Model wears swimsuit £18,

Shop last minute and you risk too tight elastic or straps that aren’t right

There’s nothing like figuring out too late that, despite your best hopes, last summer’s swimwear won’t pass muster. That last-minute panic prep for a holiday is made worse by having to wrangle elasticated straps and awkwardly-angled underwiring from their lair in the back of a drawer, only to find that the swimwear you loved so much last year now pinches here, sags there and has gone bobbly everywhere else.

That leads to tearful recriminations aimed squarely at the you of last year who, fortified by a fortnight of pool-side pina coladas, roaring through your reading list and numerous naps, adopted a much too laissez-faire attitude to adequate swimwear storage. Later comes the last-minute panic buying online or hoping that  the fates will shine favour on a sweep of the duty free shops, which might prevent a whole holiday spent hoisting up straps that aren’t quite right or untucking elastic that’s a bit too tight. We’ve all done it – haven’t we?

Considering that your swimsuit is the very flimsy line between you and total nudity, surrounded by a hotel full of strangers, it’s surprising how easy it is to leave shopping for swimwear until the last minute. But even with the best of intentions, getting into summer holiday mode with enough time and wherewithal to adequately suit up tends to slip to the bottom of a very long to-do list.

Of course, shopping last minute works well enough and shouldn’t leave you feeling forced to fashion a bikini from the more exotic fruit on the breakfast buffet. But acting now can actually save a lot of pain later. The weather may currently be changeable at best, but summer is in full swing in one place – the shops.


Whether online or in an actual shop, you can’t help but be confronted with swimwear, sandals and cover-ups that scream summer. And even if your trip away hasn’t yet been planned, it never hurts to get ahead.

The beauty of the rise in online shopping is that it allows you to try on even the scariest bikini options in the comfort of your own home, although there is something to be said for putting yourself in the hands of a professional.

That’s not something that needs to cost the earth either – Boux Avenue, for example, offers a genuinely helpful fitting service which encourages you to try on styles you’d normally shy away from, with surprisingly pleasing results.

Whether you’re taking outside advice, or just looking for an update on what you love, it’s important to think about what type of holiday you’re having, and what sort of swimwear will suit you. A beach break with young children in tow means you’ll need something supportive, while sun-worshippers should avoid the strappy cut-out options – fashion-forward they might be, but they’ll leave you with tan lines that are interesting, to say the least.

Whatever style you choose, making sure that it’s packed should be the last time you have to think about it: there’s nothing worse than feeling trussed up like a turkey when all you want to do is hang loose.