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White Shirtdresses
Gauzy white shirtdresses are probably the easiest cover-up to transition from day to evening, save for one thing: you can't keep your bathing suit on. Unless you are wearing a one- or two-piece that perfectly matches your flesh tone (and um, who does that?), everything will show through the fabric, even if you've totally dried off first. (As you can imagine, the whole effect is doubly disastrous if your swimwear layer is wet.) No, it's much better to take five minutes in the restroom/car/nearby beach brush to slip into some nude seamless undergarments. From there, the rest is easy: swipe on some red lipstick, add some streamlined accessories and you're ready to go.
The best part of wearing boardshorts at night is that they work best with a matching bikini. That means your getting-ready time won't really cut into your laying-the-sun (slathered in sunscreen, of course), reading-fashion-magazines time, because all it takes to look pulled together is an open-weave sweater and metallic sandals.
Peasant-Style Sundresses
Most peasant-style sundresses intended to throw over swimwear are short even by petite standards; so unless you are under five feet tall, it's better to wear them with flats. Stick with non-flip-flop footwear, toss on some colorful jewelry and you'll look instantly polished—even if your bikini straps are showing.
Unless you have an shapeless, knee-length style caftan (which falls more in the category of a muumuu or schmata, no?), you really shouldn't wear it as a dress. Instead, balance out the tunic length with some tapered white jeans and cut-out flats (sandals are okay, too, but not anything closed-toe—it'll look too heavy). It's fine if your bathing suit peeks beneath your top; in fact, it'll make your outfit even better!
Jersey Maxi Dresses
As jersey maxi dresses are something that lots of people wear outside of beach season, they're pretty easy to style in non-swimming situations. All you really need is a non-tote handbag, a bracelet or ring stack (or both!), shoes that aren't rubber and you're good to go! If the top of your swimwear is going to be showing, make sure it matches the rest of your color scheme; that way it looks like an intentional choice rather than a lack of time.