Perfect swimsuits for summer staycations

Zoe Gunn

22 June 2021

Even if you’re swapping the Maldives for Margate, it doesn’t mean you can’t have the chicest swimwear on the beach

22 June 2021 | Zoe Gunn

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o one knows what this year's summer holidays are going to look like. But whether you’re living it up on the Cote d’Azure or getting cosy in a Cornish cottage, a great swimsuit will never go out of fashion. From sporty swimsuits to pretty-but-not-exactly-practical cut-out designs, here’s our guide to the best women’s swimsuits to buy for summer 2021.

The best plain swimsuits

Lisa Marie Fernandez Dree Louise tie-waist swimsuit, £475, farfetch.com; Marysia Santa Barbara seersucker swimsuit, £307.30, net-a-porter.comMoré Noir ruffle-trimmed swimsuit, £225, harveynichols.com

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.

Moré Noir’s ruffle-trimmed swimsuit takes a slightly more daring approach, with a plunging neckline that is also available in scarlet if you’re looking to go full Baywatch, while Marysia’s recycled seersucker design features elegant scalloped edges in a shade of yellow that will look great with a tan.

The best colour-block swimsuits

Evarae Cassandra belted swimsuit, £270, net-a-porter.comLes Girls Les Boys colour block swimsuit, £135, lesgirlslesboys.comNorma Kamali Mio panelled swimsuit, £220, matchesfashion.com

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 Les Girls Les Boys’ simple two-tone 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

Zimmerman Cassia floral-print bandeau swimsuit, £270, net-a-porter.comSelf-Portrait Bow count swimsuit, £220, matchesfashion.comAdriana Degreas Muguet bandeau swimsuit, £260, brownsfashion.com

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 Self-Portrait’s Bow swimsuit, which pairs a waist-level cutout with a one-shoulder style that is interesting while remaining demure. For those willing to take on a bit of pattern, meanwhile, Zimmerman and Adriana Degreas offer their cut-out designs finished with vintage floral prints that are guaranteed to be the envy of everyone around the swimming pool.

The best patterned swimsuits

Paolita Vela Bianca swimsuit, £235, harveynichols.com; Boteh Panayiota patchwork swimsuit, £168, farfetch.comPeony gingham swimsuit, £155, farfetch.com

Nothing will get you in the holiday mood faster than matching your swimwear to your destination but, since you’re not likely to be going very far this summer, why not dress for the holiday you wish you were taking? Fans of la dolce vita should pair the Italian baroque stylings on Paolita’s Vela Bianca swimsuit with an Aperol spritz. Those wishing they were sunning themselves on a Greek island, meanwhile, could do worse than invest in the mosaic-style patterns of Boteh Panayiota’s patchwork swimsuit. Originally imported from Malaysia, but now more commonly associated with the picnic blankets and tablecloths of France, wear Peony’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

Ephemera Mai Tai recycled-fibre swimsuit, £230, matchesfashion.com; Agua by Agua Bendita Durazno floral-print swimsuit, £215, net-a-porter.comRecycled polyester swimsuit, £101, ganni.com

They may be a quintessential summer print but florals come in all shapes and sizes. Compare, for example, the saccharine sweetness of Ephemera’s ruffle-finished pastel florals with Ganni’s bold black and orange blooms. Looking for a happy middle ground? Agua by Agua Bendita’s primary coloured flora lie just the right side of Victorian nursery wallpaper. Trust us, it’s a complement.

Read more: Beautiful summer dresses to buy now