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The Swimwear Guide

While the prospect of a pool or beachside break is always an exciting one, the thought of swimwear shopping for your holiday can be something altogether more daunting. This year, however, it needn’t be, because we’ve enlisted the experts to discover their top tips for buying swimwear online that looks and feels fantastic. So swap the bright lights of a changing room for the comfort of your own home, and read on...

The Swimwear Guide Melissa Odabash swimsuit

Get In The Holiday Mindset

"When shopping for holiday pieces at home, don’t forget that your body feeling will change once you’ve been by the beach for a day or two," suggests Nina Deckers, Lazul founder and designer. "Be bold with colours, go for more vibrant tones - they make the skin glow and look gorgeous in the sun."

"I always feel better if I’m tanned," adds Elizabeth Hurley. "Buy a big bottle of self-action tanner and anoint yourself for a week or two before you brave the beach."

Shift Focus

"Know your body and the areas you want to accentuate (and those that you don’t) – that will help you eliminate styles that aren’t right for your shape," says Marysia's Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves, adding: "Let your swimwear say something about your personal style."

  • Say It With A One Piece

    "Those with a pear shape should try to accentuate the bust, instead of the hip area," suggests Heidi Gosman, co-founder of Heidi Klein. "A well-fitting one piece will add dimension and elongate the silhouette."

  • The Swimwear Guide Marysia bikini
  • The Swimwear Guide Heidi Klein swimsuit
  • "While it’s always a good idea to purchase a style you feel comfortable in, I also love buying something a bit different – a style that will surprise me and maybe give me a new holiday favourite."
    Nicky Zimmermann, Zimmermann Co-Founder

Shape Your Way To Confidence

"In order for 'apples' to hide a tummy," the Gottex team suggests, "choose a bathing suit with internal shapewear, which is available in one pieces, tankinis and high-waist bikinis."

Accentuate With Detailing

"Tie sides at the hips will complement a petite figure without adding bulk," Heidi Gosman explains, "while padded tops and frill details will help accentuate the bust."

Turn To Ruching

"Ruching can hide so many vulnerabilities," Melissa Odabash reveals. "If you want to hide any lumps or bumps then go for a swimsuit with ruched panelling."

Know Your Necklines

"Bandeau bikinis are great for emphasising the curves of a modest bust, while a halter neck is better for giving support to a larger bust," advises Heidi Gosman.

Layer Your Look

"Most women feel okay lying flat, but often feel self-conscious walking around in a bikini; a sarong or a kaftan is the perfect solution," shares Elizabeth Hurley. "You can hide your tummy, your bottom or your legs – whatever it is that bothers you can be concealed under a layer of pretty chiffon and no one is any the wiser."

"Kaftans and tunics in luxurious printed silks will take you from daytime fun poolside to dinners and dancing in the evening seamlessly," adds Nina Deckers.

The Swimwear Guide Max Mara shirt dress and swimsuit

Repeat Buy

"I’m a firm believer that comfort is key to feeling great in swimwear," says Seafolly designer Genelle Walkom. "When you find a style that works for your body, you’re going to want to revisit it season after season."

Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves agrees: "When you find a silhouette that feels (and looks) flattering on your frame, buy it in every colour!"

And once you’ve found a style that works for you? "Be kind to your swimwear," implores Nina Deckers. "After using it in chlorine or salt water, rinse it with normal water. After your holiday, hand wash the lycra pieces in baby shampoo so all residue is taken out and your swimsuit can keep its elasticity and colour until your next trip!"

  • The Swimwear Guide Solid & Striped swimsuit
  • The Swimwear Guide Nicholas top and trousers