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Best swimsuit cover-ups and kaftans and where to buy them

We've found the perfect styles for summer and beyond.
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/ Source: TODAY
By Donna Freydkin

Our editors have independently selected the items featured in this article because we think they’re worth knowing about. Shop TODAY has affiliate relationships so we may get a small share of the revenue if you buy something through our links.

Beach season is almost here, and that means going bathing suit shopping. But that's only part of scoring a truly sun-tastic ensemble. To complete your seashore style, don't forget to slip on a cover-up.

Not only do some of them provide extra protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, but all of them transition from water to watering holes with zero effort.

We consulted with stylist Melissa Garcia on what to look for when you're trying on cover-ups. Her first piece of advice? Make sure the piece gives you peace.

"This might sound silly but the No. 1 thing to (make sure) is that your cover-up actually covers up. They are designed to allow you to go shopping or to lunch straight from the beach and pool so you want to be sure that you are covered up and comfortably so!" Garcia told TODAY.

Plus, if you're staying at a resort and need to walk through common areas like the lobby, a cover-up is a must, said Garcia.

When you're out shopping for one, said Garcia, "definitely look for one that is lightweight, quick to dry, easy to throw on and off and, of course, comfortable! Also be sure to think of the colors and patterns of the bathing suits you already own so the cover-ups you get complement your suits."

But beware: Sun-protective clothing doesn't take the place of sunscreen, cautioned dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, who is the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital's Department of Dermatology. He recommended wearing a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

"Ideally you should cover the body with sunscreen. I recommend a quarter-sized dollop to the face and an amount that's the size of a standard shot glass applied to the rest of the body. For added benefit, make sure to wear sun-protective clothing, hats and sunglasses," said Zeichner. "Rash guards are great at preventing sunburn by physically blocking UV light from burning the skin."

The best beach cover-ups we've found

  • 1. Jeasona Bathing Suit Crochet Dress Cover Up, $20, Amazon

We love the drawstrings on the sides and the comfy, effortless feel. It's also earned a 4.4-star rating from close to 900 reviews.

This cute dress doubles as a sarong and a beach blanket.

  • 3. Speedo Hooded Cover-Up, $25-$44, Amazon

This no-frills dress is great to slip on after a full day paying in the water.

  • 4. Roxy Essentials Long Sleeve Zip-up Rashguard, $45+, Amazon

This number protects your arms, zips up and blocks UVA and UVB rays.

  • 5. Becca Serengeti Cover-Up Pants, $78, Nordstrom

Pair these pants, which come in blue or beige, with a solid colored one-piece swimsuit that can easily take you from the beach to dinner.

  • 6. Free People Going Places Convertible Jumpsuit, $45 (usually $98), Nordstrom Rack

Get two items for the price of one with this piece that easily goes from strapless jumpsuit to wide-leg pants.

Snatch up this casual sarong in either black or hot pink.

  • 8. Coolibar UPF 50+ Beach Cover-Up Dress, $63+, Amazon

You can get this cute dress in a variety of colors, and it provides major sun protection to boot.

With summer almost upon us, more trends we're loving:

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