Coco Bay is known for its gorgeous swimwear. Yet its range of resort wear is perfect too – whether you’re heading to the beach or absorbing the rays on a staycation.

When Belinda Robinson and her sister Anna Roscoe wearied of the soul-destroying annual pre-holiday hunt for a flattering swimsuit, they – along with another of their sisters – decided to do something about it. Their frustrations were two-fold: firstly, that precious little of what was on offer appeared to be designed for real women’s bodies. And, secondly, that the whole demoralising process of repeatedly getting undressed under the harsh changing room lights was so lengthy that a) it felt like it took longer than the actual holiday they were going on and b) made them miserable about the whole affair before they even hit the airport.

Exasperated, they knew there must be a way to do things better. And thus Coco Bay was born. Since, as they tell us, 80 per cent of our holidays tend to be focused on the beach, they wanted to put an end to this disservice to women and create instead ‘swimwear that really fits in colours and styles that make those first few self-conscious days on the beach more comfortable.’ A simple dream but, as it turns out, one that, when articulated as their mail-order beachwear company, answered the prayers of countless other women too.

In line with its founding promise, Coco Bay sells well-cut beachwear that isn’t just for six-foot tall, sample-size models; quite the contrary, its raison d’etre is to flatter real women who want, simply, to feel great on holiday. The company launched a decade ago, with the invaluable help of obliging friends and family of all sizes who tried on their designers’ pieces so that the sisters really got to grips with what worked best on which shapes. Ten years on, Coco Bay has been garlanded with the award for Best On-line Swimwear.

But why stop at swimwear? Applying the same ethos, Coco Bay has also expanded to stock a beautiful range of clothing that is perfect whether you’re getting away or staycationing, the latter of which, realistically this year, describes the overwhelming majority of us. As with the swimwear, every piece is tried and tested, and there is an excellent fitting service for anyone who is unsure about which pieces will flatter them. Each design by the brand’s very own collaborative ethical label, Coco Bay by Skemo, is hand-produced in Indonesia by talented artisans, and exploring the collection feels akin to wafting through a floaty summer dream (think summer dresses, skirts, trousers, sarong dresses and tops – all ideal for a relaxed yet chic summer look).

Here we pick six of the best pieces to glide elegantly through summer in – beach or no beach.

Indigo Dominica Top, £49

Frilly, feminine and evoking strong la dolce vita vibes, the Indigo Dominica Top is ideal for al fresco dinners under balmy summer evening skies. There is elasticated smocking around the midriff, making it super comfy, too.

Kaleidoscope Alexa Maxi Dress, £84

The perfect summer dresses are, for us, always those that offer versatility. The Kaleidoscope Alexa Maxi Dress has an easy-breezy tie-dye boho feel that is reminiscent of classic Ibizan holidays. As perfect worn poolside as it is dressed up for the evening.

Daisy Alexa Dress, £72

This pretty floral frock exudes relaxed glamour. It’s great for throwing on with flipflops at a relaxed summer lunch – or why not inject a shot of glamour with the addition of red lipstick and wedge heels for an effortless evening look?

Antigua Borneo Dress, £95

Bandeau dresses are a summer classic. This example oozes style, thanks to the its relaxed cut and stunning pattern. Throw on over a bikini or, equally, wear for an effortlessly chic summer cocktail party look.

Teal Sun Dress, £34.50

Extreme heat calls for the coolest of clothing. This gossamer-light bandeau dress is made using soft modal fabric; we like it best accessorised with flip flops and tousled summer hair.

Ocean Vintage Trousers, £71

The joy of these super comfy trousers is in the detail. We love the bead trim, the embroidery, the splits up the sides and the gathered ankle. Ones to live in all summer – and for many summers to come.

By Nancy Alsop
June 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.