The 50 Best beachwear
It won’t be wet forever. And whether you’re off to Cornwall or the Côte d’Azur, get ready for sunshine with Eliisa Makin’s pick of the hottest summer gear for men and women
Friday 15 June 2012
Adidas by Stella McCartney
An elegantly sporty number, this emerald-green swimsuit will keep you looking stylish even while swimming serious lengths. Expertly designed, the simple contours make it look both modern and expensive while flattering your figure.
Not just for surfers, these board shorts are a great holiday buy. Cut to the knee in a light weight, quick-dry fabric, they are as practical as they are cool. Guaranteed to get you noticed on the busiest beach.
Amazonas sandals are ideal for the eco-conscious. Not only are they made with 80 per cent recycled rubber, but they are also biodegradable and will decompose in five years after they are discarded.
You won't want to get sand in this classy, rather pricey woven bag. A very elegant holiday shopper, it is best suited for poolside use. Channel Joan Collins and wear it alongside a simple black swimsuit or elegant kaftan and enormous sunglasses.
Marks & Spencer
These stylish and affordable sunglasses are great for those with fine features. Feminine, chic and in no way saccharine, the lightly tinted lenses are perfect for early evening sun. They would work well at weddings too.
Marks and Spencer
This flirty little kaleidoscopic number is a star buy. Be a Fifties bombshell by wearing it with cats-eye sunglasses and fuchsia pink lipstick.
A sexy bikini. The beguiling neckline will turn heads, and the underwired cups offer good support. Add a kaftan and heeled sandals to take you from beach to cocktail bar.
Giddy up! This is perfect for petite figures. The ruffled top enhances a small bust, while the frilly knickers create curvier hips. Wear with a cowgirl hat for a flamboyant holiday look.
toast.co.uk, top £35, bottoms £35
Toast has really mastered the modern version of the Fifties high-waisted bikini. This is beautifully cut, great for most figures and well made to last a good few summers too.
Sporty and slinky, this graphic bikini would look great under a sheer kaftan. More comfortable that it looks, and surprisingly resilient for watersports. Take care with tan lines, though.
Ensure you stand out from the sun-seeking scrum in this eye-popping bikini. The Grecian pattern and cut-away sides flatter the figure. Try it with leather sandals and wooden bangles for a chic, sexy look.
These tailored navy shorts are worth investing in. As timeless as they are versatile, they will keep you looking classy in the surf. Stylish and understated, they are the swimwear equivalent of a dinner jacket.
Simple, yet slightly retro, these mid-length board shorts are extremely wearable both in the sea and out of it. A great colour for highlighting a tan, too. Try pairing them with some vibrant espadrilles.
Fun yet still sophisticated, this is a great pair of mid-length swimming shorts. Keep it simple with a white T-shirt or break up the monochrome by wearing with bright flip-flops and Wayfarer sunglasses.
Pastels are big news for summer. Get yourself noticed in these fun Eighties-inspired jet-spray fabric shorts, which look even better with a tan. George Michael wouldn't have shied away and neither should you.
Polo Ralph Lauren
Go botanical with these blooming lovely cotton-blend floral shorts. Flattering at any age, they are also available in a tropical orange version for those who are feeling brave.
It's not for everyone, but sugary lilac is very on-trend this summer. I love these soft cotton trunks and the subtle footprints-in-sand pattern is a nice detail too.
Decidedly retro but great for getting a mega tan, this perky pair of men's swimming briefs is from Speedo's 'Essentials' range, and is one style that never goes out of fashion.
Throw away your Hawaiian shirt and get into holiday spirit in this bright parrot T-shirt instead. The detailed design would look great with navy shorts and deck shoes.
Nothing beats a long-sleeved cotton shirt when it comes to covering up from the sun. APC's soft peach-coloured number is nice alternative to classic white.
Chino shorts are a staple. Jazz things up and opt for this dark pink version with retro rolled hems. Try them with some leather sandals and a white T-shirt for a preppy look.
Plumo Gianni Jumpsuit
A loose-fitting jumpsuit is ideal for slipping on over a bikini or swimsuit. This would also look great worn with wedges for holiday drinks or dinner later.
Metallics look fabulous against brown skin. These futuristic hot pants are easily dressed up or down. Wear them with a neon bikini top and scraped back hair for a striking beach look.
Diane Von Furstenberg
This loose-fitting silk dress is a supremely elegant way to cover up in the sun. Comfortably light and elegant, it can be worn in the evenings too – abroad or back in Blighty.
A sheer black loosely fitted smock dress is a very sexy way to protect your modesty on the way to the beach. Would look great worn over any bikini and paired with wedge heels.
George at Asda
This is an unexpected find. A loose fit, bold retro stripes and tie detail give it a Seventies look. Great for slipping into post-swim or for a relaxed evening out.
Keep your beach look glamorous and accessorise a bikini with a couple of these hammered-silver cuffs. Try a couple of mismatched colours to keep things interesting.
This brilliant palm-tree printed leather bag is surprisingly spacious. Fun yet sophisticated, it will jazz up the simplest summer outfit. A practical and striking addition to your seasonal wardrobe.
Gloriously glamorous, this beautifully crafted straw hat will add a touch of class to any ensemble. Try it with a maxi dress or just a string bikini for a Seventies look that Bianca Jagger would be proud of.
Add a splash of colour with this cool two-tone woven canapa hat. Would look great worn with an oversized white cotton shirt and flip-flops. There is also a neutral brown and inky blue version.
I love the pretty starfish details on these chunky sandals. Comfortable enough for you to wander around in all day. They would look particularly great with a loose smock dress.
There is something a tiny bit embarrassing about a bum bag. However, they are great on a holiday. This version has intelligently sized pockets for all your important items.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
I really like this fluorescent duffle bag with its reflective green panels. Sporty and fun, there are internal pockets for keeping your valuables safe while you are on the beach.
Bring a hint of urban chic to the beach with this elegant men's rope bracelet. Layer it up with a few other friendship bracelets for a laid-back surfer look.
Grrr, this is embroidery at its manliest. Unleash your inner animal with this rather fetching tiger baseball cap. The purrfect way to keep the sun from your eyes.
This organic cotton bag is an absolute bargain. It will bring a gothic element to your look and folds down to practically nothing – ideal for economical packing. Appealingly macabre.
Stay breezy in these on-trend mint-green plimsolls. The light mesh fabric ensure your feet stay cool. They work just as well teamed with neutrals as a boldly patterned look.
topman.com, £14 (2 for £18)
Admittedly they will probably only last one summer but these sunshine-bright espadrilles are still an absolute bargain. Available in a variety of colours and patterns.
01628 770988, £75
Created specifically for beach sports, these chunky American waterproof watches keep track of the time, tide, sunset and sunrise. Available in a paintbox range of bright colours.
You can't go wrong with a pair of aviators. I love this swanky, handcrafted Japanese pair by C-Lo. For a cool laid-back look, wear these with salty beach hair
Very Vintage Sunglasses
Classic Raybans are still extremely popular and tend to suit most face shapes. Jazz things up by choosing this pair with speckled frames. The colour scheme is more flattering than heavy black.
BLK DNM square sunglasses
These super-classy sunglasses really do seem to add an air of intelligence to any look. Quite an achievement when you are half-naked on the beach. Keep the rest of your outfit simple.
For a really cutting-edge look, wear these cool round-framed sunglasses by Italian brand Illesteva with pastel swimming trunks and a white T-shirt. They even make fluffy beach hair look cool.
Anna & Boy
The deep V-cut and Seventies stripes make this aptly named 'Jerry Hall' swimsuit a real head-turner. Perfect for parading poolside with a piña colada in hand. Would look great worn with a towel turban too.
Nanette Lepore Swimsuit
The slashed waist gives this floral, strapless swimming costume a rather naughty edge. Equal parts revealing and demure, team it with an oversized straw hat and shades to add mystery to your look.
The psychedelic sunset print and simple Seventies cut makes this a really stunning swimsuit. A total bargain, wear with round sunglasses and high-waisted shorts between swims.
Dolce & Gabbana
Never has aubergine looked so glamorous. D&G's elegant swimsuit has a contoured waist, removable straps and underwired cups, and creates an enviably curvy silhouette.
Sophina by Figleaves
Transform your figure with this clever swimsuit. Moulded cups, secret support at the waist and stomach, and a halter-neck will turn you into svelte modern-day Marilyn.
Circular frames are the fashion lover's style of choice this summer. Splash out on these elegant horn frames by Lanvin with strass diamond details to provide understated glamour.
Karen Walker cat-eye sunglasses
Add some humour to your beachwear with these quirky cat-eye sunglasses. Wear them with a headscarf and bikini. Bonkers yet utterly charming.
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