The last few weeks I’ve found myself drawn to summer clothes. Much as I enjoy curling up with tea, books and a chunky jumper occasionally, the rubbish British weather means that, at the moment, those occasions are all-too-frequent. As a distraction I find myself fantasising about and pinteresting (and occasionally buying) floaty floral dresses, yellow sandals and light, bright cardigans. Sigh. I mean, I’m not expecting to be able to go tightless just yet, but being able to wear not-100%-rainproof shoes sometimes would be nice.
As a result today’s post is about clothes for a different kind of water – summer swimsuits (and bikinis). So whether you’re just daydreaming of your holidays, were sensible and booked a winter sun getaway or just want something fancy for your trips to the council pool, here are 10 of my favourites of the year so far.
(NB. Unless stated otherwise I’ve not actually road-tested any of these costumes so can’t comment on durability or how they hold up when actually doing some swimming.)
£88 from Asos
Thigh-flattering boyshort design! A waist-cinching belt! Boob-flattering neckline! In slimming black without being boring! Yes it’s expensive, but think of how good it would make you feel.
£8 for top, £4 for bottoms from George @ Asda
This polka dot number’s not going to be the most eye-catching on the beach, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s simple and classic without being plain. What’s more, it’s just £12 for the set. And you can buy it as separates. Well played, Asda.
Top £14-16, bottoms £11-13.50 from Asos
Super-pretty without being too sweet, girly or underwear-esque and not a bad price either. This longline top has detachable straps, and you can mix-and-match with briefs and/or a bandeau top to create your perfect look.
£105 from Asos
Every year I want to buy half of Seafolly’s collection. 2014 is no different. Another floral number that manages to be pretty without being saccharine, and you can’t go wrong with a bit of ruching. Another design well done.
£39 from Motel
As enticing as its yummy namesake and I reckon you’d look pretty tasty in it too. Sadly you can’t buy tops and bottoms individually from Motel’s website, but Asos has separates in the same pattern but slightly different styles if (like me) you need different sizes for top and bottom. But its fab green colour – a nice change from the many other floral cossies out there – almost makes up for that slight frustration.
£49 for top, £22 for bottoms from Very
I know, I know, more florals. But this number from Gossard is different; it’s the grown-up version of the flowery numbers out there. Lovely.
£65 from For Luna
I actually own the black version of this costume and love it as much today as when I first took it out of its pretty, protective cloth bag about five years ago. Designed by ex-swimmer Esther Williams, this range is made for ladies who want to swim properly and look good doing it. So, even with the halterneck tie, this cossie stays secure when jumping into pools, front-crawling in the sea or being swept down a waterslide. As well as being practical its super-flattering, holding you in and boosting you up in all the right places. At £65 it’s not cheap, but a worthwhile investment. Take your pick from a range of colours that also includes dark green, red and gingham. I can also highly recommend the bikini bottoms in the same style.
My jaw dropped twice when I saw this swimming costume. Firstly because of how awesome it is (the 50’s-style shape! You’d be wearing a painting!). And secondly, when I noticed the price. This is definitely an ‘If I won the lottery’ costume (and even then I think I’d feel guilty about dropping that much money on so little material) but we can admire its beauty from afar and dream.
£14.99 for top, £7.99 for bottoms, from New Look
New Look have come up trumps with this cute little number. Personally I’d prefer something a little more substantial on the bottom half, but if you don’t mind baring your thighs then this a great value set. And as it comes in separates, I’m quite tempted to buy the top in black and team it with my trusty boyshorts. Also comes in lilac.
M&S spotted bandeau bikini
Top £17.50, bottoms (or ‘skirtini’) £16 from Marks & Spencer
‘Skirtini’ sounds like a name JD from Scrubs made up, and nautical and polka dots aren’t the most original of swimswear styles. But I’m willing to overlook all of that for this number from M&S. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is I love about this set, but I just know I want it. Now. Isn’t that how all the best relationships start?