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Top Beach Cover Ups

Cover Up at the Pool or Beach with These Great Options

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A great cover up for the beach or pool should do several things: a) give you more coverage so you can modestly go to and from your swimming area b) protect you from the sun when you've had enough and c) help you transition between activities (go to lunch wearing a swimsuit underneath a cover-up, etc.) Here are my favorite options.

1. Jean shorts

Cut-offs
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Is there anything more classic than cut-off denim shorts with a bikini? Choose from slouchy boyfriend styles if you like them a little baggier or adorable cutoffs. You can buy them ready-made in all sorts of colors this season or cut off your own jeans to wear. Add a ribbed tank top and flip-flops for a traditional cut-off look.
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2. Maxi Dress

Old Navy Maxi dress
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Want maximum coverage? Opt for the maxi dress. Choose from cute striped maxis or opt for a dramatic ethnic print. Maxis poolside look best with a casual vibe, so keep your shoes simple and flat (a great thong sandal, for example.) Skip heavy fabrics or excessive fabric: instead, look for skinny straps or even strapless styles for a breezy look.
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3. Sarongs

Sarong
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Want something more glamorous (and versatile) from your cover up? Try a sarong. This handy scarf can be worn multiple ways, from tied as a skirt to wrapped as a dress. Of course, you can also make the cover up do more than one job and tie it as a head scarf in the sun, or even lay on it at the beach: it really is the ultimate cover up.
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4. Romper

Old Navy romper
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If you want to cover up -- but not too much -- a romper is the perfect alternative. Just slip it on and go. Try a strapless style with a strapless swimsuit or opt for pretty prints or even denim. Stripes, florals and ethnic prints are all fun options for a coverup romper.
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5. Tunic

tunic tops
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Turn to longer tunic tops to cover up your top half with style. A traditional gauzy tunic is a natural to throw on over a swimsuit: just add a fabulous floppy hat, oversized sunnies and flip flops for a jetsetter look.
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6. Tiered Skirt

Tiered skirt
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Want coverage on the bottom but not necessarily the top? A tiered skirt -- ranging anywhere from mini to maxi -- fills the bill. These skirts, which usually have drawstring or elastic waists, are a pretty way to cover up your legs. White is the most versatile color, but you can also opt for brights like cobalt or yellow.
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7. Minidress

Mini
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A short little minidress is just enough coverage -- and dresses you up enough -- to take you to lunch or shopping while still wearing a swimsuit underneath. Look for breezy styles -- A-lines and shifts will be the easiest to wear -- and details that make it right for the beach (eyelet trim, lightweight fabrics and colors.)

8. Terry Cloth

terry cloth
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A coverup and a towel, all in one. Anything made from terry cloth works to soak up moisture so you can throw it on over a damp swimsuit. Look for cute smocked strapless dresses, rompers, even maxi dresses. The downside to terry is that it can be a little warm, so look for lightweight fabric and colors which make you feel cooler, like white.
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9. Sheer Dress

Sheer dress worn as a cover up
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If you've been looking at the sheer trend -- via see-through dresses and skirts -- and wondering how you can pull them off, know that worn as a cover-up sheers are perfect. You can get a bit of coverage -- especially with sheer prints -- but still let the swimwear show underneath.
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