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

We've got the perfect styles for summer and beyond.
by Donna Freydkin /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY
Swimsuit cover-ups crochet kaftan long short dress
Cover up's

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Beach season is 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 Megyn Kelly 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 recommends wearing a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher.

beach cover-ups kaftans
Nathan Congleton / TODAY

"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."

beach cover-ups kaftans
MK coverupsNathan Congleton / TODAY

Our Picks

1. Sparrow Dusty Pink Print Halter Jumpsuit, $60, Lulus

TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

This sleeveless number is summery and relaxed and has an adjustable neckline.

Editor's note: If you aren't into jumpsuits, this striped maxi dress from Amazon has the same effortless vibe for only $20. We also love this pink halter dress that's on sale for 50 percent off right now.

2. Gap Smocked Strapless Jumpsuit, $48, Gap

You'll get a leg up in this soft jersey suit.

Editor's note: The smocked look is coming back and Amazon is full of smocked dresses for under $30. This knee-length version comes in a multitude of fun colors for only $17. We also love this patterned maxi for a night out after a long day at the beach.

3. Miraclesuit Casbah Cotton Printed Tassel Kaftan Cover-Up, $88, Macy's

This colorful dress will make a splash at the beach, and take you right into dinner.

A similar style is available from Zappos and Bare Necessities for $88.

4. Snapper Rock Waiheke Short Sleeve Rash Top, $64, Snapper Rock, and Snapper Rock Waiheke Striped Leggings, $86, Snapper Rock

beach cover-ups kaftans
Nathan Congleton / TODAY

This sporty ensemble is so cute, and the brand says it blocks 98 percent of all harmful UVA and UVB rays. Score!

Editor's note: We found this equally functional and fun Kanu Surf rash guard, which also features a UPF 50+ rating.

5. Modcloth Pick and Cruise One-Piece Swimsuit, $80, Modcloth, and Millie Scarf-Print Beach Trouser, $12, BooHoo

This outfit is all about fun in the sun.

6. Jeasona Crochet Dress, $16, Amazon

We love the drawstrings on the sides, and the comfy feel.

7. Cocoship Vintage Skirtini, $29, Amazon

The retro style will make a statement at the beach, and yes, you can wear it to the swim-up bar as well.

If you're looking to splurge, try this hyper-flattering belted Tommy Hilfiger swim dress, which is $108 at Zappos.

8. Tavik Beach Throw, $44, Nordstrom

This doubles as a sarong and a beach blanket.

Zappos has another gorgeous sarong, from Hat Attack, for $58.

9. Speedo Hooded Cover-Up, $44, Amazon

This no-frills dress is great to slip on after a full day of water work.

You can also buy it from Zappos in white.

10. Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Beach Cover-Up Dress, $70, Amazon

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

11. Vince Camuto Tie Shoulder Poncho Cover-Up, $38, Zappos

The tie detailing on the shoulders is seriously cute.

12. Roxy Essentials Long Sleeve Zipped Rashguard, $48, Zappos

This number protects your arms, zips up, and blocks Ultraviolet A & B rays.

Amazon also has a $55 zip-up hooded Roxy rashguard that's equally appealing.

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

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