach-proof shoes and a floppy hat, you could have an outfit suitable for any other outings planned for the day ― including a fancy seafood dinner.
If you have never tried stuffing your salty, sandy, soggy skin into jeans, you never want to. Tight pants ― or any tight clothing, for that matter ― are absolutely unbearable on beach days, but loose, lightweight trousers are incredibly comfortable and also incredibly chic.
Your pants can have any cut, from hip-hugging harem pants to high-waist, straight-leg slacks, as long as they are made from a soft, light material like linen or cotton.
Like caftans, beach-appropriate pants tend to come in eye-catching patterns or colors, but you should be able to find a palette that matches your suit. Speaking of, you can avoid carrying along a matching shirt if you choose a swimsuit that covers most of your top-half, like a plus size tankini, for curvier women.
Nothing quite says “relaxing beach getaway” like a sarong. Just covering enough to keep you decent and modest and just revealing enough to keep you flirty and fun, sarongs are the perfect beach accessory ― as long as you aren’t straying too far from the sand.
You can buy a sarong at most places you buy swimsuits, so finding one that fits your style shouldn’t be hard; instead, you can spend the rest of your time practicing tying the sheer swath of fabric in the following ways:
- Short skirt: Fold the material diagonally and wrap around your waist with the flat edge up. Gather the two corners and tie them in a large knot at your hip.
- Long skirt: Hold the material horizontally and wrap it around your waist and butt so there is an opening at your front. Gather the top two corners and tie them in a large knot at your hip.
- Halter dress: Hold the material horizontally and wrap around your back so there is an opening at your front. Gather the top two corners and twist them around each other twice, and then tie them in a knot behind your neck.
Finally, a jumpsuit provides optimal coverage while offering stylish and unique beach fashion. As with beach pants, your jumpsuit should be lightweight and flowy ― potentially even baggy to avoid sticking uncomfortably to your damp, gritty skin.
Overalls are another option; though they might cover less, they tend to be easier to clean than more delicate fabrics.