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If you’re headed to a resort or beach vacation, versatile dresses that can work on and off the sand are perfect, especially if you’re headed to a hot destination! I live in a light and floaty beach dress in Playa del Carmen and prioritize breezy fabrics that will keep me cool and ready for anything, from day to night. Here are my top picks! 

 


Beach Cover Up Dresses


 

 

Table Of Contents

 

 

One of the biggest mistakes I see travelers make when traveling to hot and humid beach destinations is that they mostly pack or wear denim shorts with tees. While I love this classic beach outfit, dresses are so much easier to pack and they are much more comfortable than a fitted t-shirt. Trust me on this one!

 

Worried about thigh chafing? These are the top recommended products by our readers!

 

 

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Isla Holbox, Mexico

 

Below I’ve compiled a range of easy to wear beach dress options including styles that are available in a range of sleeve lengths and sizes or mini and maxi. Hope my list helps you create your perfect vacation wardrobe.

 

Don’t overpack for a beach trip! Read my packng tips on how to pack kight stylishly!

 

 

Best Beach Vacation Dresses

 

 

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Ekouaer Swimsuit Beach Cover Up

 

Ekouaer White Beach Cover Up Dress (Available in Plus Size)

 

My favorite beach dress is one you can wear on and off the sand such as a classic shirtdress cover up! Wear it over your bathing suit at the beach or layer it over a slip dress with strappy sandals in the evening. For bonus points, wear it as a top tucked into denim shorts topped off with a sun hat to complete the casual chic look! 

The Ekouaer Shirtdress Cover Up shown above is under $30, available in over a dozen colors, and offers sizes S-3XL.

 

For more plus size beach cover up dresses in a similar style to the above, take a look at this and this!

 

 

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Amalie Fringe Hem Linen & Cotton Dress

 

Beach Lunch Lounge Stripe Linen Cotton Beach Dress

 

I’m currently obsessed with the brand Beach Lunch Lounge! This is one of the first beachwear brands that I see get it right. Most of their clothing is well-priced and made from fabrics that are breathable like linen, cotton, or rayon vs the majority of overpriced beach cover ups on the market that are made from polyester – the worst fabric in the heat! The above Amalie Fringe dress is available in three prints and sizes XS-XL.

 

Take a look at the full Beach Lunch Lounge collection at Nordstrom!

 

 

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Button-Front Beach Dress

 

J Crew Black Long Sleeve Beach Dress Cover Up (Available in Plus Size)

 

This button front J Crew sleeved beach dress is perfect to wear on and off the sand. It’s sheer enough to show off your cute bikini and light enough to be layered over a cropped cami and bike shorts for an afternoon adventure. The style shown above is available in three colors and sizes XXS-3XL.

 

J Crew is another brand that I love for chic yet comfortable vacation clothing. Check out their beach swim cover ups!

 

 

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Swingy Tank Dress

 

J Crew Stripe Tank Beach Casual Dress (Available in Plus Size)

 

Whether you’re at the beach, on a boat or just around the house this J Crew casual beach dress is perfect! Lightweight and airy with good coverage, it’s sure to become your summer uniform for home and beach trips, too. The style shown above is available in three colors and sizes XXS-3XL.

 

Here’s a full list of J Crew’s summer dresses to wear on beach and beyond!

 

 

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Lana Stripe Linen & Cotton Tiered Midi Sundress

 

Beach Lunch Lounge Tiered Linen Long Beach Dress

 

If you’re looking for long flowy beach dresses, you’re in luck because they’re everywhere this season! This beautiful Beach Lunch Lounge linen and cotton tiered midi-dress is perfect for sunset strolls by the sea. The loose tiered design of a dress like this is heaven sent when the humidity hits record breaking highs. Available in five prints and sizes XS-XL.

 

These are more linen dresses that are our top recommendations for resort and beach trips!

 

 

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Summertime Cami Midi Dress in Seersucker Gingham

 

Madewell Seersucker Womens Beach Dress (Available in Petite)

 

It’s easy to see why this Madewell seersucker cotton blend dress is a best seller. It has an easy to wear babydoll fit and adjustable cami straps for a relaxed, comfortable seaside look. Layer it over a tee now or throw a denim jacket over it for a look you can wear at home or on vacation. If you’re looking for petite beach dresses, consider a midi-length as fresh and airy option. Available in standard and petite sizes XXS-XXL.

 

Madewell is another brand with awesome beach dresses for summer vacation. Take a look!

 

 

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Elan Cover-Up Maxi Dress

 

Elan Black Plus Size Beach Dress Cover Up

 

Maxi beach dresses plus size options tend to be offered in polyester or other uncomfortable fabrics. The Elan cover up above is made from rayon, which is incredibly cool and refreshing in the heat. As a bonus, the classic cut is elegant and can easily be worn over a slip dress to be used as a beach evening dress, too.

 

For more Elan cover ups, take a look at these!

 

 

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Topanga Sweater Knit Cover-Up

 

L Space Blue Long Sleeve Beach Dress Cover Up

 

This pretty and versatile knit style by L Space is just the thing if you’re looking for a little arm coverage. Great for moderate, less humid beach destinations! Also available in white and black, sizes XS-XL.

 

L Space is a popular brand for beach clothing and swimwear. They have so many cute options, take a look at all their entire beach dress collection!

 

 

beach-dresses

CARVE Kendall Dress

 

Carve Aquamarine Blue Beach Dress

 

For an easy transition from pool to beach to dining on your next Hawaii vacation, these Carve beach resort dresses can also be worn as a cover up. They’re available in a range of colors, sizes XXS-XL, and some sizes on Amazon are priced under $30!

 

 

beach-dresses

Patagonia June Lake Swing Dress

 

Patagonia Short Tropical Beach Dress

 

The Patagonia June Lake swing dress looks SO comfy for hot weather, it’s just the type of thing I’d love to wear in Playa del Carmen! I’d wear it at home, to run errands, as a beach cover up, and as a casual outfit to meet up with friends for coffee. This relaxed, lightweight dress is definitely on my wishlist! When the heat and humidity go up in the Caribbean, the lighter, looser, and more breathable the dress the better! Available in XS-XL.

 

For more, check out Backcountry’s awesome collection of travel-friendly beach sundresses!

 

 

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Boho Floral Printed Summer Dress

 

Qearal Budget-Friendly Floral Amazon Beach Dress

 

For easy breezy cheap beach dresses up you can wear from the beach and beyond, this fabric is the best! Rayon is super lightweight and will take up no space in your luggage at all. Plus, it will also keep you cool in the heat. The Qearal Floral Dress shown above is available in over a dozen prints and sizes S-XXL.

 

If you prefer sleeves, take a look at this version and for a long lengths, this is the version for you!

 

 

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Riviera Sun Tie Dye Summer Dress

 

Riviera Sun Purple Beach Dresses Plus Size 

 

Loose and airy, the Riviera Sun plus size summer beach dresses are made out of rayon and make the ideal cover ups for hot destinations. Wear it on and off the beach, you can easily sightsee and dine in this comfy dress! Available in over a dozen colors and sizes S-3XL.

 

 

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Free People Voile Trapeze Slip

 

Free People White Beach Dress Cover Up

 

NOT A DRESS, the Free People Voile Trapeze Slip cover up is incredibly popular but note that it’s see-through so you’ll need to wear it over a tank and shorts for a boardwalk stroll. Available in three colors and sizes XS-M.

 

If you’re a Free People fan, check out all of their cute beach dress options!

 

 

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Free People Fake Love Animal Print Mini Dress

 

Free People Animal Print Backless Sexy Beach Dress

 

If you prefer prints and minis, Free People has a range of cute short beach dresses such as the Fake Love style shown above. This one’s backless so it’s perfect as a cover up and also to wear off the sand. Comes in four cute colors and sizes XS-L, but note that it runs a little loose. 

 

 

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L Space Tybee Dress

 

L Space Long Elegant Beach Dress Cover Up 

 

This L Space sleeved maxi cover up makes a chic option to be worn at your resort, a seaside beach club, or layered over a mini slip dress with wedges at night. You can even maximize its potential and wear it as a light duster over your denim shorts or jeans and heels, too. So versatile and breathable, this lightweight classic wrap dress is on my wishlist!

 

Tip: when shopping for maxi dresses beach cover ups, avoid heavy fabrics to save room in your luggage and also to avoid having the material absorb sweat and moisture.

 

 

Versatile Beach Dresses Comparison Chart

 

MODEL BRAND RATING | PRICE
Ekouaer Swimsuit Beach Cover Up My favorite beach dress is one you can wear on and off the sand such as a classic shirtdress cover up! Wear it over your bathing suit at the beach or layer it over a slip dress with strappy sandals in the evening. Check Price
Amalie Fringe Hem Linen & Cotton Dress I’m currently obsessed with the brand Beach Lunch Lounge! This is one of the first beachwear brands that I see get it right. Most of their clothing is well-priced and made from fabrics that are breathable like linen, cotton, or rayon vs the majority of overpriced beach cover ups on the market that are made from polyester - the worst fabric in the heat! Check Price
J Crew Button-Front Beach Dress This button front J Crew sleeved beach dress is perfect to wear on and off the sand. It’s sheer enough to show off your cute bikini and light enough to be layered over a cropped cami and bike shorts for an afternoon adventure. Check Price
J Crew Swingy Tank Dress Whether you're at the beach, on a boat or just around the house this J Crew casual beach dress is perfect! Lightweight and airy with good coverage, it’s sure to become your summer uniform for home and beach trips, too. Check Price
Lana Stripe Linen & Cotton Tiered Midi Sundress If you’re looking for long flowy beach dresses, you’re in luck because they’re everywhere this season! This beautiful Beach Lunch Lounge linen and cotton tiered midi-dress is perfect for sunset strolls by the sea. Check Price
Summertime Cami Midi Dress in Seersucker Gingham It’s easy to see why this Madewell seersucker cotton blend dress is a best seller. It has an easy to wear babydoll fit and adjustable cami straps for a relaxed, comfortable seaside look. Layer it over a tee now or throw a denim jacket over it for a look you can wear at home or on vacation. Check Price
Elan Cover-Up Maxi Dress Maxi beach dresses plus size options tend to be offered in polyester or other uncomfortable fabrics. The Elan cover up above is made from rayon, which is incredibly cool and refreshing in the heat. Check Price
Topanga Sweater Knit Cover-Up This pretty and versatile knit style by L Space is just the thing if you’re looking for a little arm coverage. Great for moderate, less humid beach destinations! Also available in white and black, sizes XS-XL. Check Price
CARVE Kendall Dress For an easy transition from pool to beach to dining on your next Hawaii vacation, these Carve beach resort dresses can also be worn as a cover up. They’re available in a range of colors, sizes XXS-XL, and some sizes on Amazon are priced under $30! Check Price
Patagonia June Lake Swing Dress The Patagonia June Lake swing dress looks SO comfy for hot weather, it’s just the type of thing I’d love to wear in Playa del Carmen! I’d wear it at home, to run errands, as a beach cover up, and as a casual outfit to meet up with friends for coffee. Check Price
Boho Floral Printed Summer Dress For easy breezy cheap beach dresses up you can wear from the beach and beyond, this fabric is the best! Rayon is super lightweight and will take up no space in your luggage at all. Plus, it will also keep you cool in the heat. Check Price
Riviera Sun Tie Dye Summer Dress Loose and airy, the Riviera Sun plus size summer beach dresses are made out of rayon and make the ideal cover ups for hot destinations. Wear it on and off the beach, you can easily sightsee and dine in this comfy dress! Available in over a dozen colors and sizes S-3XL. Check Price
Free People Voile Trapeze Slip NOT A DRESS, the Free People Voile Trapeze Slip cover up is incredibly popular but note that it’s see-through so you’ll need to wear it over a tank and shorts for a boardwalk stroll. Available in three colors and sizes XS-M. Check Price
Free People Fake Love Animal Print Mini Dress If you prefer prints and minis, Free People has a range of cute short beach dresses such as the Fake Love style shown above. This one’s backless so it’s perfect as a cover up and also to wear off the sand. Comes in four cute colors and sizes XS-L, but note that it runs a little loose.  Check Price
L Space Tybee Dress This L Space sleeved maxi cover up makes a chic option to be worn at your resort, a seaside beach club, or layered over a mini slip dress with wedges at night. Check Price

 

 

beach-dresses

Compass Rose Packing Cubes

 

How to Pack Beach Dresses

 

Packing dresses are the perfect way to create a fresh outfit every day. If you’re going on a seven-day trip, pack seven dresses. It’s as easy as that!

Then, use slim packing cubes to save space in your suitcase and travel carry-on only.

 

Learn our hacks with packing cubes in the video above!

 

We put together a five-part YouTube series showing the different methods to use packing cubes for travel. If you use this specific packing strategy, packing cubes can also compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carry-on only!

 

Buy Compass Rose Packing Cubes here!

 

 


 What are your favorite beach dresses? Share your thoughts below!


 

For more on women’s dresses, please read these posts:

 


 

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