The right swimwear can make a huge difference to how you feel on the beach. Stylist Laura Fantacci shares her top five

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Stand out from the crowd in the best way possible this summer with these top five beachwear must-haves, as picked by Laura Fantacci of Wearing It Today. 

1) For pool posing

J Crew Tulle Underwire Tank, £130

Every woman needs a piece of swimwear that feels more like an evening dress than anything else - something so fabulous that you won’t even want to get it wet (although you can, of course). The occasion for something so special could be your honeymoon, a pool party or simply a holiday that requires your swimwear to be that little bit extra special. My excuse last season was my first summer after having my daughter Greta (and spending the previous year in the same two maternity one pieces for the entire summer) and a holiday to Amalfi. I invested in this ruched, tulle one piece in navy and still treasure every family photo I have wearing it. It is actually a lot more practical than it looks (and it sucks you in in all the right places), whilst being totally WOW. Just something to think about…

2) The colour pop one-piece

Boden Sorrento Swimsuit, £59

Swimsuits are a lot more practical than bikinis when you have children, especially when you are probably spending most of your time by the sea building castles rather than soaking up the sun with a book. Yet I will never give up style for comfort, so once I’ve worked on my tan for the first half of my holiday, I always bring out a colour pop swimsuit that goes with my colouring (and enhances my tan). For me, reds and corals work really well and Boden has a great selection of bandeau-style one pieces in an array of colours to suit every skin tone. And since I don’t mind a little extra help, this swimsuit comes with clever control panels, secret support and soft moulded cups. Handy detachable straps mean you can concentrate on the serious business of sunbathing.

3) The essential black bikini

Orlebar Brown Hampton Classic Bikini. Top: £125, Brief: £95

If you really must narrow it down (but why would you!?) there are two pieces of swimwear you really, really need: a one piece and a black bikini. The essential black bikini will never go out of style and once you’ve chosen a style to suit your body shape you are good to go. When you are considering which style to go for think about longevity – this is a piece that you will potentially wear over and over again. This OB style is called Classic for a reason and its features include: signature side fasteners, boning reinforcement, under support and adjustable straps. It’s also sand resistant and UPF 50+. Wear with the Trinity brief for an overall classic OB look.

4) The designer splurge

Stella McCartney Heart Print Bandeau Swimsuit, £220

My birthday falls in March and in the last few years I’ve started investing early in a designer piece of swimwear for the coming Summer. I usually go for something from a designer I already love and I’ve realised that it’s a clever way to buy into their current collections without spending a  fortune. Last year it was a cotton leaf print Isabel Marant Etoile one piece that I loved and wore all the time. This year it was this Stella McCartney heart print swimsuit with back cut outs. When it comes to designer swimwear I always get the illusion that I’m getting a bargain, probably because beachwear compared to mainline and accessories tends to be so. In the past years I’ve bought Dolce & Gabbana and Missoni mare that, despite still being expensive, always felt like a bargain! Just as long as you know it’s really just an illusion..

5) The 60s bargain

Topshop Bikini. Top: £15, Brief: £10

Up to last season I was a little bit suspicious of  big pants  and 60’s style shapes, I thought they would only look any good on thin or boyish shapes, but last summer I decided to try this trend for myself and I realised there are ways of making it work even if you don’t have a supermodel figure. The secret is all in where you sit the briefs on your waistline. I’m petite but curvy and with a short torso so the most flattering look for me is lower on the hips. If you have a small waist try sitting them higher and if you are straight up and down choose shorts styles that that give an optical illusion of curves. As for the top part go for whatever gives you better support – I love this balconette style, very Dolce & Gabbana but a much affordable price.

For your chance to win £500 to spend on anything from the Orlebar Brown womenswear collection, enter our competition  here .