Life & Culture

The best beach cover-ups

Kaftans, kimonos and more


Along with my usual fashion scouting, a recent sojourn in the Marbella area that included visits to beaches, pools, bars, cafés, etc, has led to the conclusion that there’s no definitively chic style of beach cover-up right now — but many.
Beachwear trends include sarongs (AKA pareos); kaftans; kimonos and playsuits plus shorts, wide-leg trousers or skirts paired with tops that are often cropped, frilled, asymmetric or with fringing, cut-outs or embellishment such as embroidery.
Floaty midi-dresses are another on-trend beachy option but realistically only work with front-fastening like a stunning yellow-and-white zebra print at Phase Eight.

As a devotee of pareos, I’m thrilled they’re enjoying a new moment in the sun — literally! Find them lusciously fringed at The Summer Edit as part of a new capsule collection that also comprises wide-leg trousers, shirts and shorts in white or ice-blue. Also find them at Matches in silk and cotton voile; in animal print at M&S; fruit print at Primark and adorable florals at No Logo amid a cornucopia of stylish, affordable beachwear ( . There are also mini-sarongs at Tu Clothing, Zara and George at Asda, for those less concerned with covering up.
Fabulous beachwear is not restricted to premium brands. There are printed, pull-on palazzo trousers at Zara; maxi kaftans with cut-outs and crystals at Monsoon; beach kimonos at Joe Browns; beach dresses at Boden and M&S, and shorts in every cut everywhere.

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