Your holiday wardrobe
Nail it before everything sells out and you end up having to wear that crap sarong you bought in 1989. Muddy shows you how.
I discovered recently that the fastest growing sector in luxury fashion is resortwear. That’s basically swimwear and all the trimmings – the straw hats, the beach bags, the cover-ups and so on. And of course, luxury fashion trends tend to trickle down to the high street.
So what’s going on? Because we’re traveling to sunnier climes more frequently and posting extensive photographic evidence of it on social media, women are no longer digging out two frayed bikinis and ancient sundress and making do. It seems we now have carefully considered, curated and annually updated holiday wardrobes. Well, in theory, anyway – for some of us that ‘curation’ consists of panic-buying the contents of Accessorize at Heathrow 10 minutes before their flight’s last call. Ahem. But in the interests of having an impeccably packed suitcase this summer, here’s my guide to best high street resortwear around. And – good news – all these brands are available under one roof at Oxford’s whizzy Westgate or online if you can’t make the pilgrimage (phew).
Next is surprisingly brilliant for swimwear, with a huge range of styles and sizes. This jaunty, yellow striped halterneck number is £14 for the top and £14 for the bottoms. Bonus points for the flattering vertical lines.
Hurray for big pants! H&M have this in a vibrant coral or green print colourway. It’s £17.99 for the top, £12.99 for the high waisted bottoms.
LK Bennett – not just the home of Kate Middleton-esque nude courts, it transpires. If you prefer an edgier print to the usual florals, try this blue and white animal-print bikini. Top £70, bottoms £60.
Like to keep things simple? Try Whistles at John Lewis for minimal styles in block colour. This scarlet frill bikini top is £40, the cover-up bottoms £35.
This is sexy but also cinches you in. And I love the grape colour. It’s from Ted Baker, £59 in the sale, down from £85.
& Other Stories always get it right – voilà this simple, flattering one-piece. Go for the red or khaki. £49.
This navy flamingo print is pleasingly quirky and thumbs up for the ruched stomach panelling – head to Hobbs pronto. It’s £49, down from £69.
Go navy rather than black – it’s just as flattering to the silhouette but kinder to most skintones. This one is £25 from Next.
Keep it classic with Reiss’s elegant wide-brimmed straw hat (£65).
Love the attitude of this Joules (£24.95) navy striped number. Just point at the slogan when the children venture near your sun-lounger.
Tropical brights look brilliant in sunshine. And no one will miss you in this one from & Other Stories (£23).
I thought Oliver Bonas was only for gifts and birthday cards. I was wrong. Exhibit A: this fedora (£24) with a graphic black pattern.
I’m coveting this chic circular raffia bag from hush at John Lewis. It comes in black or natural (£59).
Pom poms are great but some resortwear is absolutely groaning with them and it’s all a bit much. I like the subtle sprinkling on this roomy Mint Velvet straw tote (£49).
If this bag does holler “HOLIDAY!” then I don’t know what does. This & Other Stories embroidered seashell clutch (£35) is made for beach bar crawls.
Hello sailor – this nautical canvas tote will hold your beach towel and everything else you can think of too. It’s from Cos (£39).
Forget pineapples, lobsters are the new hot motif! I’d like to get my claws into this Oliver Bonas lobster-print sundress (£59.50).
Personally, I’ll take an oversized, mannish shirt over a sarong any day. Much more modern. This H&M light blue linen shirt is a steal at £29.99. Try it with the red sandals below for a super-cool colour combo.
All white = alright! Check out this simple kaftan from Next (£28). It also comes in black.
Kimonos are hot hot hot right now, as are palm prints. Clever Mint Velvet combine the two with this palm print kimono (£69).
I am wearing these super suede sandals (£135) from Russell & Bromley as I write. They are blingy enough to dress up my denim dresses, cut-offs and jeans, come in an unusual pale khaki that goes with everything and the inside is suede too so you feel like you’re walking on carpet. Delicious.
Bored of Birkenstocks? How about this Birkey meets espadrille hybrid from Mint Velvet (£79)? They come in white leather or a rather pretty rose suede.
Don’t step on my red suede shoes! These H&M strappy flats are £39.99 but look far more expensive. They work brilliantly with white, denim, light or navy blue.