Heading to the beach or pool this summer? There are as many ways to cover up pre- and post-dip as there are swimsuits to choose from—from goddess gowns to borrowed menswear. And who better than Vogue’s editors to turn to for ideas? Fashion news editor Steff Yotka never heads East without a vibrant men’s button-down, while accessories director Willow Lindley sticks to a foolproof basic: the white cotton shirtdress. Meanwhile, features editor Lilah Ramzi’s responsibly-made cover-up is actually a matching top-and-skirt set, or you could shake things up with an embroidered Hawaiian shirt, as recommended by associate market editor Madeline Fass.
Of course, a caftan or robe is the classic route for après swim. Senior fashion news writer Emily Farra lives in her block-printed caftan, while jewelry director Grace Givens prefers a more bohemian style with embroidery and tassels. As for the most surprising—and surprisingly versatile—cover-up? That prize goes to associate market editor Madeline Swanson, who uses her tie-dyed dish towels as sarongs, crop tops, and even beach blankets.
Here’s to covering up creatively this summer; shop 11 ways to do it below.
Chioma Nnadi, Fashion News Director
I’ve always loved those photos Peter Lindbergh shot for Vogue back in the late ’80s of the supers—Christy, Linda, et al.—frolicking on the beach in white button-downs and bikini bottoms. Though I’m no supermodel, I will say that I’ve tried that cover-up styling trick myself, and it’s actually pretty flattering and much easier to pull off than you’d think. My favorite button-down right now is Vaquera’s bingo bra shirt (as the name suggests, it comes with this ingenious built-in bra), and I plan on wearing it all summer long over my bikinis.
Steff Yotka, Fashion News Editor
I maintain that the best beach cover-up is a man’s shirt. Jeff Goldblum wears this one routinely; do I need to say more?
Lilah Ramzi, Features Editor
I was just in Portugal for a friend’s wedding and packed this linen two-piece set by Mairik to wear between dips in the pool and lunch on the terrace. I’m a big fan of the label, as the pieces come in the highest quality of linen (you know because it actually looks good when it wrinkles) and feature traditional Armenian embroidery work (geometric lace insets and knotted threads). Best of all, Mairik’s founder Janet Karapetian employs Armenian women and Syrian-Armenian refugee women. It’s a novel way to keep their age-old needlepoint traditions alive—and yes, I’ll admit it’s not the most casual of cover-ups, but never mind that.
Grace Givens, Jewelry Director
You can never go wrong with a D’Ascoli cover-up! They’re perfect if you need something to transition from day to night.
Monica Kim, Senior Fashion News Editor
Sadly, I can’t really swim anymore (my hair is bleached, so salt water and chlorine both ruin it). The silver lining is that I now get to sit under a sun umbrella and worry less about wearing appropriate beach clothes. A loose knit top with a deep-V neck and a little short are pretty foolproof. I love this polo set from Khaite, which I’d happily wear around the city too.
Emily Farra, Senior Fashion News Writer