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Technically anything can be a beach cover-up if you’re wearing it to the beach over your swimsuit. But there are definitely some articles of clothing that do the job better than others — or, rather, a few criteria that make something a great cover-up: it’s easy to pull on and off, it won’t make you overheat on your way there, and it feels suitable (and comfortable!) enough for the beach that you can lounge around in it should you decide you’re getting too much sun or a little chilly from the breeze.
Personally, I don’t have that much use for a whole wardrobe of clothes that only work on the beach (and who doesn’t love a multi-use piece of clothing?), so I’m also looking for something I can wear in regular life, on its own or with a slip underneath instead of a bikini. Since there are still seven weekends left to hit the beach before Labor Day, we pulled together a few of the best options out there (aside from, you know, cut-off shorts and a T-shirt), from a sheer, tie-dye maxi dress by Lacausa to a bunch of easy shirtdresses by brands like Madewell and Zara.