Earlier this week I wrote about how to pack for a tropical vacation, followed by trending swimwear for 2021. Yet, quite frankly, what you wear over your swimsuit is equally, if not more important than your swimwear! So here we are. Cover-ups are an essential part of your vacation wardrobe. Often, it is the main garment that I wear while I’m on vacation throughout the majority of the day. It’s quick-drying, lightweight, fashionable, and also provides sun protection. They are great to just throw on after the pool or beach to go grab lunch or walk down to the shops. Therefore, it’s an essential piece to bring with you when going on a beach vacation. So, let’s discuss all the best swimsuit cover-ups and how to style them.
Tunics are probably the most common and practical out of all the styles of swimsuit cover-ups. They are generally knee-length or shorter with short sleeves and come in a variety of lightweight materials. The good thing about these styles is they are great to throw in a beach bag because they don’t wrinkle very easily. There are so many fun styles to choose from too. I would suggest a neutral in a fun texture like a woven or crochet. That way you can mix and match with your swimsuits. Pair with pool slides/sandals, Aviators, a fedora, and a casual canvas beach bag.
Caftans are a bit more extravagant as they are a long/maxi version of a cover-up. I think of caftans as being a bit more upscale than all the other cover-ups. Some of my favorite styles are high neck linen with your more neutral suits. Or, if you want to take it up a notch, try a colorful, bold, tribal print caftan and pair it with an animal print suit. Accessorize with gold jewelry, a floppy hat, oversized sunglasses, black leather sandals, and a black beach tote for a totally glam moment.
A button-down is an item most of us have in our closets, and honestly, I think they are also so chic as a swimsuit cover-up. My grandma, Baba, has always worn one, and she is the head fashionista, so that’s how you know it’s a style. Hers was always a crisp white Ralph Lauren with the logo or some version of a blue or black and white stripe. Therefore, those would be my recommendations too. The classics will always look chic and timeless. Pair with white or brown leather sandals, a baseball cap, Ray-Bans, and a straw shoulder beach bag.
I love a good sarong too. These, I tend to buy while I’m on vacation from a beach vendor or somewhere in town. I love all the selection of bright colors and unique prints which also gives me something to shop for while on vacation. So, find yourself a boldly patterned sarong that you can wear to brighten up that classic black swimsuit. You can wear sarongs in two different ways too – tied around your waist as a skirt or tied around your neck as a dress. Vibrant print sarongs would pair well with lace-up/strappy sandals, cat-eye-colored sunglasses, and a round straw leather cross-body bag.
I think flowy beach pants are going to be a hot item for spring/summer. I already purchased a leopard print pair that I can’t wait to wear as soon as we’re able to travel again. They are so cute styled over a one-piece or with a two-piece bathing suit top as the pants are high-waisted. So, it creates a cute little outfit. Otherwise, you could also wear these pants with a cute crop top or T-shirt and some fun gold accessories if you were going out to dinner on vacation too. Another option is some pants come in sets with matching tops which is also awesome. Pair your pants with either of the tops listed above, strappy sandals with fun details, a woven raffia tote, and tortoiseshell shades.
Sundresses and maxi dresses are both great feminine styles to wear over your swimsuit and they are very versatile too. They’re universally flattering on everyone and this is another item that most everyone has in their closet and could substitute it for a cover-up. Dresses will take you from the pool to the lobby bar in no time all while looking fabulous too. Pair your dresses with flip-flops, a backpack, round sunglasses.
Kimonos also make amazing swimsuit cover-ups because they are made out of lightweight, chiffon, satin, or silk material and come in many beautiful prints and styles. You can also find them in long or short versions depending on what you’re looking for. Kimonos are elegant and allow you to leave them tied or untied. So it’s like a long, stylish overcoat or robe. Choose one in a beautiful print that you can pair over a neutral bathing suit or vice versa. Wear a pair of flat thong brown sandals, jean shorts, beaded jewelry, gold-rimmed sunglasses, and a hobo cord slouchy bag. Or, it can be worn simply by itself over a swimsuit.
Even though we may not all be flocking to the nearest tropical beaches and five-star resorts quite yet, it’s never too early to start dreaming. I figure why not escape into a warmer state of mind and talk about what to pack on our next warm-weather vacation. The past few years, I have taken a warm-weather getaway around this time, and also with Spring Break coming up, it feels appropriate. Soon, when things start to open up again and it becomes safer to travel this guide will be more relevant. In the meantime, let’s begin the discussion of what to pack on your next warm-weather vacation. If nothing else, it will get you excited about future vacations and will give you something to look forward to this year!
Bathing suits are probably the most important item to bring with you to the beach, resort, a cruise, or whichever warm weather destination you choose. So, I would suggest bringing a variety of styles especially since they are small, light and don’t take up too much space in your luggage. Bring a couple of one-pieces, high-waisted bottoms in neutral colors and fun colored tops that way you can mix and match.
Cover-ups and bathing suits go hand-in-hand when laying out by the pool or beach. Cover-ups come in many forms, so I like to bring a variety of styles. I love a short white or black tunic style that goes with everything that I can just throw on to go. Or, I love a long colorful kaftan usually in a fun print to go over a neutral bathing suit. Another option is a lightweight sarong which you can tie around your waist or neck and wear as a dress. These cover-ups are all great options to wear over your bathing suits to go out to lunch or take a walk on the beach.
DRESSES & ROMPERS
I always throw in a couple of dressier outfits for dinners out on the town or even if you plan on doing a dressier lunch out one day. Pack a couple of options like an off-the-shoulder sundress or two, a long linen spaghetti strap maxi dress, and some stylish rompers. You can always dress them up with sandals and fun accessories of your choice.
FLOWY PANTS & CROP TOPS
Flowy lightweight high-waisted pants & crop tops are another fun way to dress when on a beach vacation. You can find high-waisted pants in bold, eye-catching prints and pair them with solid crop tops or you can get matching bold-colored sets. It’s fun to be adventurous with color and prints when on vacation, especially in a tropical location.
SHORTS & LIGHTWEIGHT TOPS
Toss in a few pairs of high-waisted paper-bag shorts or jean cut-off shorts which are great for day excursions or as daywear options. Lightweight, breathable tops, T-shirts, and tanks will pair perfectly with this relaxed laid-back beach look. You can even front-tuck or take your tops and tie them in a front knot for a cool, casual style.
I usually bring a variety of sandals on a beach vacation. From pool slides, a pair of classic brown leather sandals, a black flip flop, and a few pairs of dressier sandals that wrap up the leg for example. If you like to wear heels and wedges to dinners out, I would suggest bringing one pair of those too. Also, if you plan on walking a lot you may want to bring a pair of comfortable walking sandals like Teva’s or Birkenstocks.
Wide-brimmed hats are great for laying out and protecting your face from the sun. I also like bringing a couple of baseball caps as they are easier to pack and one smaller hat like a fedora for nonhair washing days. Bright colored scarves are another cute way to style and accessorize your hair too.
A casual bag like a large tote or backpack is a must to carry all of your essentials with you down to the pool or beach. Fill it with all the goods like sunscreen, a kindle, magazines, headphones, etc. Beach bags that can also double as handbags are best because you can use them as your daytime purse for most of the trip too. For the night, bring a small clutch to carry with you out to dinner.
Your shades are a must when packing for a tropical vacation and I usually bring about two pairs. One classic and one oversized pair – usually in tortoise and in black. Sometimes I will purchase sunglasses when I’m on vacation too which is always a fun item to seek out. But, take a couple of pairs with you just in case.
Enjoy your tropical vacation in the sun!
Q: I am invited to a couple of weddings this spring and they are both completely different dress codes. Can you break down the proper dress code or what to wear to weddings by type of occasion?
A: Absolutely! Picking out that perfect dress or outfit can be confusing as it is not to mention when you have to factor in a specific dress code. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are the definitions of the most common types of weddings and what to wear for each occasion.
Casual weddings do not mean jeans but they also do not require heels. You can meet in the middle and opt for a cute sundress and flats or nice sandals. This would be a fun opportunity to wear a romper, playsuit, skirt and shirt set or shirtdress. Of course, in springy colors and patterns too like florals, pastels, and polka dots. I would also consider a neutral short and blazer combo with a satin camisole underneath. You could add pointed flats or espadrilles and a straw tote too!
Semi-formal suggests cocktail attire or dressy separates and heels. Spring dresses are fun, flirty and their aesthetic totally fits in with the theme of wedding florals, laces, and all-around romance. For spring, I would consider a long delicate maxi dress with Grecian vibes, a chic floral-print wrap dress, or a lace off-the-shoulder cocktail dress. Complete the looks with lace-up square toe sandals and statement earrings.
BLACK TIE OPTIONAL WEDDINGS
This basically means dressier cocktail attire and normally they take place in the evenings. If it’s not at a fancy hotel then it will be some other posh five-star establishment. So, dress to impress. Stand out and shine in sequins like a long sleeve black cocktail dress if you want to forego the long gowns. Choose one with eye-catching details like cut-outs or bold shoulders and add black patent pumps. Another great black-tie optional choice would be a sleek jumpsuit in a dark color. A very minimalistic look which you could accessorize with gold or sparkly jewelry.
FORMAL WEDDINGS OR BLACK TIE WEDDINGS
Break out your ballgowns or fanciest cocktail dresses of them all ladies because this is a black-tie-only event. Go all out and wear a full-length gown for this occasion. If you decide to wear a one-shoulder or sleeveless dress make sure to add a faux fur stole or some sort of elegant capelet to add the drama. Plus it’s in the evening and you will get cold. Or you could even wear long gloves, season permitting. Otherwise, long-sleeve gowns are also a lovely option. Ankle strap heels and a black clutch will polish this look off to perfection.