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Beach Cover Ups for Women: Plus Size Tunics, Dresses, Caftans, Sarongs


read about beach dresses

Plus Size Swimsuit Cover Ups

This is page two. Click here to read about Plus Size Cover Ups from the beginning on page one.

Plus Size Beach Dresses as Swimsuit Cover-Ups

Lying out in the warm sun sounds so good right now. I wish I were in Hawaii or Mexico. Well... back to reality. I like long sundresses because you can throw them on over swimsuits, but they can also be worn for other adventures. Okay, I confess... I like longer, summery dresses because they look good on my apple-shaped body. Long skirts, dresses, and pareos seem to make my bod look more balanced.

Beach Belle Smoke Beach Dress in Plus at Swimsuits for All: A dress like this can go anywhere from the beach in Miami to formal night on a cruise ship (depending on the ship) if you add a couple of pieces of hip jewelry to tart it up. With this dress, I would try jewelry that's big and tribal or "artsy casual" in feel. Just make sure to get the sand out of this dress in time for dinner.

Strappy Sundress at Big On Batique: This long cotton gauze dress looks like it’s designed to fit most full-figured bodies. And, the best thing about it is it’s not black. It comes in purple, turquoise, and hot pink. Wear this anywhere, from Disney World to Tahiti. I really appreciate that this site shows their clothes on larger women. It's so difficult to imagine what a plus size ANYTHING looks like on a skinny waif. Sizes 2X/3X, 3X/4X. $64.95.

Extra Large Caftan Beach Cover-Ups

Most caftans (kaftans) are long, but they don’t have to be.

Long Caftan Plus Size Gown at WomanWithin.com: Okay, they call this loungewear. Well, what the HelloSuzyCreamcheese does that mean? I say you can lounge at the pool (or at the beach) in loungewear. Heck, I've seen people wearing bathrobes to the pool on cruise ships. And, those fluffy white robes may be comfy, but they are less than flattering. So, I'd much rather see you wear something like this. Heck... wash off the sunscreen, throw on a ton of oversized tribal jewelry, grab a margarita, and wear this beautiful caftan out dancing.

throw on a sarong before anyone can see you and other tips

Throw on a Sarong Before Anyone Sees You

Rachel Pally Plus Size Caftan at Bloomie's: Yes, Rachel Pally dresses are expensive. Yes, I love them. Yes, I am going to keep telling you about her great dresses until you get sick of the repetition. I would say that this long caftan in Granita (red) or the Jasper Folk Stripe print is probably too wonderful to wear on a sandy beach unless it’s for a wedding or a party or you're on your third honeymoon; however, this dress is perfect for the pool, where the sand won’t mess with the fabric. Of course, you can wear this caftan to dinner, to lunch, to breakfast, to the promenade deck, and even to bed for some serious cuddling. Sizes 1X, 2X, 3X. $264. (ps I would go for the print. The print gives good camouflage and won't show dirt.)

Plus Size Sarongs and Pareos

I like blues for sarongs. Actually, I love blues for swimwear, but pinkish and bluish tones go with my coloring. If you look good in primary colors (if you have - or had - dark or black hair, even if it's now a glorious silver), you probably should have a sarong with some black in it, so it will go with your crayola-colored swimwear. I don't look good in black, but I have always had wishy-washy coloring.

It's easy to wrap a sarong around your torso and tuck it in (or tie the ends together) to make a strapless beach dress similar to the photo on the right. This is how I remember local girls in Hawaii wearing beach coverups. You can even do this with a thin towel in a pinch.

The best thing about a tie-on cover up is that you don’t have to find a place to change... because you just throw it on when you're done surfing or sunbathing. I was something like a size 4 when I went to high school in Hawaii, but I remember that most Samoan girls (and other bigger, curvier locals) looked much better in these wraps than I did.

I recommend having something like a sarong as your go-to (spare) cover-up. You can also tie these around your neck to make a dress for later. Cotton and rayon sarongs are sold at all beach destinations and someone will show you how to tie it, but make sure to get one in a larger size. For something fancier, look for a long silk sarong. I guess there's not much difference between a sarong and a pareo, but where I come from, if it's wrapped around your waist like a skirt, it's a pareo. You can call these things whatever sounds right to you.


Don’t limit yourself to swimwear sites. You can wear a long, sheer button-down blouse, something from the loungewear department, a cotton kimono robe, or anything that you think looks cute. Just make sure that what you wear is washable... and make sure it won't fade (bleed) all over the white part of your red, white and blue bathing suit.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:

Two Piece Swimsuits for Older Women Over 40, 50 & 60

Best Swimsuits for Women Over 40 & 50

How to Look Chic in a Bathing Suit

Cruise Clothing: Nautical Stripes & Sailor Style

Photo Credits: prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: Accessorize.
  • Beach Dress Cover Up: SimplyBe.
  • Plus Size Swimsuit & Coverup: Marisota.
  • Plus Size Gauzy Beach Cover Up: Fifty Plus.
  • Plus Size Swimsuit Cover Ups: Asos Curve, Marisota (2).
  • Throw on a Sarong Before Anyone Sees You: Marisota.

What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. If you like this article or you like this site, please give us a Google Plus or follow me on Pinterest: Tina Boomerina - Baby Boomer Chick.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. nancy zubrod

    I am going to Spain in Sept. and unsure what to pack.

  2. kay kerns

    Tina this is a killer article. You nailed it! I want to add that for those of us who shop at thrift stores, I have always found many lovely pareos/sarongs/big scarves on offer and at very affordable prices

  3. Betty Gibson

    How do I place an order. Is there a phone number I can call.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      This website does not sell items. I'm working on a site that does, but I can help you find most items if you want to let me know what you're looking for.


  4. carol

    Looking for tankini with rusched pants to cover my modesty - 54yrs
    Live in Wales UK size 12-14


  5. Tina-Boomerina


    Is the swimsuit in this article?


  6. Tamara

    The blue and turquoise matching bathing suit and coverup please email me where to get it. It's beautiful!

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I don't think it's still available because it's a photo from last season when I wrote the article. I'll look for it and let you know one way or the other. Tina

  7. Kelly

    I would LOVE to find the orange linen like strapless beach dress that is pictured with this...do you have an idea where something like that can be found?