Perfect swimsuits for summer holidays

Zoe Gunn

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12 May 2022

Whether it's the Maldives for Margate, make sure you've got the chicest swimwear on the beach

12 May 2022 Zoe Gunn | If you purchase something via our website, we may earn an affiliate commission.


inally jetting off for that much-needed foreign escape this summer? Whether you’re living it up at one of this summer's chicest European destinations, plan to get cosy in a Cornish cottage or are praying for the weather to be kind at one of Britain's beautiful beaches, you'll be needing a great swimsuit. From sporty one-pieces to pretty-but-not-exactly-practical cut-out designs, here’s our guide to the best women’s swimsuits to buy for summer 2022.

The best plain swimsuits

Lisa Marie Fernandez Dree Louise tie-waist swimsuit, £445,; Hunza G seersucker swimsuit, £155, net-a-porter.comMelissa Odabash Palermo ribbed swimsuit, £250,

Whether you plan to do some actual swimming in your swimsuit or simply want a design that is flattering without drawing the attention of every set of eyes on the beach, a plain swimsuit is a summer wardrobe staple. American swimwear designer Lisa Marie Fernandez is queen of the discreetly supportive swimsuit and this elegant tie-side seafoam blue number is a guaranteed confidence booster.

Melissa Odabash’s minimalist swimsuit takes a slightly more daring approach, with a flattering one-shoulder detail and ribbed bodice that hugs and smoothes the silhouette, while Hunza G’s seersucker number features an innovative one-size-fits-all design in a shade of orange that will look great with a tan.

The best colour-block swimsuits

Evarae Cassandra belted swimsuit, £285,; Casablanca P75 swimsuit, £270, selfridges.comNorma Kamali Mio panelled swimsuit, £250,

Summer is all about colour but, if you’re going to choose a swimsuit which features a variety of hues, it’s best to keep the silhouette simple. Evarae’s belted design, for example, highlights the waist and is brilliant for hourglass figures, while Casablanca's’ gradated wave style adds length to the torso. If your style tends towards the more glamorous, Norma Kamali’s panelled swimsuit offers a chicly contemporary take on animal print.

The best cut-out swimsuits

Marysia Antibes swimsuit, £305,; Maygel Coronel Praiano swimsuit, £295,; Zimmermann Rosa Scarf floral-print swimsuit, £250,

They may look scary at first but, choose the right design, and a cut-out swimsuit can be deeply flattering. Those just dipping their toe into the category should opt for Maygel Coronel's Praiano swimsuit, which pairs a waist-level cutout with a ruffled shoulder style that is interesting while remaining demure. For those willing to take on a bit of pattern, meanwhile, Zimmerman and Marysia offer vintage-inspired cut-out designs that are guaranteed to be the envy of everyone around the swimming pool.

The best patterned swimsuits

Lygia & Nanny Melissa swimsuit, £214,; La Double J Placée Hazzard Swimsuit, £310,; Ephemera gingham swimsuit, £235,

Nothing will get you in the holiday mood faster than matching your swimwear to your destination but, even if you're not going very far this summer, why not dress for the holiday you wish you were taking? Fans wishing for long sunny days should pair Lygia & Nanny's Moroccan-inspired bandeau swimsuit with a mojito at sundowners. Those dreaming of sunning themselves on Italian shores, meanwhile, could do worse than invest in the Milanese patterns of La Double J's swimsuit. Originally imported from Malaysia, but now more commonly associated with the picnic blankets and tablecloths of France, wear Ephemera’s gingham swimsuit underneath a mid-length skirt for an elegant outfit perfect for a long lunch of wine and cheese.

The best floral swimsuits

Loveshackfancy Shailee swimsuit, £188,; Agua by Agua Bendita Caoba Lluvia floral-print swimsuit, £415,; Marni sunflower-print swimsuit, £490,

They may be a quintessential summer print but florals come in all shapes and sizes. Compare, for example, the saccharine sweetness of Loveshackfancy's roses with Marni’s bold sunflower blooms. Looking for a happy middle ground? Agua by Agua Bendita’s pastel-coloured flora lie just the right side of Victorian nursery wallpaper. Trust us, it’s a compliment.

Read more: Beautiful summer dresses to buy now