The Only Swimsuits To Pack For Your Next Summer Vacation

And what to wear them with!

I’ve already cried you a river re: me not being in Europe while every single person I follow on social media is, and now I’m back! While you are probs preparing to join the rest of my Instagram feed for a month of eating whatever you damn please, drinking bulk spritzes, and sunning your limbs on various pebbled beaches in the South of France, I’ve decided I’d like to take a dip in the aforementioned body of water that comprises solely of my not-in-Europe-induced tears. And I need some cute swimsuits to get me there, dammit. 

Jks! I just love trawling the internet for swimmers well in advance of swim season here in Australia, and thought I’d share with you my findings. 

While there’s a few trends making the rounds at the moment—high-cut, monochrome, F-U-N colours, among them—the general rule when it comes to swimsuits is there are no rules! What a hoot! There’s a shape, colour palette and cut for errryone, all of which are detailed below.

Come take a dip with me in the vast sea that is online shopping for swimsuits. Waaa-hooo!

Be The Tablecloth You Wish To See In The World

SPLURGE: This one time I wore a checked red-and-white blouse to an Italian restaurant, and the incessant stares/heckles about BYO’ing a tablecloth was character building, let me tell you. Follow in my footsteps with any number of the gawjuz gingham swimmer options on offer at the moment. Like this Solid and Striped swimsuit that treads the line between adorable and sexy (no easy feat!), or this off-shoulder Beach Riot x Stone Cold Fox bikini top and matching briefs (the only bikini I ever wanna slurp back spaghetti in). 

SAVE: If you’d prefer to spend ur hard-earned dollars on fancy Italian dinners instead of togs, you’re in luck ’cause there’s a whole smorgasbord of cheap alternatives on offer. This red-and-white bikini top and matching bottoms proves just why ASOS is the real MVP, but this Lace Up number will have heads turning the world over.

WEAR IT WITH: Spaghetti stains! Jokes(ish). A fresh white blouse, these actually perfect denim shorts and gladiator sandals. Or, you know bare feet and this heavenly white cotton mini dress.

Star In Your Own Black-And-White Rom Com

SPLURGE: Monochrome doesn’t have to be a total snoozefest. Quite the opposite! Dreamiest woman alive, Eliana Rodriguez, just proved that it’s actually the most perfect colour palette with which to adorn your limbs in at the beach this season, with these high-cut bad boys from her new line, Gil Rodriguez (pictorial evidence above!). My case study doesn’t end there, though. This Lisa Marie Fernandez high-waisted plaid bikini was literally MADE for you to frolic around the South of France in, and this Norma Kamali low-back one piece screams, Get you a swimsuit who can do both! “Both” meaning: cute enough to ~be seen~ in and sporty enough to cut laps in the pool with.

SAVE: If your 60s romantic comedy doesn’t have a Hollywood budget, don’t sweat it, we’ve found some options that won’t chew into your Europe savings (om nom nom). This Uniqlo triangle bikini is a great starting point (just throwing it out there—triangles are my fave shape, both in general and when it comes to bikinis), and this River Island Asymmetric Ruffle swimsuit has your name written all over it.

WEAR IT WITH: If I were to dip my toe in the monochrome pond, I’d pair my b&w swimmers with a black sarong, a pair of chunky gold earrings and a simple pair of black slides. Elegant and simple beach attire wins, I always say!

Band(eau) Together, Friends!

SPLURGE: I’ve already espoused the joys of wearing a bandeau bra as a glam evening top, and now I’m here to sermonise the benefits of wearing its swimmer material equivalent to the beach. I mean, the above sentence speaks for itself: you can head straight from the beach to the bar with just one garment—the ultimate goal of holiday dressing. Other benefits include: no weird décolletage tan lines and feeling like your Suprè-loving 15-year-old self (who wore bewb tewbs on the reg) but with a sophisticated, adult twist. Forgive me Hunza G, for I have once again fallen in love with a bikini of your making, but this time the love interest in question is this beaut black bandeau swimsuit. This Faithfull green and white stripe bikini is also sophisticated af (and would look so dreamy with gold hoops), but it’s this TM Rio bikini that’s gonna keep me up at night. Actually, scrap that. I’ll be losing the most sleep over this truly fab Dolce & Gabbana bikini

SAVE: Once again, my thanks can be directed at ASOS for coming through with the cheap alternatives. Plain black is always a good idea, which is why you should be adding this black bandeau bikini to your shopping cart in 3,2,1… Added? Cool! Keep it company in your suitcase with this blue-and-white top (the most ideal colour palette, IMO), or go full vaccay mode with this bright red scallop number.

WEAR IT WITH: Pair with a silk midi skirt and fancy earrings for the ultimate ~gal on holiday~ vibe, or with pleated pants for a kewl day time lewk. Lisa Aiken is allegedly championing the return of the pareo (what I commonly refer to as the ‘sarong’), and while I’d argue that it never really left, I couldn’t be anymore down for this news. Especially since this Dolce & Gabbana skirt exists and it is perfect. A wedge espadrille, a pair of strappy sandals or your favourite sneakers would all make suitable foot companions, pending how far the walk from the beach to the bar is. Whatever you choose from the above options, know that an oversized linen shirt is NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Have Some Fun In The Sun

Life’s pretty straight without a fun swimsuit! Don’t believe me? Just ask this multicoloured Mara Hoffman bad boy, or this supremely kawaii tangerine dream of a Flag Pole one-piece. See? SEE! Um, I actually had to step away from keyboard and scream a little bit when I saw this Zimmermann striped bikini. If you run into me on the beach at any point this year, you best believe I will be wearing that bikini. Oh. My. Goddess. While we’re here, I just wanted to ask you a quick rhetorical q: do you know those things that you don’t know you need, but then can’t live your life without? For me that’s now sparkly swimsuits, which you will understand for yourself when you click here.
SAVE: Fun swimmers don’t have to drain your funds. See here, here and here for irrefutable proof!
WEAR IT WITH: I’m gonna go ahead and make an ass out of u and me by assuming that if you’re into fun swimsuits, then you are ready and willing to carpe the diem with your entire outfit. Thank u for making my job way more colourful! Enter the following key wardrobe pieces: this super fun Holiday The Label dress, this Ganni sarong, these fruity earrings, or this Diane von Furstenberg scarf top!

A Cut Above The Rest
SPLURGE: Good news alert: the cut favoured by 80s aerobics teachers is back in fash, and it’s infinitely more flattering than its low-cut counterpart IMO. Thank your lucky stars that this super flattering Norma Kamali one-piece comes in both black and white, and that the lush swimwear label has also made a one-shoulder swimsuit in cherry red that will be the best friend your butt ever did have. If it’s a high-waisted bottom that you’re after, these Mara Hoffman swimmer bottoms are perf (and it’d be remiss not to keep them company with the matching top).
SAVE: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Glassons has got your back with the high-cut swimsuit bottoms if money is an issue. ASOS has these great before-pay-day black high-cut swimmer bottoms, and these magical high-waisted ribbed bottoms in white to really bring out your (fake) tan.

WEAR IT WITH: A massive smile, a white t-shirt and a camera slung around your neck. Otherwise, pop some coloured Tevas and this perfect embroidered linen top on. Khaki pants are optional.

Embrace The Grey Area

SPLURGE: Buying a grey swimsuit had honestly never occurred to me before I spotted this beaut Hunza G bikini, but now I see beautiful grey togs everywhere I go. Take, for example, this other more kawaii iteration from the ‘kini brand, themselves, or this simply stunning one-shouldered Eres swimsuit that makes me feel like a significantly fancier version of myself even just by looking at it.

SAVE: If you don’t feel like spending the better half of your weekly pay on swimmers as grey as the winter sky itself, dw ‘cause this metallic Nookie Beach number will look *dashing* with your tan (bottled, of course). As will this #flawless one-shouldered grey Jade Swim swimsuit.

WEAR IT WITH: It all depends on the vibe you’re going for, really. One corner of my brain is all, “Bucket hats! Terry towelling shorts! Tevas!”, but then the other part is down to make like Sabina Soccol with cat-eye sunglasses, a gold pendant necklace and a healthy dose of French girl ‘tude. Why not hit two birds (lewks) with one stone (grey swimsuit)? 

Sun Safety First 

SPLURGE: There’s nothing cooler than sun safety, IMO. My décolletage can not handle on single more trip to the beach without this high-neck Her Line black swimsuit, nor this Solid & Striped cropped rash vest. This Lisa Marie Fernandez swimsuit will make you feel like a Bond girl, and the incred flattering neoprene fabric will make you look like one, too.

SAVE: This PrettyLittleThing swimsuit will keep your chest protected and yourself looking cute (but make sure your swimming bud is there to slip, slop slap some SPF on your back), and this Babes In Bathers rash vest is the most adorable thing to happen to swimsuits since the polka dot trend swept the globe last year.

WEAR IT WITH: A big ass straw hat, a heck load of SPF, and sunglasses so large they’ll throw shade over the whole beach.

Words, Madeleine Woon