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

I love beach cover ups

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

You should consider trying different styles of clothing as swimsuit cover-ups. There are tons of items in plus sizes that might work: Summery tunics, beachy sundresses, lightweight caftans, silky sarongs, gauzy pareos, sheer button-up shirts, and... whatever.

beach dress cute

Plus Size Beach Dress Cover Up

Everyone needs resort wear. Even you... Even me.

Well, the fashion industry seems to think that everyone has a Victoria’s Secret body.

Don’t they know that all women have different body shapes and all women have their own ideas about what swimsuit cover-ups should cover up? Well, here’s my list of good plus-size beach cover-ups for women.

I’ve lived in Hawaii (twice), and I’ve been to a lot of different beaches around the world, so I’ve seen a ton of different kinds of bodies in flattering bathing suits and beachwear... and in not-so-flattering bathing suits and beachwear.

I Hate Swimwear

As you may know, I hate writing about swimsuits and beachwear. I hate even thinking about this stuff... but I love thinking about the beach.

The beach is such an amazing and healing place... even for fat people like me. I love hearing the melodical, soothing sound of the waves. I love seeing the children frolicking in the sand. I love gazing upon the hunky men as they jump up and spike their volleyballs.

The beach is such a wholesome place, filled with fun and beauty and soul. But... then I realize that I'm not a skinny, young wahine anymore. And, I don't have a golden tan anymore.

And, I may ask myself, "Where is my beautiful tan?" And, I may ask myself, "Where is my beautiful tum?" And, I may ask myself, "Where does that highway go?" And, I may tell myself, "My God! What have I done?" ... Yikes! I've fallen into a Talking Heads video. Pass me a Mai Tai... same as it ever was... same as it ever was.

Okay enough of that incoherent babbling (I say as I slap myself). Let's get back to the important issue at hand.

Beach Cover-Ups for Women - Plus Size Tunics

A good beach or poolside tunic is like a mini dress made out of lightweight material that dries quickly. Cotton is great for heat but it can wrinkle, however cotton gauze, polyester, and cotton or rayon blends often avoid that problem. And, you should look for multitasking styles that can be worn to more places than just the beach or the pool.

Hey, as long as your sheer cover-up is dry and it's not full of sand, you can usually wear that cover-up over a dress or over a tank top and jeans. Just add some funky statement jewelry to jazz it up for an evening on your cruise ship or a late night down at your hotel bar... or wherever. Why not?

what to wear for cover ups at beach

Plus Size Swimsuit & Coverup

Plus Size Button-Up Mesh Cover Up at AlwaysForMe.com: One of the great things about a sheer button-front cover-up is that you can throw it on in public without wiggling and jiggling and giggling... if you know what I mean. Just like a kimono, an open front top is easy to put on in front of your gawking public. Also, you can wear something like this over a white (or black) tank and a pair of pants for evening, so experiment with this style of cover up. I have seen similar shirts worn open or closed at parties. Have fun with it.

read about beach cover ups

Plus Size Gauzy Beach Cover Up

Plus Size Beach Cover-Up  Butterfly Caftan at AlwaysForMe.com: Just like the button-front, this is easy to throw on when you jump out of the pool. The tropical print is not as versatile as a plain color. However, the benefit of a printed cover-up is that it gives better camouflage. Your swimsuit doesn't have to match, but make sure the cover-up looks good with your suit. Some bathing suits poke out at odd angles and things like that.

Plus Size Embroidered Beach Cover-Up at AlwaysForMe.com: This looks a bit like the folklore mini dresses we used to wear back in the day. But, these days we would look totally scary if we were to slink around in our bikinis. Women like us like to jump out of the pool and throw something on before anyone can stare at our plus-sized bods. Well, I suppose we should have done the same thing when we were kids with our lesser-sized bods... but we probably didn't.

Plus Size Zip-Front Terry Cover Up at AlwaysForMe.com: If you like the idea of wearing your towel, but you want to make doubly sure your topper doesn't fall off, this type of beachwear is for you. It's not as versatile in some ways, because it won't look right at dinner, when a gauzy cover-up might. However, if you're just looking for something for the beach or the pool, you can't go wrong with a cute, but practical, terry cloth cover. And, best of all, you can't see through it. Well, personally, I like the peek-a-boo look, but sheer clothing won't keep you warm when the wind kicks up.

read about cover ups

Fifty Plus Swimsuit & Cover Up Tunic

Don't you think that the blue-and-turqoise short caftan in the photo above would look amazing over a pair of white pants or a pair of jeans? Just pull your hair up, put on some scrumptious hoop earrings and a few bangles, add some heels, and you're a groovy boho babe. If you have a good tan (fake or bake), you could wear this to the Italian Riviera and fit right in.

Should you match your swimsuit and your cover-up? It's totally up to you. Not only do you not have to match your swimsuit to your cover-up, sometimes it's cuter if you don't get all matchy. It just depends on your personality and your mood.

(Article Continues)

Keep reading about plus size beach cover ups on page two.

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?