Suits you: The search for the swimsuit - Features - Fashion - The Independent

Suits you: The search for the swimsuit

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When you can try styles on in the comfort of your own home, is it any wonder that a host of online swimwear boutiques are flourishing? Rebecca Gonsalves asks the internet experts what to bring to the beach

Violet Lake

A fashion editor for more than 10 years, Ursula Lake started her own swimwear line after a fruitless search for the right bikini. The result is pick'n'mix bikinis and one-pieces in a host of colours.

The one-piece used to be seen as for the older woman or the "frumpy" choice, but our "Caruso" style is very sexy and can be worn as a top to the bar as well as looking chic on the beach. Good-quality fabric is important, it makes the garment last longer and wear better. I love mixing and matching colours and styles, this season we've done a navy and white stripe which looks great combined with a plain colour such as scarlet. If you've got a bigger bust don't cover it up – too much fabric generally makes things look bigger than they are. Our "Ryder" bikini top goes up to an E cup, and is supportive, sexy and very popular.

Style passport

Sarah Walters worked at Vogue, Bazaar and Marie Claire before moving to New Look where she ran campaigns with Giles Deacon and Lily Allen. Two years ago she founded an online store to solve every holiday wardrobe dilemma.

Designers expressed themselves with vibrant palettes and exotic prints this season, and summer by the sea or the pool looks all the better for it – colour and sunshine go hand in hand.

The most important thing to remember though is comfort. A suit cut to flatter will give confidence when baring all. If you love swimming do check your costume is up to the task. We've gone a bit crazy for Zimmerman this season – the new one pieces are especially flattering if you have an athletic shape like me, without a waist – a sporty two-piece works well too.

Beach Flamingo

Founded by Lily Russo, shopping editor at Grazia, and her retail expert sister Jessica, this newly launched site aims to unite the best of beach fashion from all over the world.

Digi-prints, florals and tribal are big trends this year, but the one-piece is really having a moment too. Cut, fit and fabric are so important, once you find a style that suits your shape stick to it – it makes the shopping experience much easier.

We're massive fans of Karla Colletto for its hidden scaffolding that nips and tucks in all the right places. Both of us have quite hourglass figures and though our personal style differs we can guarantee a well-chosen side-tie or scoop bikini bottom is the most flattering. Big knickers seem safe but often only make you look bigger.

Beach tomato

An extension of the award-winning hip travel site Black Tomato, this one-stop shop run by fashion editor Kirsty Hathaway combines editorial delights with commerce.

Prints, prints, prints ! They abound this season – a trend that has trickled through from the catwalks. The bonus is they're flattering and a fun alternative to lots of the block colours we've seen of late.

Remember your body type though, just because you may like the look of a bikini, you need to remember what suits you and what you feel comfortable in – you are, after all, practically naked. I love Mungo Gurney's collection, it ranges from on trend art deco and graphic prints to block colours and laser cut-outs. I love one-pieces at the moment, for once they are cool, flattering and not so mumsy. A halterneck is great to give a smaller bust more lift and cleavage.

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