If the weather hasn’t washed you away yet, it has probably left you yearning for a holiday somewhere warm. With time ticking down ‘til Christmas you might have to wait until 2013 to hit the beach, but what better way to extend the festive cheer into the new year than booking a relaxing holiday in the winter sun?

In terms of locations, you might head to the Caribbean or the Canary Islands – but we’re far more interested in what you’ll be wearing.

Here are our top tips for the best beachwear.

One-piece swimwear

One-piece swimsuits are a huge favorite in this year’s swimwear ranges. Plenty of designers are flaunting leotards and bodysuits. This refined, stylish look is far from staid – many labels have infused extra excitement with vibrant blues and shocking colour blocking.

Curvier ladies may rejoice at the range of gorgeous costumes out there, and can do a lot worse than picking up a swimdress at Bonmarche, which has a great range this winter.

Retro costumes

Whatever the weather, the next 12 months will be a vintage year for swimwear. Retro is big and, overlapping with the current popularity of lingerie-inspired ranges, the pin-up look will be everywhere.

The retro look is perfect for people wanting to cover up a bit more, as is definitely the trend this year. Among two-piece costumes, beautiful high-waist bottoms continue to surge in popularity while the quality and range of retro one-piece swimwear is brilliant, and just cries out to be accessorised with a gorgeous, floppy, wide-brimmed hat.

In terms of patterns, it seems the retro look has plenty of versatility. Not surprisingly, there are plenty of vintage patterns – think floral and nautical motifs – but there’s also room for bold colour blocking and sleek, subtle patterns.

Back to the 80s

And it isn’t just the 50s that are back in style. The 80s are already having a revival of their own and that looks set to continue next year with a host of vibrant costumes.

It wouldn’t be 80s-inspired without bold colour blocking, and this is embellished with subtle, sporty influences. Some labels have used zips to create the appearance of an aerobics leotard, while others have drawn heavily from scuba suits.

What’s clear is that this is another style that offers plenty to fans of one-piece costumes. Designers have shunned bikinis to lavish their attention on fashionable, flattering shapewear and bodysuits with a distinct 80s look.

Native and tribal styles

There’s still plenty of love for the native and tribal looks in 2013. Bold designs, featuring exotic prints of animal prints and tropical fronds will single you out as a particularly stylish beach-goer in the new year, and fringing is seriously in.

Bonmarché again offer some excellent plus size swimwear in this style, ensuring that it isn’t just the stick-thin that will look achingly fashionable.

The life aquatic

It evidently isn’t just you hearing the call of the ocean: swimwear designers have provided us with a host of gorgeous, aquatic-inspired swimwear. Blue is the colour for much of 2013’s best looks – though terracotta and burnt red also charms – and many labels have underlined their oceanic influence with dappled, coral prints and other maritime features.


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