I can remember a time in my life when I had no time (and certainly had no dollars) for the cover-up – something so seemingly unimportant. Unimportant because: towels, right? (If you had a beach towel to overlap and roll at your waist and a pair of flip-flops, you were good, right?). And, now, well . . . the cover-up has really sky-rocketed up the chain of importance to me in the past decade (or so). Because, the only time I take it off is the time that I am actually in the pool or beach or lying on a lounge chair in a just-right angle to keep my stomach looking as flat as possible. Otherwise, I don’t so much as get up to go to the bathroom (whether it is 5 yards away or 50) without throwing this baby on.
And, here is what I want out of a cover up: (1) breezy (I can’t be suffocating in the hot sun); (2) easy to get on and off (there’s a lot of that action as I navigate the pool/beach/dining/bathroom sitch throughout the day); and (3) looks cool but not like I am trying too hard to have the most impressive cover-up at the pool — nothing precious. And, honestly, I can’t move forward without stating a personal preference against the growing fad of the sexy negligée-come-bathing suit cover-up. If I get a whiff of Kiki de Montparnasse see-through nightie, I just keep moving. . .
Also, one more word on the fash of the cover-up. To be current, you are going to want to grab something with a distinctly Mexican or Central/South American flare — that is where it’s at right now. Word. But, if you can’t do that, I’ve thrown in a several that are more traditional. And, really, perhaps the chicest thing I have seen on the beach is just a button down, with the sleeves rolled up, like Kate used to rock back in the day.
Let’s get started. A fun option that is the rage right now is a Oaxaca by C.J. Laing, like this one or this split-sleeve Oaxaca top which I would wear with a pair of white denim cut-offs, like these from J.Crew. (There are some way fab colors available from C.J.Laing that are currently out of stock – I will keep checking on that for us and let you know when some of my favorites are back in stock.). For a similar but less expensive option, try this one from Roberta Roller Rabbit.
I have posted this beach poncho by Tory Burch before and, because it is so good looking and easy-going, I just did it again. Find this one at C.J. Laing, a more colorful and less expensive (but just as good looking) alternative.
You would be surprised how many amazing options there are in the “under $100” range. Like this beauty or this one from H&M, this one by Seafolly and this one and this one from J.Crew. Target has a couple of great options like this stripe kaftan, which is a pretty good knock-off of the classic Lemlem one (see below) and this tunic, which is a pretty good knock off of the classic Roberta Roller Rabbit kurta.
Honestly, tho, LOFT really dominates this “under $100” category if you ask me. I am crazy for this white midi kaftan, this tasseled kaftan, this lacy off-the-shoulder dress, and especially this sunburst stripe kaftan.
If you are looking to seriously up your game, consider this LemLem striped gauze sundress (over maybe your Eres Cassiopee bandeau suit), this Mara Hoffman voile kaftan, or this Éoile Isabel Marant cotton-gauze mini.
Over at Shopbop, there’s a ton going on, but I am crushing on this cover-up dress by Tulum (in Bloom color way), this Melissa Obadash Fleur cover-up (roll the sleeves up high and only button the 4 or 5 middle buttons) or this Fruley one (which smacks of Kate Moss). I am also loving this mini dress by Free People, this off-the-shoulder beauty by Tularose, and, of course, this classic gauze henley by Lemlem.
Good luck! But, get in there, girl. . . this week and next is the mad dash to the cover-up — the pickings get slim after spring break and don’t improve until this time next year.