Covering Up the Cost of the Cover-Up

June 13, 2009 • Magazine

Covering Up the Cost of the Cover-Up

Covering Up the Cost of the Cover-Up

Sat, 2009-06-13 06:00

Rachel Yeomans

I recently escaped from the big city to the remote beaches of Florida, and I was elated to pack only a few swimsuits, some tanks and skirts, summer dresses, sandals and two sarongs. Yet while walking the beach, I noticed that the sarong that has been in my closet for the past 10 years seemed a bit worn compared to the other cover-ups sunbathing before me. So I did what anyone would do — I went online in the airport terminal on my way home and went shopping!

Now, I know cover-ups are important to have in order to shield yourself from the sun; plus they have the added perk of being quite cute. Nevertheless, I have a slight problem with paying the same amount I would for an evening dress for an item that I only have the chance to wear beside flowing water, and has the likeliness to get ruined in a few seasons with sand and sea salt.

For those of you who share my sentiments, I found some options that we more thrifty towel-tanners can look to.

I was initially inspired by a Free People jersey dress my younger sister wore over her bikini for one of our many beach strolls. It was simple grey jersey cotton that draped perfectly and had just enough edginess that I’m sure caused a few lifeguards’ heads to turn.

I am personally a huge fan of the cotton tube mini. Not only does it show off the top of your swimsuit, it’s very comfortable, easy to pack, it doesn’t create unnecessary tan lines, and most importantly it’s an effortless fashion statement. And to further induce adding one (or a few) to my shopping cart, you can find these hot items at Target for under $20, and some hip designer options for under $100!

Along with my fashionable deals, I performed the necessary act of spring cleaning after my vacation and purged my swimwear drawer of all sarongs that I haven’t worn in years, and those that shouldn’t have been worn in years. I discovered some fantastic additions to my bathing suit bottoms, including some updated sarong styles and some ever-so-comfortable wrap pants.

At the end of the vacation, I ended up wearing my aunt’s men-sized cotton button-down. Paired with a great pair of sunglasses and an oversized straw hat, I was amazed at what I’ve been missing while only wearing tank tops and sarongs! Not only is the men’s button-down excellent for sun protection, it’s also amazingly cool. The Gap men’s linen/cotton blend is my personal favorite as it’s just as shapely as the cotton shirt, but has a lot more breathing room with the linen blend.

Many men state that there is nothing more alluring than seeing a woman wearing just a man’s shirt…now we can accomplish that same level of appeal, but with a very fashionable bathing suit underneath prepared for a dive at any time!

A few designers have taken this concept and made the oversized men’s shirt trés female chic! Tommy Bahama cover-ups are now permanent additions to my swimwear wardrobe. With these pieces I’ll be able to heighten my next vacation experience ending my daily beach stroll at the cabana drinking a piña colada and watching the dolphins swim, all while making a stellar fashion statement.

1. Free People One Shoulder Side Cinch Mini Dress $68
2. Merona Tube Dress Cover-up Black $17.99
3. Vitamin A Crinkled Strapless Cover-Up $86
4. Manuel Canovas Keos Swimsuit Cover-up Sale: $164
5. Tommy Bahama Shirtdress Swim Cover-Up $118
6. Tommy Bahama ‘Scrollwork’ Shirtdress Swim Cover-Up Sale: $72.90
7. C&C California Beach Gauze Wrap Pants $88
8. Gap Fitted Linen/Cotton Men’s Shirt $29.99

Image Layout: Minette Higden

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