In a couple of weeks I will be going on my summer holiday to Capri and I NEED a new swimsuit. The thing is, there’s almost too much choice and it becomes hard to focus on what you really like. In recent years the trend has been for ‘50s-style bikinis but I think the retro look is starting to fade and the simple, well-cut one-piece is coming into its own.
Personally I like clean lines and sporty, simple shapes – ‘gold’ bits, frills, ruffles, ruching and fiddly cut-outs don’t do it for me (although I will always have a soft spot for a polka dot). I’d like something chic and elegant in a minimalist way – but just because wild horses are not galloping across my torso, that doesn’t mean I want to look boring.
When I was about 10 years old I had an amazing swimsuit – it was black with a tiny white ditsy floral print and made from a soft, almost brushed cotton fabric. It was SO chic and I’ve been looking for a perfectly plain ‘grown-up’ version ever since. Last year I was seduced by J.Crew’s seersucker number, this summer I’m being tempted by APC’s simple heart-print one-piece.
I favour a scooped back and a high-cut leg on a swimsuit for its lengthening properties – think of all those sexy ladies dancing around in their undies in Whitesnake videos in the ‘80s and you’ll know what I mean (I probably won’t be wearing mine with white stilettos though...) American Apparel’s Malibu swimsuit is probably the best example of this style.
If money was no object I would be buying Lisa Marie Fernandez – her neoprene and seersucker swimsuits are the sexiest and judging by her Instagram feed, this woman takes vacationing very seriously indeed so she knows what she’s doing when it comes to designing a bikini or swimsuit that will make you look FIT. Plus her brand mascot is a teddy called ‘Bad Boy Albert’ and I own his twin! (This is not strictly relevant but it pleases me.)
Prism London’s swimwear is deceptively plain – there are no fripperies whatsoever and the colour palette is unlikely – sludgy greens, browns and yellows abound. But don’t be fooled – these bikinis and bathing suits are seriously hot in an understated, cooler-than-cool way. Each design is named after a cool destination – ‘Montauk’, ‘Positano’ – and I imagine them being worn by painfully hip fashion bloggers as they lounge on some pristine, obscure beach somewhere.
There's something innately Gallic about this subtle, simple Petite Bateau bather...
If you have a longer torso, this simple Topshop design is a great option - I love the way it's been thoroughly Pollocksed.
Nothing looks more chic than a plain black bathing suit - it's modern and yet timeless (this is designed for taller women too.)
I love the graphic simplicity of the bold black polka dots on this white Topshop halterneck swimsuit.
The gorgeous sky blue of this Evans swimsuit will flatter any skintone, whether you're milk-bottle-pale or already tanned.
This 'swim dress' is an ingenious design - there are little swim shorts beneath the skirt so you have as much coverage as you need but can still swim and sunbathe comfortably, and I just love the romantic floral print on this monochrome bikini.
If you have a bigger bust, Freya's daintily-spotted swimsuit offers extra support up to a FF cup.
And of course Bravissimo has a vast selection - these are two of my favourite bikinis.
I know I said I prefer plain swimwear, but I couldn’t resist the eye-catching prints and interesting fabrics on these Topshop bikinis...