OK, I know I said I was going to do ‘summer whites’ this week, but I’ve changed my mind to ‘what to wear on the beach’ as so many of you got in touch asking for a beachwear edit. For once, I decided to go with the crowd, and so here we are. Firstly, when it comes to worrying about what you’ll look like on the beach, my only advice would be PLEASE don’t. No one is really sizing you up and thinking, ‘Ooh, look at that woman over there, she could have done with a few less eclairs last month.’ They are all far too concerned about what they look like to worry about you. And unless you’re 23 and on the pull, you should cut yourself a break. It really doesn’t matter, you’ve made it to a beach and the sun is (hopefully) shining: that in itself is something to celebrate after the past few years.
Personally, I prefer a one-piece these days, but I’m contemplating a high-waisted bikini this year. My love of granny pants is transcending into swimwear. There’s not a hope in hell you’ll get me in a triangle bikini or (god forbid) a thong, so you won’t find any of those here, but if that’s your thing, then I salute your bravery. Let’s see what I have found…
THE CLASSIC BAYWATCH COSTUME
I do love a red swimsuit. We may never have looked like Pammy (I mean, did anyone?), but there’s just something about that classic red costume. Wear with your favourite pair of denim shorts and throw a short-sleeve shirt over the top. Possibly my favourite beach look.
- Asceno printed silk shirt
- Oliver Bonas square frame sunglasses
- La Perla red scoop back swimsuit
- Mango slouch denim shorts
- Arizona Love trekky print woven sandals
- Seasalt grassland jute tote bag
NONE MORE BLACK
Yes, you can wear black to the beach. I feel like this look is very ‘modern-day-chic St Tropez’ (not that I’ve ever been there). I can see those minimalist Olsen twins wearing something like this by the pool. Head down, covered in a cool baseball cap, as they pretend to read Nietzsche on the Kindle, but really it’s the latest Colleen Hoover. And despite what my 16-year-old says, I think these Adidas slides are cool. I have a pair and he says I look like I should be standing on the doorstep in my dressing gown smoking a Lambert and Butler* when I wear them.
*He didn’t specify the cigarette brand; let’s just call that artistic license.
- H&M cotton towelling button front shirt
- Anine Bing logo baseball cap
- Varley crinkled shell shorts
- Good American sculpt swimsuit
- Adidas Adilette lite slides
- Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza embroidered raffia bag
NAUTICAL BUT NICE
When I say ‘nautical’, I basically mean stripes. We love stripes whether at home or away. These are the two bikinis I am contemplating for my holiday. Although we won’t be seeing a beach, we will have access to a pool. I have to say, I much prefer a pool to a beach, anyway. I cannot abide sand: it’s a pain in the arse. Gets everywhere, and unless you’re under 10 and like making sandcastles, it’s no fun. Give me a pool, a sun lounger and, ideally, a swim-up bar any day of the week.
- ME + EM striped crossover back maxi dress
- Aspiga straw Panama hat
- Cupshe navy v neck bikini
- Heidi Klein stripe bikini bottoms and top
- Birkenstock two strap Arizona sandals
- Jigsaw Collagerie stripe straw tote bag
I mean, if towelling isn’t the perfect beach-holiday fabric, then I don’t know what is. Look cool AND dry off at the same time. What’s not to like? Think Sean Connery’s terry towelling playsuit in Goldfinger and work up from there…
- Sisters and Seekers Sooky towelling shirt
- Saint Laurent Kate cat-eye sunglasses
- ME + EM green wide leg crop towelling trousers
- Free People Caravan canvas tote bag
- Hunza G striped seersucker swimsuit
- Aspiga navy towelling shorts
A LITTLE BIT OF LEOPARD
You could wear this one as a top as well as a swimming costume. Swap the shorts for a pair of black wide-leg trousers, add some big gold hoop earrings, a red lipstick and you’re ready for evening. I’m just trying to think of your luggage allowance here.
- Saint Laurent oversized square frame sunglasses
- Furtalk adjustable straw sun hat
- Ganni leopard print swimsuit
- Anya Hindmarch Coppertone pouchette
- Boden leather interchangeable strap sandals
- COS relaxed fit denim shorts
THE WHITE DRESS
A wafty white dress that you can use as a beach cover-up but also wear around town. I’m thinking of your packing again: we don’t need excess items that only serve one purpose. I’ve got two trips coming up where it’s hand luggage only, so multi-purpose is the key. It’s the slimming down of the beauty products that concerns me the most – I’m going to have to be ruthless. No, I don’t need to pack all those lotions and potions ‘just in case’ and yes, you CAN buy suncream anywhere in the world these days, so you don’t need to take seven bottles…
- Arket Broderie Anglaise cotton dress
- Oliver Bonas green trim fedora hat
- M&S D Frame sunglasses
- Hush twisted crinkle bikini top
- Hush high waisted bikini bottoms
- Whistles Sena striped canvas tote bag
- The Drop 2 strap flat sandals
Happy travels, and if you’re staying in the UK this summer, you can still wear all this: just add a fleece and waterproof over the top. You’ll be grand.