Poolside Panache: Best Swimsuits For Summer

Words by
Charlotte McManus

5th July 2022

This summer's swimwear is all about making bold statements with eye-catching prints and colours, together with some serious embellishment...

With summer officially in full swing, so too is swimwear season. After two years of cancelled trips and overbooked staycations, the luxury sector’s swimwear designers — no doubt buoyed by the almost rapturous return of international travel — have made big, bold statements in their summer 2022 collections. Colours and patterns are crafted to turn heads, while eye-catching features include daring cut-outs and OTT jewellery-style detailing.

The message is clear: now is the time to go all-out. Unsurprisingly, such elevated looks come with the price tags to match, resulting in a spate of super-luxe swimwear hitting the racks. Those in search of the most sought-after summer styles may find that even the skimpiest of bikinis can cost £500 or more, depending where you shop.


dolce & gabanna swimwear

Take Dolce & Gabbana, ever-reliable for a jaunty print. Blu Mediterraneo, its new Pre-Fall 2022 collection, takes inspiration from the traditional majolica pottery of Caltagirone. Ornate patterns in striking white and blue tones decorate both bikini sets and clean-cut one-pieces — prices available strictly on request, a representative asserts. Pair with branded pool slides and add an Aperol spritz.

eres swimwear

Then there is Eres. Part of the Chanel family, the Parisian label has steadily grown a cult-like following since its establishment in 1968. An early pioneer of size inclusivity, form-fitting silhouettes and the “little black swimsuit”, the brand is a must for fans of elegant yet unfussy looks. This season, high-waisted bikini bottoms can be mixed and matched with feminine one-shoulder or strappy triangle shapes. Lace-up swimsuits with oversized eyelets will set you back a cool £495 to £500 each.

valentino swimwear

Stop by Harvey Nichols for a wealth of top-dollar swimwear. At the higher end of its offering, Valentino’s optical V-logo print bikini stands out both for its bold multicoloured design and the £490 price tag, while Alessandra Rich’s £515 set, long-sleeved and shimmering gold, looks closer to clubbing gear with a crystal- embellished choker.

Missoni swimwear

With its trademark aura of 1970s glam, Missoni’s summer collection decorates fine-knit shapes with multicoloured zigzag stripes and intarsia patterns, with skin- baring silhouettes veering from single- shoulder to plunging fronts. Bikinis land at about £350 a set, while swimsuits can reach £455 — though naturally, you’ll want to buy a matching turban and kaftan for the full look.

Oceanus swimwear

Alternatively, if you want more sustainable swimmies that still retain the luxe factor, up-and-coming British brand Oceanus adds a playful touch to recycled, eco-friendly fabrics with details such as embroidery, sequins and Swarovski crystals. Its embellished one-shoulder swimsuits will set you back £335, while its Claudette halter-neck bikinis, dripping with shimmering tassels, are a bargain at £225.

matchesfashion swimwear

Over at MatchesFashion, a teensy broderie anglaise bikini from Saint Laurent comes in at £575 — and that’s just the top (matching bottoms are £535), and a silver-studded Norma Kamali swimsuit costs £635. Those in the know will plump for a design by Alanui. Founded in 2016 by siblings Nicolò and Carlotta Oddi, former Vogue Japan fashion editor, the artisanal Italian label is hot property right now. Its new range of striped cotton-knit styles (£805 for a bikini set or swimsuit) is flying off the shelves.

Of course, once you have settled on the swimwear to splash out on, the next challenge is to find a suitably luxe place to show it off...