You know the one thing that would make a beach holiday better? Not having to do it near naked. Few of us enjoy public undress and, despite the seasonal blather about diets and waxing and skin prep, it’s confidence not hard work that makes for memorable beach style. Sadly that doesn’t come from a bottle or a shop. Though nice beachwear does help.
There are lots of useful online guides to choosing swimwear to suit your figure, but annoyingly nothing beats trying on. If you don’t go on piles of holidays then please don’t spend loads of money on something that will sit in a drawer for 50 weeks of the year. Primark and HM swimwear comes recommended. If you have bigger boobs then try Marks Spencer, or if you’ve got much bigger boobs, try Bravissimo. I really like BHS for cheap separates. It has every style from swim shorts to bandeau tops and most are currently under a tenner. I had a trusty black BHS bikini for so many years that in the end it rotted from the chlorine. I still miss it.
That’s enough of the super sexy advice. I’m sure you’d rather hear about 2015 swimwear trends. There were quite a few one-pieces on the spring catwalks, including Chanel, Bottega Veneta and Peter Som. Acne Studios did a lovely cut-out style in a Baywatch red. That’s a big colour this season, though personally I can’t wear a swimsuit in this colour without feeling a bit Special K. There’s also a strong sportswear feel in swimwear. Designers such as Zoe Karssen, Beth Richards and Cynthia Rowley have great wetsuits, mesh tops and cropped rash vests in imaginative prints and colours.
Don’t worry though, there are lots of pretty little costumes in ethnic prints, crochet and soft hues, too. Try Prism London, which has just won funding from the British Fashion Council to expand the lovely range of beachwear and accessories created by founder Anna Laub. Prism specialises in elegant, minimal design in delicate colours. Roksanda Ilincic’s 2015 swimwear in liquorice allsorts shades is great, too.
If you want to lust after the best in high-end beachwear, look at Beach Flamingo. This site carries beautiful products, though a lot of it costs more than my holidays.
Of course, once you’ve found the perfect swimwear what you really want to do is cover it up. Kaftans and kimonos and shorts do this job well. The best high-street coverups come from Zara and Mango. I like the colours and patterns, and the prices are fair for something that’s going to get assaulted with chlorine, salt water, suntan lotion and ice cream for a fortnight (do buy machine washable). If you can be bothered, buy board shorts – they’re designed to get soaked and dry quickly, so they’re more comfortable on the sand than normal shorts.
There you go, you’re ready as you’ll ever be. Have a brilliant time.
Follow Alice on Instagram @aliceefisher