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5 swimwear styles to know this summer

5 swimwear styles to know this summer

Got a beachside getaway planned? Good for you. Now all you've got to stress about – aside from those airport queues – is the right swimwear style to wear (okay, and we suspect a couple other things too, but let’s just stick to the swimwear for now). 

Really, your potential first time properly away in a couple of years should be seen as the ultimate opportunity to embrace your style or try something new – and whether that looks neutral and classic or neon with bells and whistles is your call. To steer you in the right direction though, stylist Toby Standing is on hand to reacquaint you with some good old swimmers. Below are the five styles he’s championing for the season. See ya by the pool. 

The brave option

If you see the warmer-weather months as an opportunity to reflect the brighter summer days, some bold swimwear is right this way. But this doesn’t always have to translate to a neon Hawaiian printed number (the kind that ruled Ibiza in the ‘90s). Instead a pattern with three colours maximum is what Toby recommends to prevent you looking like a Jackson Pollock painting from afar. Shorts like these look their best poolside, with a drink in one hand and a book in the other. 

The bold option

Photographed: COS PACKABLE SWIM SHORTS (£45)

If prints aren’t your thing but something stand-out is, a bright block colour is just as great of an approach to get some heads turning – Toby calls it all the impact, without the fuss. Plus, something without a pattern means these kinds of shorts are easily wearable outside of the pool too. Just style with a low-key or neutral top to ensure the swimwear stays the star. 

The branded option

Photographed: Adidas 3 Stripe Swim Short (£29)

Flexing some brand loyalty without looking like a walking ad is a fine line. But some subtle branding – like a 3 stripe from Adidas – helps to bring an element of interest without rocking the boat. Not to mention, opting for a brand that is as steeped in performance style as somewhere like Nike or Adidas means you know you’ll be getting a pair of shorts that are ideal for swimming – or not, your call. 

The basic option

Photographed: Weekday Tan Structure Swim Shorts (£20)

While for some, summer is a time to spread your style wings and fly, we know that’s not for everyone – cue the subtle, low-key, and functional, a.k.a. your basic swim short. Toby suggests a single colour, neutral tone for this. While they won’t turn many heads, these are the kind of shorts that will last you year after year, looking just as good in a park at home as they do abroad. So, who’s the real winner? 

The budget option

There are luxury options for every category of clothing, and while that’s great for certain things, like investment footwear or coats, we understand it’s difficult to justify a hefty price tag for an item that gets maybe a week of wear. Luckily, there’s plenty of brands that offer affordable swimming shorts, without skimping on the style front. “For shorts that are a little lower price-wise, take this as an opportunity to experiment with something new,” Toby says. Exaggerated patterns do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to outfits – pair with a simple white camp collar shirt and you’ve got some real Talented Mr Ripley appeal going on.


Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Photography: Gabriel Stokes
Styling: Toby Standing