Get the look: designer swimwear

Achieving that designer look on the beach doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There’s some stunning swimwear out there from high street brands and retailers that is every bit as gorgeous as the super high-end designer names but a whole lot more affordable. So, if you haven’t bagged your summer swimwear yet this year and you’re hankering after something a bit special, allow us to help out. Here we tempt you with some beautiful designer swimwear pieces and help you find a similar look for less – sometimes a lot less!

The daring cut-out look

Norma Kamali, £355 and Topshop, £32

Norma Kamali, £355 and Topshop, £32

The cut-out look is everywhere this year, varying from extreme strapping to more subtly revealing shapes, and you absolutely do not have to spend a fortune to get it. Most high street stores have a variation of this trend for a reasonable price, while there are some stunning luxury pieces out there too. We’re totally hooked by this cross-over ruched swimsuit from Norma Kamali, £355 from Net-a-Porter.com – the cross front flatters your curves and the contouring briefs create a slender silhouette. But if that’s a little out of your price range, try Topshop’s Black Slashed Cut Out Bikini which will give you a similar look for just £32.

The ombre look

Gottex, £155, and Tu at Sainsburys, £15

Gottex, £155, and Tu at Sainsburys, £15

It may have started with hair, but the Ombre look is now all over fashion from clothing to nails, and swimwear is no exception. The dip-dyed effect can also be really flattering, especially when combined with a ruched, cross-over design as in this fabulous Rainbow Goddess Contour swimsuit from Gottex, £155 from Harrods. We adore the gorgeous colours, right on trend for the current love affair with pinks and blues, and the brand is well known for its high quality fabrics and fantastic fit, but if you want a cheaper alternative, try this bright and fun halter bandeau Ombre swimsuit, £15 from Tu at Sainsburys.

The glamorous poolside bikini 

Vix bikini, £180, and Biba, £43

Vix bikini, £180, and Biba, £43

One-piece swimsuits have enjoyed a huge resurgence in the last couple of years, but there’s something about a bikini that can be hard to beat in the glamour stakes. Simple block colours in quality fabrics create an instantly stylish look, and add some subtle metallic embellishment and you’re ready for a spot of sunbathing on a luxury yacht in the Med with the rest of the Jet Set.  Vix is a swimwear brand we have come to lust after in a big way because of its fantastic cuts, and this turquoise Cozumel bikini, £180 from Net-a-Porter.com, is on our wishlist for loads of reasons, not least the clever gold plated sliders that can adjust the coverage of the bikini briefs. But we’re also very impressed with this Athena triangle bikini from resurrected 1960s cult brand Biba, which is a bargain at just £43 from House of Fraser.

The itsy bitsy patterned bikini

MIssoni Mare, £225, and Miss Mandalay, £71

Missoni Mare, £225, and Miss Mandalay, £71

If block colours are instantly stylish, then busy prints are this season’s must-have. The high street is awash with prints of all colours and sizes, and in the fashion world there are few patterns as instantly recognisable as those from Italian design house Missoni. The brand’s Missoni Mare swimwear is as expensive as it is sought after, and this zigzag print bandeau swimsuit with bright orange highlights, £225 from Harrods, will make a striking addition to your swimwear collection. If you need something a little less pricey but no less stunning, check out independent designer Miss Mandalay’s bikini collection. We’re hopelessly in love with the colours of this Gold Coast Lime tie side bikini, £71 for the set.

The print/plain bandeau swimsuit

Zimmermann, £240, and Panache, £48.

Zimmermann, £240, and Panache, £48.

These swimsuits combine two of our top summer trends – colourful, intricate prints and the bandeau look. The bandeau swimsuit is a particular favourite of ours not only because it eliminates tan lines but also because of the super sexy neckline that shows shoulders off to their full advantage, and this mix of print and plain provides the best of both worlds for a figure-flattering look. The pretty printed top of the swimsuit accentuates the bust while the block colour on the lower half draws attention away from any problem areas. Go designer with the Wanderlust underwired swimsuit by Zimmermann, £240 from Net-a-Porter.com, or grab yourself a bargain with this beautiful purple Panache print bandeau swimsuit, £48 from Swimwear365.co.uk.

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