It’s official: the warmest day of the year so far is coming this weekend. So, whether you’re planning on heading to Hampstead Heath’s mixed ponds or hopping to Margate for a swim, now is the time to finally invest in the perfect swimwear. From London-based businesses, to leaders in sustainability and the fashion designers launching into swim this year, here are the hot names to submerge yourself in this summer.
She is a headline act each London Fashion Week, not to mention a royal go-to for formal wear, but this year Wickstead has designed a capsule collection more suited to the Algarve than Royal Ascot. Swimsuits — and a selection of kaftans for the beach — come with the New Zealand-born designer’s signature delicate prints; porcelain-esque deep blue and red florals, and one burgundy checkerboard style. “We look to archive prints to create a continuous dialogue with our collections,” the designer says. “There’s a pared-back simplicity this season which feels very modern. It’s uncomplicated and practical.” For those wanting the most sophisticated swimwear.
Emilia Wickstead Swim, new season from £355, emiliawickstead.com
While the rest of us are counting down the weeks until our time on the beach, Dua Lipa has jumped in head first: she spent a couple of weeks in Jamaica, on the Goldeneye estate where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond novels. Crochet dresses were her go to, while one pop-floral bikini stood out from the rest. The two-piece is by LA label Feline Swim, who crafted Lipa’s look from deadstock fabric. It is, per their website, “an homage to the ’80s and ’90s”.
Feline Swim, from £42, feline-swim.com
The Scandi brand has enjoyed a second wind thanks to the rise and rise of quiet luxury, but aside from logo-less, buttery soft leather bags, the label makes chic outfits for the beach. The designs of couple Elin Kling and Karl Lindman are perfect for people wanting to swerve the Insta bikini labels, with flattering swimsuits in the stealth wealth colour palette: beiges, whites, and blacks. If Succession’s Shiv went swimming, basically.
Toteme, from £60, toteme-studio.com
This Parisian designed swimwear brings sustainability credentials without skimping on glamour — gold swimsuits and bikinis are the highlight, but there are also tempting plunge swimsuits, leopard print bikinis and twist-knot bandeau tops. The website claims the majority of suits made are of Econyl, while every fabric is Oeko-Tex certified, meaning it’s free of harmful substances. An added bonus - the linings are enriched with natural antioxidants like Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. Every bit of moisturising helps.
Vanessa Sposi, from £83, vanessasposi.com
If there was one character to knock Barbie off the top spot as the summer’s biggest style inspiration, it’s The Little Mermaid — and as lead Halle Bailey and the cast complete the jet-set premiere circuit in all things that glimmer and glitter, it seems like an obvious choice to channel in the sea. For this, just go sparkly, and stay within the blue-silver colour wheel. Bananhot is the Israeli label you can find on Revolve, whose Emelie bikini is that mouth-watering tropical bay blue, complete with sun-light catching mirrored threads. & Other Stories also have a metallic, ruched bikini in blue and sea green for £29.
Bananhot, Emelie Bikini, top £85 , bottoms £104, revolve.com
& Other Stories, Ruched bikini, top £29, bottoms £27, stories.com
A Gen-Z favourite, Italian label Sunnei by Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina began with menswear in 2014, and since 2018 has amped up its offering to street-centric, hand-crafted clothing for both genders. This summer, they introduce a “sunwear” collection: simple and sleek styles that come reversible: azure blue on one side, turquoise and orange striped on the other. Elsewhere are dark green, ruffled suits and green and light blue all-in-ones with circular back cut outs and brick red straps.
Sunnei, reversible bikini, £142, sunnei.it
If you are looking for the best of the high street, Arket should be the go-to. They have a tempting array of styles including the popular textured, bandeau bikinis made in part using recycled polyester, in sleek monochromatic off-whites and black. For those after a pop of colour, there is one Ibiza-ready glittery, gold swimsuit, and a purple crinkled two piece which could take you from the Lido to Glasto with ease. And for the big sell: prices start at £19.
Arket swimwear, from £19, arket.com