What Swimsuit Cover Up To Wear To The Beach After 40

You’ve found a cute bathing suit that seems to be figure flattering, but as any woman knows that’s only half the battle when it comes to feeling confident at the beach.

A great swimsuit cover-up gives you the extra assurance you want and finishes off your total beach look.

How do you know what type to choose?

Here’s a look at some classic, always in fashion styles, as well as what’s also currently trending in beach cover ups.


kaftan beach cover upThe beach is one place here where a voluminous top or dress actually works for once and it won’t make you look dowdy, so long as it is light, airy and breezy. Choose a long Kaftan style with sexy wide sleeves for totally glamorous look.

If your legs still look hot, try a shorter Kaftan style that hits at the top of the thigh or mid-thigh. The Kaftan style is a classic beach look that you can never go wrong with.

Kaftans are for women who like very feminine and glam look. Some of the newest Kaftans are exotic and sheer. I just adore this Kaftan called Scarlet Siren. It’s pure fantasy.

Another cute style below is the one shoulder animal print from Michael Kors.


The tunic style is similar to the Kaftan but less voluminous and more shirt like.It’s kind of like a very short shift dress and has a relaxed, California vibe.

Tunics are perfect for women who like a sporty, casual look. You’ll find lots in bright colors this season and even some mod prints from Trina Turk, which are always summery.


Boyfriend Shirt

A sexy, more tailored style is the boyfriend shirt. It made to look like you threw your boyfriend or husband’s shirt on in playful, seductive way. White is the classic color for this look but this season we’re also seeing feminine touches like white eyelet shirts and bold fun touches like bright painterly colors. Turn the collar up to draw the eye up to your face and give you a sporty, youthful appearance. This style is for women who like a sexy, slightly menswear look.

Beach Sweater Coverup

This is a variation on menswear shirt. Instead of an oversize menswear shirt it is an oversize sweater. It’s meant to look large so you look tiny in comparison. This bold navy and white striped one below is particularly cute.

Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses have been extremely popular lately and one of the places they work best is at the beach. Choose a maxi in a soft, comfy fabric that you can roll up and throw into a beach bag if necessary. These are great for women who crave more coverage and who like a relaxed boho look. Don’t forget your floppy hat.


The tropical sarong is great with bikini or 2 pieces swimsuit when you want to cover you tummy, bottom and hips but show off your bust. The high neck sarong below is quite exotic and pretty and works with any bathing suit. The Sarong is for women who like a flirty, feminine, and slightly exotic look.

Which is your favourite and why?

*This post has been updated since first published.

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  1. Wanda Jollymore says:

    There is not much occasion to worry about what to wear to the beach here in Alberta. But when I when at our place in AZ, I like to wear a tunic as a coverup at the pool. I also have a white, men’s shirt that is about 25 years old that is my ‘go-to’ coverup. It comes to mid-thigh and I roll up the sleeves. I love it.

  2. Deborah,

    I’ve always thought the best part of swimwear was the coverup. Well, when I was 20, I didn’t care about the coverup, but now I DO !


    • Hi Tina,
      I can relate about caring more about cover-ups now at this age!
      There are so many great cover-ups these days, it is really when you find the right one. I really like the elegant shorter kaftan style ones with a pattern and that are a little bit sheer. They are so light and flowy. Once I throw on my sunglasses and gold sandals I feel like a movie star. Have fun at the beach. Cheers! Deborah

  3. Used to love to visit the beach with my family. Now when they talk about going to beach I cringe. Swimsuit doesn’t quite fit the way it used to. Thanks to you, I just may get that confidence back. I really like these cover ups.

  4. Hi Deb, I have been searching for fashion advice for that most awkward of ages: mine (50). So far, your website shows some great ideas.

  5. bikini after 45: yes or no?

  6. I still go for the two piece. It’s too hot at the beach to be all covered up!

  7. The first one would be all purpose if it ended at the calf.

    I really like these looks, and would wear just about all of them, but to me most of these cover ups say yacht, cruise, classy resort. (and maybe even bedtime, as in night gown). There are less dramatic choices for middle-class poolside, state park or beach.

    A sportier look serves well in most of my water-side activities like the Fun and Flirty Moroccan – excellent!

  8. Great options…Love them all.