If you're in the southern hemisphere, beach season is about to begin, if it hasn't already. And if you're up in the northern part of the globe, there's a chance that you'll be spending part of the festive season somewhere warmer, sunnier and beachier. So here's our beachwear inspiration - a selection of good things that will hopefully make you look (and feel) great on the sand and in the sea over the coming months.
For the Head
Forget the trucker or the geek-chic bucket hat, a classic canvas baseball cap in a vintage shape is what you need this season. There's plenty of choice around and we like the cut and fit of this (1.) Tommy Hilfiger one. Asos.com
It's always a bit of a challenge to find that pair of sunnies to bring your beach look bang up to date. Take a look at Italy's www.calaveraeyewear.com for classic frames with a twist. (2)
Tees and Tops
You're going to need to invest in a few lightweight t-shirts to slip on for all that to-ing-and-fro-ing from the beach. Our current favourites come courtesy of sporty brands Lacoste (crisp white) and Sunspel (for premium cotton varieties that you can mix and match, depending on the colour of your swimmers). This soft terracotta one is perfect to inject some warmth into your kit. (3) www.sunspel.com
A washed linen shirt that falls loosely around the arms and torso is flattering, cool and comfortable. We've tracked down an extra soft pastel version from UK brand Oliver Jane (4). It looks particularly beach-worthy when you style it nonchalantly with an extra button undone www.oliverjane.co.uk
Also, invest in a new rashie to be safe and set for a full day down by the ocean. Our no-cling, t-shirt style, UPF50+ rash top in deep blue (5) co-ords with shorts and trunks of all colours and prints - this is one piece you can just pack in your holdall and then throw on at your destination (no thinking required!) www.tomandteddy.com
The Bottom Half
Invest in a pair of well cut, perfect-fit shorts and you'll have the foundation of your entire beach-holiday wardrobe. These bestsellers by J Crew (6) come in a variety of colours - our pick is the slightly wrinkled chambray pair (this fabric tones down the smart tailoring so they won't look out of place at a beach bar shack or a resort restaurant). www.jcrew.com
Choose bold swim shorts in any colour you like. You can play it safe with blues and greens but take on the graphic all-over print boardies trend that is perfectly in sync with fun in the sun. And, if you haven't already, now is the time to transition from knee-length trunks to a mid-thigh silhouette.
These pineapple-print Tom & Teddies (7) are currently making their mark on beaches from Sydney to Miami. www.tomandteddy.com
On the Feet
Espadrilles, the most versatile of warm-weather shoes - not as casual as the flip flop but still with solid slip-on-and-go credentials. Soludos sells them all year round and we love these bright cornflower blue ones (8). www.soludos.com
So, to sum all this up, we recommend that you introduce some new colour to your beachwear this summertime/holiday season. Try adopting a Mediterranean look that's put-together yet playful, with a bit of sporty vintage thrown in.