10 Swimsuit Cover-Ups You Probably Already Have Hanging in Your Closet

Beach outfits that cost exactly zero dollars — what's not to love?

Woman wearing a sheer print dress

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Some folks love a swimsuit and cover-up set. If you’re among those happy, coordinated few, we salute your dedication to poolside cohesion. If, however, you only remember you need a coverup when you're already shivering at the beach (and aren't enthused about spending money on clothes you'll only wear in very specific vacation settings), we've got great news for you. It's likely you already have plenty of wardrobe staples in your closet that can double as a swim cover-up. Bonus: They'll stay true to your personal style and cost you exactly zero dollars.

This year, it's easier than ever to wear wardrobe pieces from fashion's most-loved trends as cover-ups. Not only are celebrities walking red carpets and running errands in sheer clothing that would fit right in a tropical paradise setting, but guests at fashion weeks worldwide are incorporating wide-open knit separates into everyday attire.

From fishnet adjacent two-piece sets to embellished tank tops, there's bound to be a multi-purpose — and trendy! — wardrobe piece here that you'll want to pack for your next beach vacation. And, on the off-chance you don't have a single one of these items in your closet, rest assured that if you buy one, you'll get plenty of wear out of it, on or off the beach.

An Embellished Tunic

A woman wears an embellished top, a wardrobe piece that can be worn as a cover-uup

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Embellished nearly-naked tops are more or less the sheer clothing trend's cooler, older sister. This sheer-adjacent style shares a similar fashion DNA, but amps things up with sparkle and sophistication. When rocking an embellished tunic as a swimsuit coverup, keep an eye on length. Yes, an embellished tunic will be more or less see-through, but silhouette still matters. We recommend looking for a hemline that sits mid-thigh.

Shop Similar: Anthropologie Clear Beaded Tank, $198

A Short Silk Robe

A woman wears a short silk robe, wearing a wardrobe piece that could be a swim cover-up

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A short robe or dressing gown adds a level of romance to a beachy ensemble while still exuding casual vibes. Opt for a robe with a bright print that matches one or more of your swimsuits for maximum vacay wardrobe cohesion.

Shop Similar: In Bloom Aaliyah Floral Satin Short Robe, $62

An Embroidered Mini Dress

A woman wears an embroidered micro mini dress, a wardrobe piece that could be a swim coverup

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Whether you favor eyelet, embroidery, or crochet, a mini dress in a fabric that lets a little light in is a natural fit for a beach cover-up. While no rule says bodycon can't come to the beach, we recommend picking a dress with a bit of twirl so you won't feel restricted.

Shop Similar: For Love & Lemons Weston Mini Dress, $250

A Statement Poncho

A woman wears a statement poncho, a wardrobe piece that could be a swim coverup

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Yes, we said statement poncho, and we said it with our whole chests. Sheer has invaded outerwear for Spring, and we expect to see it carry through to summer, making a shimmery statement poncho the perfect beach cover-up.

Shop Similar: Free People Festival Raincoat, $128

An Oversized Button Down

A woman wears an oversized button-down shirt, a wardrobe piece that could be a swim coverup

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A staple in almost everyone's wardrobe, an oversized button-down tossed over a bikini says, "I summered in Nantucket as a child. Now, hoist the mainsail!" And while pulling on an oversized button-down won't magically imbue you with a lifetime of nautical knowledge, you'll definitely look right at home on a yacht or sailboat.

Shop Similar: Addison Bay Assembly Button Down, $128

A Maxi Shirt Dress

A woman wears an ombre maxi dress, a wardrobe piece that could be a swim coverup

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Subvert the conventional "spaghetti strap maxi as beach cover-up" by opting for a dress with a bit more structure. A shirt-style maxi with sheer layers and a collar is a refreshing take on a classic look with all the benefits of the beach cover-up standard.

Shop Similar: STAUD Millie Organza Glittered Cotton Maxi Shirt Dress, $425

A Pleated Skort

A woman wears a pleated skort, a wardrobe piece that could be a swim cover-up

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If you're inclined towards preppy and sporty styles, pack yourself a pleated skort and consider yourself covered, beach cover-up-wise.

Shop Similar: Alo Yoga Grand Slam Tennis Skirt, $78

An Open-Knit Set

A woman wears a knit set, a wardrobe piece that could be a swim cover-up

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If you're looking for a cover-up that'll take you from the beach to a night out on the town, an open-knit set is the way to go. The silhouette is sultry enough to make a statement, and the wider the knit, the more comfy and breathable you'll be.

Shop Similar: Lulus Knit the Beach Black Crochet Halter Two-Piece Midi Dress, $84

A Gauzy Dress

A woman wears a gauzy dress, a wardrobe piece that could be a swim coverup

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Fashion girlies, meet your new wardrobe staple, period. Finding the right things to wear under this year's hottest trend, a gauzy dress, can be a pain unless, of course, you're on vacation. Plus, you can really express your inner fashionista at the beach with this street-style trend. The more ruffles, tulle, or embellishments, the better.

Shop Similar: By Anthropologie Mini Tulle Layer, $130

A Knit Maxi Dress

A woman wears a knit maxi dress, a wardrobe piece that could be a swim coverup

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Embrace your inner vampy goddess in a wide-knit maxi dress. While this isn't exactly a new concept for swimsuit coverups, you can refresh the familiar silhouette by pairing it with a daring string micro-bikini or a dazzling body chain.

Shop Similar: Nasty Gal Crochet Wide Knit Tassel Sleeveless Maxi Beach Dress, $68

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