I’ve always had a thing for swimsuits. It goes back to when I was a baby. Check out my sisters and I in the summer of 1990. I’d kill for that ruffled-lace collar on a one-piece now!
What I’ve learned from traveling is every beach destination has a different beach vibe. There are certain suits I love, but would never pack for Amalfi. there are certain silhouettes I always wear poolside, and certain suits I have just for Vegas (think sequins!) Here’s a few of my favorite beach looks broken down by location and vibe, and how I like to accessorize them so you fit in with the locals.
If you’re headed to some fabulous riviera you want your beach look to be a little classy. Think neutral colors, classic shapes, and details like clothing would have – belts, ruffles, and handkerchiefs. I always pack my favorite, white one-piece and a simple, black bikini for Italy. Stripes are appropriate for any European coastline, but especially Italy and France! If you want to wear a print here – make sure it’s on-theme. I love to accessorize with cat-eye black glasses, a packable fedora, and maybe a scarf for my hair and beach bag.
Here’s where you can get a little wild and fit right in with your setting. You’re trying to match the little trinkets that are going to be on top of your pina colada! It’s tassel time, sexy cutouts, bright colors – bikinis that just feel fun. And since you’re going to get some serious tan lines – don’t be afraid to be a little skimpy. Put flowers in your hair, grab a cocktail, and soak up that sunshine.
Break out your boho! Bali is actually a place where all I pack is swimsuits, it’s what you live in here. Bali is all about the hippie, surf vibes – think a more sporty cut with a cheeky booty – so do your squats before you go girls. Load up on jewelry, you’ll be covered in it – and accessorize your suit correctly with denim cutoffs or flowy, harem pants or crochet tops. I like round, funky sunglasses for Bali – leave your chic black ones at home. Bali also has some of the cutest swim labels EVER that you can only buy there, so pack a few suits but save room in your suitcase (and dollars in your wallet) to pick up a few there!
For this destination – think South Pacific: 1960s silhouettes with high-waisted bottoms, decorative ties, and thick-strapped halters. For accessories – flower crowns, and anything that would work with a tiki hut. Matching suits and coverups are a favorite look of mine here, and of course all the raffia, straw, and coconuts you can find.
Bring out your itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini. Patterns, cutouts, bright colors. We Americans are all about fun in the summer, and swimwear should reflect it. Summer is when I wear my biggest beach hat, heart-shaped sunglasses, and most colorful suits for backyard BBQs, weekends in the Catskills, and hotel rooftop pools. Grab a beach ball, rubber flip flops, and daisy dukes are the look is perfect.
Looking for somewhere to pick up new suits for summer? My favorite swim shop is Everything But Water! With code WFH25 the entire online store is 25% right now! Some of my favorite brands are Solid + Striped, Becca Swim, Rye, OYE, Marysia and L*Space!