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This $20 swimsuit cover-up is keeping me confident and comfortable

It's equal parts flirty and functional.
Katie Jackson / TODAY

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I’ve always admired those women who feel comfortable enough in their bodies that they don’t need a bathing suit cover-up. I hope to be among them one day. For now, like the sunscreen I swear by, I don’t dream of going to the pool or beach without one.

Fortunately, I recently found a bestselling bathing suit cover-up on Amazon that not only serves as my security blanket but also makes me feel sexy in a way that showing no amount of skin can.

Wander Agio Swimsuit Cover-Up

It’s only $20

The low price is initially what sold me on this cover-up. It’s only $19.99, which is a fraction of the price I paid for my beloved Maaji bikini. I think it's sold at a low price because the material is made from a polyester-cotton blend, but that's not to say I have anything against polyester! My head-turning tunic dress that can also be worn as a top is 91% polyester.

The Wander Agio Beach Swimsuit Cover-Up is available in 22 colors and patterns.Katie Jackson / TODAY

While polyester can sometimes look cheap, I think this cover-up looks like it could retail for at least $80 at a cute shop in the Hamptons or Malibu. The instructions say it’s hand-wash only, but at $20, I don’t mind taking the risk of putting it in the washing machine on a delicate cycle. I have this cover-up in white, but there are several other colors and patterns available if you’re worried about getting it dirty (or wearing white after Labor Day).

This $20 bathing suit cover-up is both flirty and functional.Katie Jackson / TODAY

Why I’m obsessed with it

If I was a little kid, my ideal cover-up would be a terry-cloth unicorn robe with a hood — complete with a horn — and a fluffy tail. But since I’m an adult, my ideal cover-up is a lightweight crochet dress that is as flirty as it is functional. It’s as though the designer of this piece could read my mind. I love how it shows my skin underneath, thanks to the crochet pattern, but also covers it at the same time. It leaves just enough to the imagination without being too suggestive for my personal preference.

"It’s only $19.99, which is a fraction of the price I paid for my beloved Maaji bikini."Katie Jackson / TODAY

I don’t usually associate sexy with comfortable. However, I feel like I’m wearing my favorite soft, oversized T-shirt when I put this cover-up on. Unlike my favorite tee, this has a feminine V-neck and a flattering hemline that doesn’t hit my legs at their widest part. The fun drawstrings with tassels on each side are also a nice touch. Since the tassels brush the outside of my knees, I feel they detract attention from my inner thighs, which I consider my problem areas.

One day, I hope to be comfortable enough in my body that I don’t consider myself to have any problem areas. Until then, I know what I’ll be reaching for whether I’m poolside at Bozeman’s RSVP Hotel — my favorite boutique property in the U.S. — or here in Portugal, where I like to think I’m making the nude beachgoers wish they had a bathing suit cover-up — even though they don’t have a bathing suit.

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This article was originally published on July 30, 2020.