Swimsuit Coverups That Look Great On Petites

brunette woman wearing a turquoise terry shift dress swimsuit coverups standing in a swimming pool

If you are reading this, most likely you are planning a trip to the beach or a great resort and you are a petite woman. Glad you found me. I hope to help you find great swimsuit coverups that will make you feel confident and comfortable wherever you wear them.

Swimsuit coverups are not only functional but essential in my opinion. Most likely you are thinking that they are important too or you wouldn’t be reading this. I know that as I prepare for a beach vacation there are always things that I am making sure are in good shape and fit me well. If not, I go down that rabbit hole of looking for some new things for my petite frame.

Before we start looking at swimsuit coverup options here are some other summer/vacation-style posts that I have written. You might want to check them out as well.

sarong as a swimsuit coverups 02

Swimsuit | Hat | Sarong is from my scarf collection

Swimsuit Coverups Are Functional and Stylish

I never go on a trip without a coverup or two. I find that whether you are at a resort for a few days or at the beach they always come in handy. There are so many styles that you can always find one that looks good on you and functions for your travels.

Why and When You Should Wear A Coverup

Getting a little sun and relaxation is usually why we head to a warm-weather destination. While getting a little sun is good for us (think your daily dose of Vitamin D) we don’t want to get too much sun. That’s where a cute coverup can come in handy. It can help protect you from the sun.

You can spend a couple of hours lounging in your bathing suit and then put your coverup on to protect more of your skin. You can read more about sun exposure from WebMD and how much time is good for you. Also, make sure you get a good umbrella seat if possible. The umbrella is great for helping to block some of the sun too.

A good coverup also comes in handy when you are at a resort and your room is quite the walk from the pool or beach. Yes, you will want to have some that are easy to take on and off for your treks to the pool/beach. Also, keep in mind that you will want to be able to easily put your coverup on to make a trip to the lady’s room or have lunch poolside. So not only does this piece of clothing come in handy to cover you, but it will also help protect your skin once you have been out in the sun for a while.

sun hats to protect your face from the rays at the late 02

Types of Swimsuit/Beach Coverups

There are so many different style options for coverups. You will want to keep in mind the color(s) in your swimsuits so that everything will coordinate. If you are an over packer and have the budget for more than one, choose a different style for each of your swimsuits. Some days you may want more coverage than others.

Another thing that I like to do is go through my scarf drawer. You may have a large scarf that you don’t wear that you can turn into a sarong. That is what I did in the photo above in the turquoise suit. Works beautifully with a modest one-piece swimsuit for me. So you don’t always have to buy a true coverup, there may be some things lurking in your closet that you don’t mind if they get sand and suntan lotion on them.

Best Fabrics Options

Think light and breezy when you are looking for swimsuit coverups. Yes, you want to look for fabrics that will blow in the wind and feel light to the touch on your skin. Some of the best fabrics to look for when shopping for your coverup are cotton, linen, gauze, voile, or viscose/rayon. Cotton and linen are going to be more breathable than any of the synthetic fabrics. Whereas, synthetic fabrics may be more durable. Much of this comes down to your personal fabric preference.

Now let’s look at the different style options for swimsuit coverups. Some of these may come in petite sizing and others may just be petite-friendly. I can spot petite-friendly clothing items quickly. For reference, I am 5′ and usually a size 2.

So now that I have you believing that you need a good coverup let’s look at the different types and some examples of each.


A tunic is a loose-fitting shirt that looks like a long shirt or short dress. The length is normally somewhere between the hips and knees. It can be sleeveless or have short sleeves. For the beach, they come in a variety of fabrics, patterns, and colors.

These can be a good option for petites because they will look more like a dress than a shirt for our height.


A caftan can be either a knee-length or full-length garment that has long flowy sleeves. Caftans are usually open at the front and tied with a belt or sash. They have been worn for years to be cool and comfortable. Caftans as coverups are usually made of cotton or a cotton/silk combination. They will come in various colors, fabrics, and patterns so you should not have a problem finding one that meets your personal preferences.


A sarong is a very versatile style of coverup to have in your wardrobe. A sarong is essentially any length of fabric that is wrapped around the waist. It can be worn as a dress or a skirt. The skirt can be long or short depending upon how much fabric you are wrapping around your body. There are endless ways to style a sarong. It just depends on how much time you want to spend wrapping and tying it around your body.


Dress beach coverups are just that. Dresses. Just like any dress, they can be short, long, strapless, sleeveless, short-sleeved…..you get the idea. Dress beach coverups are usually made in lighter, airier fabrics than your usual day dresses since they are designed for a bathing suit to be worn underneath them. If a dress is something that you enjoy wearing and feel good in, then find a coverup that is made in a style similar to your favorite day dress.

UPF 50 Swimsuit Coverups

Many designers will make their swimsuit/beach coverups in UPF 50 fabrics. However, two brands make only UPF 50 fabrics for their entire lines. So if you are REALLY serious about sun protection and your coverup I would suggest checking out Cabana Life and Coolibar. They have lots of great options.


Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. I hope that this helped you find a great-looking swimsuit coverup that you can’t wait to wear. Please let me know in the comments where you plan to wear it. I love to hear about everyone’s travel adventures.

You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram. Every week I send out a Sunday News newsletter recapping the week and letting you in on what has been on my radar screen. I share things there that I don’t share on any other platform. You can sign up for it by clicking here.

Updated March 2024.

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