The flowers are in bloom, the days are longer and the sun is (mostly) shining and that can only mean one thing: summer is finally here.
The long-awaited warm weather has arrived and that has us thinking about the swimwear offering.
Covid-19 may have had us confined to our homes for much of the past year but now it’s time to celebrate and make the most of the sunshine even if foreign travel is off the cards. Sticking our heads out our windows, squeezing a chair on our teeny balconies, or investing in loungers for our patios or gardens will have to do for the foreseeable.
We may have swapped Ibiza for Costa del Living Room but that doesn’t mean you need to dash all hopes of lounging bikini-clad. Even if your beachside break is cancelled, there is no better reason to bring the holiday feels home, basking in the sunshine in a brand new cossie with a cocktail in hand - British-weather permitting.
Swimsuit trends may come and go, but bikinis are forever. For sun worshippers, they are the only choice to avoid tan lines and get the most efficient all-over bronzing. Dating back as early as 5600 BC, bikinis have come a long way. Reigning the swimwear market, it is filled with innovative cuts and designs that have revamped the once-considered-risqué two-piece.
You will find cleverly constructed pieces that support in all the right places, retro-look square-neck silhouettes, bold bandeaus, structural one-shoulder and chic sleeved options as well as your more classic itsy bitsy teenie weenie triangle bikini in daring designs to suit all tastes, shapes and sizes.
Whether you are thinking ahead to your next break or treating yourself with some retail therapy, we have gathered our favourite bikinis to kickstart your summer in the utmost style.
Self-Portrait High-rise gingham-seersucker bikini
We’ve fallen hard for this bikini from the brains behind Self-Portrait. The Malaysian designer brings his signature effortless elegance to the 1950s retro-inspired design that is made up of a high-rise waist bottom and single strap top. The briefs are complete with a ruched panel to flatter in all the right places, while the one-shoulder brings intrigue.
Ganni Printed bikini
Not content with dominating our everyday wardrobes, Ganni is now making a play for our swimsuit collection too, bringing its signature Scandi-chic aesthetic. The Copenhagen-based label offers this two-piece with a marbled design that plays the perfect balance between understated and cool. The briefs are low fit to minimalise tan lines and knotted sides, a motif that is replicated with the matching triangle top.
Mango Scalloped bikini
Nail the basics with the help of Mango and this minimalistic all-black bikini that will form the foundation of your ever-growing swimwear offering. Mix and match with other swimsuits as you please, while making the most of the super flattering scallop trim. It is available in lime or black.
Frankies Bikinis Birdie Bikini
Reviving the itsy bitsy teeny weenie bikini (without the polka dot) comes LA-born label Frankies Bikini that has some of the most coveted swimwear on the market. Perfect for avoiding those dreaded tan lines, this all-black option has a skimpier fit and is embellished with pretty ruffle detailing.
House of Sunny Day Tripper abstract-print recycled polyester-blend bikini set
Inject a playful edge into your bikini rotation with this House of Sunny set that will be sure to put a smile on your face each summer after you dig it out from its hibernation. The two-piece has a pastel print set on a recycled polyester blend construction that is kinder to you and the planet. It is made up of a triangle top with adjustable straps and mid-rise bottoms that self-tie at the sides.
River Island gingham underwire bikini
If there was ever a print synonymous with summer, it would be gingham. River Island has taken this one step further by offering the statement pattern in a suitably vibrant lime shade. The bikini has an underwired top to give you the support that you need and high-waisted brief, given an extra interesting touch and retro feels with the addition of a self-tie belt.
Leopard is one of those enduring prints that is perennially chic and neutral enough for both minimalists and maximalists alike to adore. It is set on this bikini from Bravissimo to play into both fun and function in equal measures. The supportive top is not weird or padded and comes in an extensive range of sizes. Go all out by pairing with the coordinating Brazilian or high leg brief or else tone down the styling with a block black or white alternative.
Reserved Yellow Floral bikini
This eye-catching suitably summery bikini from Reserved will do wonders to enhance a flourishing tan with its yellow colourway. The floral design is pretty and mood-boosting, while the construction is versatile with the option to remove the straps if you wish. This cheerful bikini deserves its place in your poolside edit.
Floral Print Underwire Bikini
This sophisticated floral number from & Other Stories will allow you to splash in style and feel supported while doing so thanks to the underwiring. If black dominates your wardrobe and swimwear offering, this gives subtle intrigue and an effortless elegance without being too vibrant or out OTT. Both the top and briefs have a subtle embellishment with the lace scalloped edges. This timeless design will keep it in your rotation for years to come.
H&M Check Bikini
Add this check bikini to basket and be ready for the beach or garden party we’ve been plotting all winter – whether you’re home or abroad. The pastel check print is set on high-waisted bottoms and non-wired padded top. Just throw on an oversized shirt or a sarong and pair with some strappy sandals.
Amalfi Top and Siparia Bottoms in Dusk
Founding Toco Swim in 2017, the accountants turned designers set out to craft bold and irreverent styles that don’t break the bank. While each silhouette can be mixed and matched, we have paired the Amalfi top with flattering ruching and daring peep hole that accentuates the cleavage with the high leg bottoms in this universally appealing dusk hue.
Lace Up Bandeau Bikini
In a covetable powder lilac hue, & Other Stories has turned the typical triangle bikini on its head with this not-so itsy bitsy iteration. While more covered up than its counterparts, it has a subtle sass with the tie-front that you can use to enhance your cleavage to your preference. Pair with the matching high-waisted bottoms in the same ribbed texture.
Solid & Striped The Tenley zebra-jacquard bikini
If you tend to lean towards monochromatic swimwear pieces, mix things up with this playful zebra print. Much like its fierce leopard counterpart, it has a timelessness, while still making a statement. Personalise the fit at both the triangle top and low-rise briefs with self-ties at the sides.
COLLUSION recycled asymmetric bikini
After a long, dark winter, give your wardrobe a much-needed pop of colour to signal the commencement of summer with this lively pastel rainbow design. This one-shoulder wonder is designed to accentuate your figure in all the right places, enhanced by high-waisted bottoms.
H&M Padded bikini
This classic style brings the style points with a subtle peep V-shaped cleavage and striking lime green hue that screams summer. The top has a removable padding, while the briefs have a mid-waist and Brazilian-style high cut. Throw on a sarong and a wide-brimmed hat and you are ready for the beach party.
Mango Floral triangle bikini
The epitome of summer-ready, this bikini is adorned with a floral print that you will keep reaching for it, year after year. It combines neutral shades of black, white and subtle pops of yellow that gives the style a playful edge without being overly bold or overwhelming for the colour-phobes. The top has a supportive wiring, while the briefs have a side self-tie. Both are crafted with a recycled polyester material and so have an eco-conscious twist.
& Other Stories Crepe Knot Tie Bikini
Sometimes you just need to stock up on the very basics and few do it better than & Other Stories. Need proof? Just look to this bikini top that is the reliable staple you need in your swimwear rotation. Pair with just about any bikini in this list or in your collection or go matchy-matchy with the co-ordinating high-waist briefs. The top is embellished with a knot detail and both piece have a textured finish.
Faithfull The Brand Sariska paisley-print bikini
Transport to the idyllic shores of Bali – sartorially, at least – with this paisley-print bikini that is handmade in the Indonesian island. Using sustainable practises (locally made, responsibly-sourced materials and production methods that support the local crafts and communities), it will be part of the buying better ethos that we should all follow, while also being a chic statement piece to add to your swimwear collection.
& Other Stories Seersucker Bikini
Few swimwear styles scream summer more than this seersucker gingham number from & Other Stories. The warm weather pattern is set on this bikini top that earns its place in your wardrobe far beyond its swim capacity. Wear the top as a bralette, for beach parties, sunbathing or seaside frolicking to elevate your style game. It comes in an array of colours and can be best matched with the low rise briefs.
Juicy Couture UO Exclusive Pink Bikini Set
Inject a taste of the Noughties into your swimwear game with this bikini set that makes us feel all nostalgic inside. Logo mania is very much in full swing as the top is adorned with JC in diamantes, while the bikini bottoms have the label’s signature ‘Juicy’ across the rear. It comes in this fuchsia shade as well as a more natural black hue.
Underwired Cuff Bandeau Bikini Top and Side Ruched Hipster Bikini Bottoms
Ideal for those with larger busts, this supportive swimsuit is available for sizes 34A to 38E. It has a retro 1950s pin-up style but is composed of an innovative chlorine-resistant fabrication to ensure its durability and colour. It is available in this red hue as well as navy with hipster and high-waisted bottoms.
Fisch Lurin seahorse bikini
Sustainable Swedish swimwear label Fisch constructs its swimsuits from Econyl that comes from abandoned fishing nets. Style with an eco-conscious twist, it has a joy-inducing seahorse print in white and yellow. The top has a knot design, while the briefs are high-cut to elongate the look of your legs.
Panache Florentine Bandeau Bikini Top and Brief
For larger busted women, bandeau bikinis can be a struggle. But luckily Panache is on-hand to give you all the support you need without having to compromise on style. There are inner moulded cups in the top and the ability to wear straps if need be. The swimsuit can be paired with the matching briefs in the same vibrant design.