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Hello, holiday wardrobe

Quick, let's nail it before everything sells out and you end up having to wear that crap sarong you bought in 1989.

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. Plenty of it can be found in Plymouth or Exeter, or online otherwise (phew).



woman in yellow striped bikini

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.

woman in red print bikini and sunglasses

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.

woman in blue leopard print bikini

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.

woman in red frill bikini

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.



woman in maroon ruffle swimsuit

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.

woman in red swimsuit and straw hat

& Other Stories always get it right – voilà this simple, flattering one-piece. Go for the red or khaki. £49.

woman in flamingo print swimsuit

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.

woman in navy and white striped swimsuit

Go navy rather than black – it’s just as flattering to the silhouette but kinder to most skintones. This one is £25 from Next.

Sun hats

straw hat with black ribbon

Keep it classic with Reiss’s elegant wide-brimmed straw hat (£65).

navy striped straw hat with red writing

Love the attitude of this Joules (£24.95) navy striped number. Just point at the slogan when the children venture near your sun-lounger.

straw striped hat

Tropical brights look brilliant in sunshine. And no one will miss you in this one from & Other Stories (£23).

woman sat on chair with jeans and white shirt and straw hat

I thought Oliver Bonas was only for gifts and birthday cards. I was wrong. Exhibit A: this fedora(£24) with a graphic black pattern.



woman in print dress with black bag

I’m coveting this chic circular raffia bag from hush at John Lewis. It comes in black or natural (£59).

woman in white jeans denim shirt red top and tan bag

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).

printed bag with tassels

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.

nautical striped bag

Hello sailor – this nautical canvas tote will hold your beach towel and everything else you can think of too. It’s from Cos (£39).



woman in blue print dress

Forget pineapples, lobsters are the new hot motif! I’d like to get my claws into this Oliver Bonas lobster-print sundress (£59.50).

woman in oversized blue shirt

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.

woman in white lace beach dress

All white = alright! Check out this simple kaftan from Next (£28). It also comes in black.

woman in printed kimono

Kimonos are hot hot hot right now, as are palm prints. Clever Mint Velvet combine the two with this palm print kimono (£69).



gold sandals

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.


silver sandals

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.

rose gold sandals

I was banging on about Saltwater sandals last summer and I shall continue to do so this summer too! These rose gold ones are £62.50 from Office.

red sandals

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.

PS: Seeking sunnies to complete the look? You got it.

Words @Kerry_Potter

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