Ever browsed the “swim cover-up” section of any women’s clothing site? It’s a litany of sheer leopard tunics and terry-cloth onesies built for an 18-year-old (in 2003?). So instead, you just throw on your ratted-out cut-offs, like always. But there’s just one problem with those… Read on for the best (and worst) things to wear to the beach, pool, yard sprinklers, whatever floats your summer boat.
WHAT YOU CAN WEAR AS A SWIM COVER-UP
1. A non-sheer caftan. It works best when it’s airy but opaque. You’ll feel far more comfortable this way—but still fabulous enough to imagine your Real Housewives tagline.
2. Any short, casual dress. Preferably a size larger than you normally wear. (It’s all about ventilation, y’all.) Here, you can shop your closet. Or keep it affordable by snagging a simple swing dress from somewhere like Old Navy.
3. Jogging shorts and a tank. We’re not talking your Soffes from senior-year cheerleading. But if you’re a runner (who’s also dress-averse), let your Nike sweat-wicking shorts do double duty.
4. Linen shorts and a cotton button-up. Just think: What Would Ina Garten Do? She’d wear something that dries quickly because there’s sangria to make, dammit.
5. A wide-leg jumpsuit. Calling all fashion girls. You’re already wearing ridiculous things like floppy hats and cat-eye glasses. Why not go full-on “extra” and round it out with a culotte onesie?
WHAT YOU SHOULD PROBABLY SKIP
1. Fitted dresses. If you think you’re tugging and fidgeting standing up, wait till you get in a lounge chair.
2. Jean shorts. We know: It’s a divisive one. But as cute and Coachella-y as you think you look, you’re still at risk of the “S” word (rhymes with “schwomp-ass”).
3. Anything that’s dry-clean only. Sand or chlorine. Sunscreen or strawberry daiquiris. Something’s bound to soak in. While we highly encourage an elevated pool look, we also feel like there’s plenty of pom-pom-bedazzling in a poly-cotton blend.