1. Accessories rule. Maya Lucia Maini, a fashion consultant at swimwear boutique Biondi, says: “The key is to have practical but beautiful accessories; hats, for instance, that are both chic but protective. Shorts jumpsuits and bug-eye Oliver Peoples sunglasses are also seasonal must-haves.”
2. Layer up. Beachware has to take you through from sand, terrace to evening drinks – and layering is the key. “All you should have to do when you go out in the evening is take your sun-hat off,” says Maini. Choose good fabrics for your layers. Ambas does kaftans in cotton gauze which are extremely breathable; Bellaju is another hot brand with lightweight embroidered silk kaftans and Matthew Williamson does a lovely line in printed coverups.
3. Buy a one-piece. “The one-piece has made a big comeback,” says Maini. “It’s all about the embellishment and the cut. It certainly doesn’t have to be playboy style – but there should be a cut-out and it should be elegant.”
4. Be on trend with swimsuits in white, denim and prints. The hottest brands right now are Vix (beloved of Jennifer Aniston), Emamo (hand-finished bikinis) and Sestra Moja which features angelic cover-ups in white cheesecloth. biondicouture.com, netaporter.com and Liza Bruce (9 Pont Street, SW1X 9EJ) stock-these brands.
HOW TO BUY SWIMSUITS | BODY TYPE TIPS
• If you are small chested, a halterneck emphasises the delicate neckline, giving you an instant cleavage.
• If you are pear-shaped, halterneck bikinis are also good too as they emphasise your shoulders, creating a balance for your hips. Pair them with drop-waisted briefs that elongate your silhouette.
• Avoid high-waisted 1950s styles at all costs as the extra fabric will make your bottom half look larger than it is.
• If you have a long torso, be wary of one-pieces. This will lead to either a deathly low-cut suit, or worse, one permanently creeping up at the back. Create the same look with a tankini two-piece. That way you are still covered for the most part but it can adapt to your body shape.
• If you have broad shoulders or large bosoms, always avoid bandeau bikini tops. They offer zero support and also make you look broader on top.