Nothing says summer like the purchase of a new costume. And, like summer, swimwear is full of such promise – the promise of sun-dappled lunches; the promise of novels read on sun-loungers; the promise of sundowners savoured as the day ebbs. Will yours be a bare-it-all bikini this year? A demure one-piece? A tantalising tankini? Whether you are packing for Puglia, savouring a staycation or moseying around the Med, we’ve found the most exciting sites for you.
Launched in London in 2014, this luxury swim and beachwear brand combines flattering shapes and timeless design with nostalgic fabrics. The result is grown-up, high-end pieces that you’ll wear year after year. The L & F woman (there is even a hashtag – #LFmuses) “doesn’t seek to be the centre of attention, but she turns heads wherever she globetrots. The world is her playground and effortless style is a given.”
This ultra-feminine brand has been bringing us perfectly cut swimwear since 2009. Colours are muted – think pale pink, nude and olive green. Cuts are fresh and soft – think scalloped edges and tie-front closures.
What you need in a swimwear designer is an intimate knowledge of the product. This Melissa Odabash has in spades, given that she was a swimwear model before launching her debut collection in 1999. Vogue once described her pieces as “the Ferraris of the bikini world”. To this day, the brand turns out beautiful beachwear for the most glamorous and sophisticated people on the planet.
Endlessly elegant, this is a label that says: do not mess with me. Launched this year, it celebrates clean lines and minimalist design – in order “to showcase the female form at its most powerful and alluring”. Founder and creative director, Alexandra Miro, is determined that all body shapes, from the fuller figure to the athlete, are catered for. There is a one-piece here for you.
Heidi Gosman and Penny Klein launched the UK’s first one-stop holiday shop in 2002. Their fiercely loyal customer base suggests that they’ve never looked back. We’ve heard it said that Heidi Klein’s Hamptons V-Bar One Piece is the most flattering costume around…
If you are in the mood to splash out – big time – on swimwear, look no further than trusty old Net-a-Porter. The entire section is fabulous. But don’t miss Lisa Marie Fernandez’s costumes. They’ve had a global cult following since the label launched in 2009; ruffles, wraps and neoprene are the order of the day.
This is the place to go for bold and directional swimwear by a carefully curated clutch of designers. You cannot hide in these statement pieces – but, man, you’ll look good in htem. Watch out for Australian brand, The Upside.
Those clever swimwear engineers at Coco Bay know just how daunting it can be to strip off near-naked into your swimming togs. A well cut bikini or one-piece will make all the difference to how you feel on holiday. The Coco Bay site, selling swimwear from your favourite designer brands such as Seafolly and Moontide, has won awards for its customer service. You can call or email for first-hand fitting and style advice so you can find the right swimwear for your shape. Still feel apprehensive? Their pretty kaftans, sarongs and beach cover-ups get our vote.
TO DIVE FOR
Inspired by “ocean adventures”, this label is designed and made in Britain. The vibe is sexy, colourful and energetic; the price point is moderate and appealing. Just browsing the website will put a spring in your step.
SOLID AND STRIPED
A favourite of fashionable Instagrammers the world over, Solid and Striped swimwear is youthful and vibrant. Themes include blocks of colour, sassy neons and, this season, a dip into ombre. Its creators say: “We can be found somewhere between the beaches of Water Mill, NY and seasports of the Amalfi Coast, with a book in one hand and glass of something-on-the-rocks in the other. Uncommon travellers with sandy-bottomed beach bags, we wear our grandmother’s wristwatch and our father’s cologne.” Got it?
The last word in glamour it may not be but you will be neither daunted nor disappointed by a visit to Boden’s greatest-ever swimwear section. This year, there are yet more co-ordinating separates on offer – in designs that’ll make you look your best and colourways that tick all the boxes.