The smell of suncream. One sniff of that and I’m listening to exotic birds fluttering in the palm trees, underscored by waves crashing and frothing against the rocks. Piña colada in one hand, Vogue mag in the other. Of course, the reality of this situation is that I’m actually sat at my desk, listening to the sound of the electric blinds rising to reveal the grey tinge of British weather, underscored by rain clattering on the roof. Pen in one hand (old school!), coffee in the other. The summer sun will be here soon, though – either in the form of a Great British heatwave or our tropical summer holiday. And you know what that means? A Very summer style edit that will transport you from sand to sundown in a sniff of P20. Pull up a sun-lounger and let’s start by hitting the sand.
Taking inspiration from the sepia-toned photographs of your nana’s beach-appropes attire back in the ’50s, this season is all about tapping into retro bikini designs, with a modern and uplifting twist. Just like your favourite new-season mom jeans, these high-rise bikini bottoms sleek out your silhouette by pulling you in at the tummy, while strategically placed contrast zips to the front create the illusion of a slimmer figure. Running with the retro theme, the longline design to the matching bikini top is brimming with vintage charm. And the pattern? That alone is enough to get you excited for your blissful summer break.
Longline bikini top, by Resort – £20
Longline zip detail briefs, by Resort – £16
If Barbie had one favourite beachwear number, I’m pretty sure this cute ‘kini would be it. Getting you all heated up for the relaxing, ray-catching antics of the season ahead, the one-shoulder design and frilled, waterfall detail to this bikini top promises to keep you looking ever so pretty. The bubblegum pink hue is spot on for sun-drenched days on the sand, while the ruched side panel to the matchy-matchy bikini bottoms creates a flattering finish that promises to turn heads. Style it out with a cute baseball cap to protect your hair from sun damage and work this season’s sports luxe trend. I do love a bit of multi-functional fashion ✓.
Ruffle bikini set, by Resort – £25
Monochrome beach bag – £22
I hope you’re not thinking that swimming costumes are reserved for Olympic swimmers, the 1990s and the over 90s – nah-ah. SS15 brings us a whole new collection of swimsuits designed to create a beach babe look to rival the beauties from Bay Watch. The ‘Hawaii Beach’ piece above offers all the colour-poppin’ cool girl style you could wish for, with its scene-stealing pink hue. Featuring a contrast logo and flirty zip-down front, sandals and mirrored sunnies are all you need to finish the look. I am in.absolute.LOVE.with.these.Rays.
Hawaii Beach swimsuit, by Resort
Round sunglasses, by Ray Ban
And now onto my favourite part of holiday time – getting glammed up at sundown. Here’s a little summer-style-spiration for cocktail o’clock at the taverna…
I challenge you to locate a more beautiful summer maxi dress than this white one by South (left). Just look at the attention to detail that’s gone into it. From lace to chiffon, each panel offers a different texture for interesting appeal and a seriously high-end look. I love the way it cinches at the waist and then softly drapes over your figure, teasing with a subtle show of tanned leg beneath the sheer fabric. The split-side detail, the lace top panel, the sleeveless design – I just love it all!
Crochet neck maxi dress by South – £39
Metallic and lace are big shouts for this season and this mini ticks off the two. The short length and sleeveless design are perfect for showing off toned and tanned summer pins and arms, while the high neckline keeps your look classy. Partnered with the bold Hana hard clutch by Miss KG, I’d just add silver or white block heels to keep the look on point. So fresh and summery.
Metallic lace dress with cut-out front, by Samantha Faiers – £49
Hana hard clutch bag, by Miss KG – £40
If the holiday has to be over, you may as well go out with an explosion of shimmer, so perhaps save this fierce Fearne Cotton sequin embellished top for your last night of partying by the sea. Modelled above with white shorts by South, it lends true transitional power to your holiday collection, making any skirt, shorts or denims look luxe. Don’t forget to pack a pair of simple yet chic shorts like these in your overnight bag – their versatility means they can be worn with your other bandeau tops and bikinis throughout the vacay, to save suitcase space.
Until next time, whether you’re packing for the poolside, booking a beach holiday or getting excited for summer BBQs in your own back garden, I hope the pieces above have given you a little inspiration for some stunning new season styles.
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