It’s that time of year. In hand, a nice cold (Insert: Margarita, Beer, Rosé, Seltzer) while you sit with your toes in the water at your favorite spot. It also means bathing suit season. Some of us love it, some of us dread it. I’m in the middle. Regardless of which side you’re on, your cover up of choice can make you feel more comfortable or more fabulous – and if it’s done well – BOTH.
Whether you are a one piece gal, bikini enthusiast or somewhere in between, it’s rare that you’ll just show up where you’re going in full swim garb. You know, there’s that whole “no shoes, no shirt, no service” thing to think about. Naturally, you need to plan your wardrobe out before leaving the house. I am not the type to do an oversized tee and call it a day. Nope, not me, I like to make things 100 times more complicated than they need to be. There’s nothing wrong with that oversized tee one bit, my clothing attention deficit just gets in the way.
Think of it like a magnetic pull. The closer I get to the door to leave, it’s like my closet literally reaches down and grabs me and is like… “you sure, bro?” “NO, I’M NOT SURE OMG I’LL CHANGE AGAIN”. Ok, maybe it’s a magnetic force, maybe it’s the full length mirror by my door. Either way, it never works out.
No matter the occasion, I’ve put together three ways to style a swimsuit cover up that are comfortable, hot weather-friendly and photo ready.
Sometimes you go somewhere and swimming is not the focus, but the prospect is there. I get it. You want to be prepared, but you don’t want your bits popping out or your clothing flowing in the way of your cornhole toss (the worst). I personally prefer my clothing flowy during a game of cornhole so I have something to blame my bad throws on. If you are reasonably good, you’ll want to avoid this.
The goal with this look is to be fully clothed, but weather appropriate. I started with a white linen top (this one is from NY&Company). You can see my suit top through it, but I think it works! Bralettes are in style right now also, so even if you didn’t want to wear your suit, you could rock this. I cuffed and ruched the sleeves and kept the last three buttons undone so I could tie it up. If you’re not cool with midriff, that’s okay – just tuck it in.
I have no idea why it’s acceptable for women to wear “jorts” aka jean shorts and why men are mocked. I don’t make the rules, I just occasionally live by them. And have you seen mens’ jorts? Then again, the visual reminds me why it’s unacceptable. Well, ladies, let’s take this advantage and run with it. Literally, because denim cutoff shorts are practical as heck. Pockets? Mobility? 100% yes please. This pair (from H&M last year) is a higher waist and isn’t super tight around the leg which is what I look for.
The distressed style makes it look more lived-in and casual which I think is perfect for this style. I don’t love a perfect denim short. I have some in my closet, but as far as being “in”, I’m not feeling it right now. Sorry about it.
Instead of sandals, which I almost always wear from May 1 – Sept 1, I went with classic Adidas Superstar sneakers. The are slim, simple and never go out of style. Worth an investment in everyone’s wardrobe regardless of age.
The piece de resistance of this look is my white fanny pack. Worn as a crossbody bag and not as a traditional waist bag, it keeps my hands free and keeps the look active overall.
White Linen Top: Macy’s $29.99
Denim Shorts: H&M $19.99, Target $15, Old Navy $20
Adidas Superstars: $59 at Dick’s
Fanny Pack: $34 at Dick’s
Chic and Sexy
This is the easiest look by a long shot. One big long piece of fabric, i.e. “sarong” tied around the waist and “I’m ready!”. I got this one specifically during my eighth grade class trip (circa 2002) to Boston at a street vendor in Quincy Market. I stopped back there two summer ago and she was still there, so check her out if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
Sarongs come in all shapes, styles, patterns and opacities. If you have one ride or die swimsuit you wear all the time, buy one specifically for that. If not, go with one that you can have versatility with as far as color and “vibe”. I.e. you wouldn’t get a paisley print and then wear it over a tribal suit. No way, you would not. Think more abstract for your patterns and stick with neutrals or something with a variety of colors represented. This one I’ve worn with: yellow, hot pink, white, black, green, maroon, etc. You get the idea.
I paired this with faux-leather, flat brown sandals so I could balance the bright tones with something natural which felt more glam than another color into the mix.
As you know from my bio, I refer to myself as a “debatable hoarder”. You don’t get away with keeping things 16+ years if you don’t buy with versatility in mind. Just saying. #justified.
Sarong: Walmart $20.89, LEOPARD from Banana Republic $40
Neutral Sandals: EXACT PAIR Old Navy $19.99
Last summer I was coming off a crazy busy spring at work, add in the stress of wedding planning and I was not feeling like my best. I went out to Nordstrom Rack and bought some new one piece suits and some modest cover-ups. I was NOT looking forward to being in public when the weather turned.
This bikini cover up literally gave me my sanity back. First, if I wrap it completely, it looks like a dress! So I belted it to cinch at the waist (for most of us, that’s our narrowest spot in our body). Second, even worn open provides a tremendous amount of coverage of the heiny, thighs and arms. I felt so feminine and beachy without having to sacrifice style or confidence in this.
If you want to pair something like this with shorts, you could even tie the front ends together to make a slouchy top. (I show you how in this weeks video breakdown here:
Because I felt like I was ready for a resort vacation in the Caribbean in this with its bright colors and floral pattern, I wanted to keep the joy of the palette going with some blue sandals (Lauren Conrad for Kohls) and a tan woven fedora (2B by Bebe/old as sin). Just wearing this kimono cover up takes me back to steel drums, Bob Marley music and frozen Pina Coladas.
Kimono Cover Up: Walmart $16.09, Forever 21 $22.99, Nordstrom Rack $22.48
Blue Sandals: Lulus $21, Walmart $24.49
Fedora: Gap $27, Kohls $10.24
Featured in every look this week is my yellow bikini from Wish. If you haven’t heard of Wish, it’s a hit or miss shopping app. It usually takes at minimum two weeks for you items to arrive and you must rely HEAVILY on customer reviews and photos before you order, but if you “hit”, you “hit”. I think this suit was somewhere between$2-$6, so all-in with shipping, $10. I won’t link to this one because I don’t want to be responsible for what you receive, but it’s worth a browse.
The shades are my new obsession. I have pretty bad eyesight and dry eye so I’m on daily contacts. Because of this, I am stingy with days that I want to put my contacts in. However, I burn through them in the summer because I want to wear sunglasses. I found these on Zenni Optical and ordered them in my prescription so I can save my dailies. All in all, I bought four pairs of regular glasses and these for a grand total of $62 and change. You can get these with plain lenses also! Linked below.
Sunglasses: Zenni Optical $15.95 (add $5 for sunglasses!)
I get it, you don’t want to think in the summer. It’s hot and there’s too much fun waiting for you to be inside putting together an outfit. Hoping these three looks give you some inspiration to get you out the door faster and fashionably.