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Ready Set Swim

Doesn’t bikini season seem to creep up on you every year? One day I’m eating a Lindt bunny all in one sitting, the next I’m frantically exfoliating and baring all on the beach.

Saying that, I’m forever a swimwear addict and have always loved hoarding bikinis ahead of an exciting holiday. As with the rest of my wardrobe, I’m not that governed by trends when it comes to my swimwear but each year, I do find myself gravitating towards a few specific styles or colours. So as I’m currently in Mexico this week (I’ll no doubt be posting a lot on my instagram and Insta Stories if you’re keen to follow) I thought I’d flag a few of the styles I’m leaning towards this summer and why….

I’ve also teamed up with CollectPlus for this blog post, a resource I was using incessantly recently in the run up to my holiday. After endless ‘you were out’ slips and missed parcels, I’ve realised CollectPlus is one of the best solutions for me given I have no set routine or guaranteed hours at home. It basically allows your parcels to be delivered to a registered local spot (normally a newsagents) so you can pick up at your convenience and you can drop returns off there too, removing the need for a post office run. If your schedule is a bit all over the place like me or you just don’t want your day job to see just how much online shopping you’re indulging in right now, this is a bit of a winning solution. All the bikinis featured at the bottom of this post are available from some of the retailers that use CollectPlus (they have 600 and counting) if you want to give it a go (ASOS and John Lewis are my go-to ones in terms of using it). I also wrote about shopping for your shape in terms of swimwear on the CollectPlus blog here. 

The Off Shoulder

Ok maybe not the most practical bikini but as a lover of the off-shoulder top on holiday, I am all over these this summer. I also find this shape really flattering on me somehow and the tops would look amazing with denim shorts or a high-waisted midi skirt too. I’d love to splurge on a Lisa Marie Fernandez one but can’t quite bring myself to go for it just yet, but thankfully Asos has loads of good ones. The ones with massive ruffles or a frill all the way around are a bit passe and too, well, frilly for me. Instead I like the ones that are just subtly ruched and can sit just on top of the shoulder as well as around your arms.

80s High Legs

PVC, polka dots, fishnets… Is it any surprise the 80s has leaked back into swimwear too. Iconic brand Hunza G is still leading the way with this trend, bringing its high-leg, ruched bikinis and suits back to the forefront of everyone’s most-wanted list. There’s also a tonne of this on the high street too. I would leave the dramatic high-legs to the experst (AKA models), but a slightly higher leg on a swimsuit looks super cool. Especially great when teamed with other retro fabrics and prints like vetical stripes, ribbed fabric or the below pale yellow. I also weirdly love it when you can see tan lines from lower cuts suits… I think it adds an extra layer of carefree summer coolness.



Mellow Yellow

I’m really feeling yellow this summer. I don’t think it even really suits me to be honest as I have the tendency to look quite sallow. Having been a real colour phobe for years, I’m still happily surprised when a colour like this gets under my skin. Our obsession with pale, dusky pink has been dubbed ‘millenial pink’ which for me, kind of signalled the death of it somehow (why oh why do people have to go around labelling these things?) so maybe yellow is about to have it’s day again… I still love pale pink (just ordered a huge linen armchair in the stuff and Acne bags will forever speak to me) don’t get me wrong, but there might be room for a new saccharine palette obsession. Anyway, I don’t know where it’s come from but I’m definitely into yellow. Personally, I like soft yellows; pale Primrose kind of hues or slightly deeper, more mustard shades rather than anything super bright, neon or daffodil-like yellow.


The Swimsuit

I always take at least one swimsuit on holiday with me these days. I like doing the first day in a suit, just to ease into the spirit of things and if I’m doing something more active or going to be on a boat all day on something, I just sometimes feel more comfortable in a one-piece than a bikini. Plus, if you’re going on holiday this time of year or like me, tend to spend a bit of time closer to home during the summer, a bikini can sometimes feel and look a little ridiculous until it’s pushing 30 degrees. There’s something about them that just feel really chic too. I like everything from bandeau, to classic scoop backs and super thin straps, but I draw the line at anything cut-out or bandage-style. There’s far too much scope for bulges, dodgy tanlines and general awkwardness if you ask me.


Stripes for Life

I’m forever powerless to the charms of a great striped bikini or costume, probably because they work on so many different levels. From posing in Miami (not that I’ve ever done that) to messing around on dinghies on British beaches, stripes work everywhere. They can be classic, they can be retro and they work on everyone from sixteen to sixty. I’ve already got at least three new stripe numbers for the beach this summer and absolutely love them. Essentially, you can’t go wrong with stripes… Although unlike you’re favourite Breton jumper, maybe just stick to the vertical ones on swimwear.


This isn’t about showing cleavage or bondage-style suits (shudder), this is just adding an extra layer of sweetness to swimwear. I love a lace-up silk shirt or jumper so it’s kind of unsurprising I’m a sucker for laces on bikinis and costumes too. I love this one from Whistles and this one from my new fave swimwear brand Love Stories too. Obviously Marysia does some of the best too if you want to splash out a bit more. A couple of laces on a bandeau bikini top or at the centre of a swimming costume can make all the different to an otherwise simple suit. Just keep the laces really close and tight so it’s just a little touch rather than a massive, standout feature of the bikini. Plus, stretched, too-tight laces anywhere is never a good look.


The gingham trend is reaching fever point but having always loved it, it’s not getting old for me, it’s just about how you do it. I’m still not tired of my well-worn gingham swimsuit and bandeau bikini so I feel like there’s definitely room for even more picnic-blanket prints in my suitcase. For me, the key to gingham is keeping the styles super simple and as far from retro as possible. Simple tie-side triangle bikinis or plain swimsuits keep the print from being too twee or cutesy which is definitely not what we want here.


Shop styles below… All available to click and collect with CollectPlus. Read my CollectPlus swimwear buying guide on their blog here. 



Ph. via Pinterest/Porter magazine/WSJ/Elsa Hosk Instagram/Tumblr
Created in collaboration with CollectPlus