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Photo: Stocksy/Ania Boniecka
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I love a white tee as much as the next girl, but when it comes time to hit the beach, I’d gladly trade it in for a caftan that makes me feel like Elizabeth Taylor.

And, judging by my Instagram feed, I’m not alone: Whether poolside in the Hamptons or perched by the beach in Tulum, the one thing you’re likely to spy (other than a perfect-fitting swimsuit) is a gorgeous, gauzy cover-up.

If it looks a bit different this season, that’s because the silhouette’s evolved from muumuu to modern. “You’ll be seeing a lot of asymmetrical cuts, halters, jumpsuits,” says designer Mara Hoffman, whose eponymous line is known for creating cool girl-approved cover-ups, as well as its signature kaleidoscopic prints. “Some feel more like an outfit, and some just tie around you.”

“Some feel more like an outfit, and some just tie around you.”

Yes, that means you can totally wear them beyond the beach. “I just wore a cover-up to a gala,” admits the designer. More pragmatic options work too: Have brunch plans? Throw on a pair of denim cut-offs under a shorter cover-up in a bright color or bold pattern. Or slip on sneakers with a longer, flowy option to add an athleisure twist to an airy date-night outfit. (You can also kick off your shoes and don an ethereal cover-up to your solstice women’s circle.)

And if it’s a statement that you’re after, the truly wispy ones “can probably be wrapped around your head,” suggests Hoffman. Talk about thinking outside the box.

Whether you’re headed to a black-tie event or just the beach, here are 9 dreamy swimsuit cover-ups you’ll want to live in all summer.
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No matter what type of cover-up you choose, the one summer wardrobe staple (other than a super-cute swimsuit) you’ll want to accessorize it with is a pair of sneakers—here’s how