Travel light this summer with our top beachwear fashion picks

Before you say anything - yes, this bag is expensive, but hear me out. In my lifetime I have owned countless numbers of beach bags: canvas, wicker, plastic, perspex, you name it. I think it would be safe to say that I buy a new one every season, I never really love it and because I never spend any money on them, I trash them and throw them away the following year. This year I’ve decided to change my attitude and choose a bag that I love and will wear for years to come. Your beach bag needs to be just as stylish as your everyday arm candy, especially as you are often not wearing much more than it anyway. I absolutely love this Tori Burch raffia basket bag; it’s the perfect combination of classic and fun and will fit all my beach essentials. I only wish I had bought ten years ago instead of my £30 knock offs, I would have many more stylish summers.

2) M&S Black Swimsuit

A black swimsuit is an absolute wardrobe must have for every woman, no matter what your age. It’s a summer­ wardrobe staple that looks great on any shape and always feels chic. Black is a slimming colour so especially at the beginning of the season, when you might not feel bikini­ ready, it’s the perfect piece of swimwear to ease you into beach life. I always rely on M&S for great affordable beachwear because they cater for every body shape. This particular style serves me well because the concealed control panel flattens tummies for a figure-enhancing fit. It has cleverly disguised ruching designed to flatter and the low cut leg gives it a slightly retro feel, which makes it look like it could be from Dolce & Gabbana. My kind of bargain.

3) MiH Maxi Shirt

I ditched kaftans and sarongs years ago in favour of a classic white shirt on the beach, it’s just that bit more effortlessly stylish. For a start it goes with every colour, so you don’t need to worry about matching when you are packing. MiH does a great style called ‘The oversize shirt’ that is slightly longer at the back and has tabs at the sleeves so you can wear them rolled back. I own two and, on rotation, it’s all I wear on a beach holiday. It’s a multitasking little piece to own: you can either belt it up or button it down with your swimwear underneath, you can wear it to the beach over shorts, tucked into jeans for an easy slouchy elegance, loose over skinnies for a crisp classic look… you get the idea. A forever piece.

4) Boden Gold Metallic Sandals

If you only pack one pair of shoes for your summer holiday make it a metallic flat. I’m all about comfort on a beach holiday so flats are a must. A gold touch looks great on bronzed legs and gold will instantly lift any outfit, giving it a little extra boost. I love this pair of wide band Boden flats, however if you are not a gold person they come in silver too and will look great with a bright a shiny pedicure. Whether you pair them with our beach cover-up or your little summer dress, you will get great wear out of this summer staple, I promise.

5) Grevi Floppy Hat

I absolutely love hats, but the sad truth is that they never look good on me. I’ve tried everything from the expensive to the cheap but I’m just not what the French would call a ‘tete a chapeau’. The only style that looks decent on me is a narrow brim, classic trilby with a black ribbon but I’ve been wearing it for years and I’m a little bit over it. Last week I was in Fenwick and spotted this Italian brand called Grevi that since 1875 has been making this hemp, floppy style in an array of Farrow and Ball­-esque colours. Today the collections are still manufactured using traditional methods passed down over generations. Everything is made by hand utilising the skills of expert weavers and crocheters to shape even the most delicate small cloches and skullcaps. I bought it in a burnt orange and can’t wait to wear it with my black swimsuit, white shirt and gold sandals on the beach!