What to look for in a swimsuit this summer © House of Fraser

What to look for in a swimsuit this summer

LUXOS brings you the best bikinis and bags, cutaway swimsuits and cover-ups, for a sun soaked beach ready wardrobe

Summer is here and that means one thing – it is holiday season. Dreams of lazy days and long nights spent snoozing in the sun, setting sail on ocean adventures, losing yourself in a novel and skipping back to shore for ‘magic hour’ sundowners are just a jet set away.

Whatever your beachside destination, you will need a wardrobe to match. From the surfing chic of Montauk to the colourful tropics of The Bahamas or the bohemian spirit of the Balearics, there is no excuse to throw on any old bikini and sarong. And with the summer sales already in full swing, there isn’t a better time to get shopping...

Bikini or one piece?

If you’re not contour confident when it comes to your body, then a one piece is a chic alternative to a bikini and needn’t look frumpy. Gone are the days of unflattering Lycra swimsuits. Today’s once pieces are even stealing the show from some bikinis, boasting flattering cut out and backless designs as well as plunging necklines, intricate embellishments and all in gorgeous fabrics, colours, prints and patterns. A one piece is ideal for ocean lounging on a yacht or when catching the rays is not top priority, but you can’t beat a bikini for sun worshipping and flaunting a newly honed beach bod and golden glow.

Nautical nuances

For Riviera chic and Montauk cool, go for a preppy nautical inspired style. Navy and white are the ideal base colours for a starboard chic wardrobe. Add in hints of red and the ubiquitous Breton stripes and combine with raffia, natural hues and the odd anchor or ocean inspired motif. For a nonchalant finish style with cut off denims, breezy white linen and mannish shirts thrown over bikinis.


Bag: Mark Cross, bikini: Lisa Marie Fernandez, sunglasses: Ray-Ban, swimsuit: Lisa Marie Fernandez, jumpsuit: Heidi Klein, sandals: Paloma Barcelo

Related: How to beat the heat: What to look for in a summer suit

Bohemian breeze

If you are jetting off to an island idyll and opting for the lo-fi beach life, sourcing artisan picnic provisions at the local market, discovering rustic hidden beach coves and parking yourself at a laidback beach shack come sundown, let your wardrobe take an equally louche approach. A colour scheme of white and natural hues will feel both subtle and stylish and add a bohemian vibe with crochet materials, broderie anglaise and fringing.


Dress: Zimmermann, onepiece: Zimmermann, hat: Sensi Studio, bikini: She Made Me, sunglasses: Isabel Marant, sandals: Valia Gabriel, bag: Sensi Studio

Tropical treats

Bold, bright and certainly beach ready, tropical prints, colours and patterns scream summer holiday style. Just don’t over do the measures when it comes to such audacious colours and prints. Go for a print bikini or swimsuit but pare down your bag and shoes or vice versa.


Kaftan: Roberto Cavalli, swimsuit: Mara Hoffman, hat: Eugenia Kim, sungalsses: Miu Miu, bag: Michael Kors, bikini: Emamo, sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals

Related: What to wear to work this summer 

Go graphic

For a contemporary and somewhat urban approach to your beachwear, geometric and abstract prints make a refreshing alternative to the more classic of beach styles. If you are Barcelona bound, or another such cosmopolitan city beach destination, choose graphic prints and wear with chic white for a fuss-free minimal finish.


Bag: Sophie Hulme, long shirt: Heidi Klein, sunglasses: The Row, hat: Sensi Studio, sandals: ATP Atelier, swimsuit: Mara Hoffman

Related: How to survive a long-haul flight like a lady

Colour clash

When the sun is shining, bright colours are a failsafe option. Canary yellow, fuchsia pink and ocean turquoise are just a few of the classic summer shades, and don’t be afraid to go a bit rainbow with your colour combos. A bright cover up or beach bag is also a super easy way to inject some colour to classic black or white swimwear.


Swimsuit: Norma Kamali, sunglasses: Ray-Ban, bikini: Heidi Klein, dress: Mara Hoffman, bag: Sophie Anderson