The disparity between the coat of swimwear can be staggering, as you can spend £15 or £350 for a seemingly identical little red bikini. It can be tempting to go for the £10 bikini every time, but I wanted to find out if it's worth investing in your bikini drawer and where you can really see the difference.
The minimum amount you should be spending on swimwear, advises Beach Flamingo's founder, Lily Russo, is £100. "From my experience, it's very hard to find well-made swimwear that doesn't compromise on fit and quality for under £100," she explains. "I have been developing my own line for the last year, so I have seen every detail involved. The only brands that are able to do this are the big chains who can mass produce. However, not everyone can afford to spend £200 to 300 on a swimsuit, so I always stick to what I have always said about clothing in general—it is best to invest in the best you can afford, as it will ultimately last longer, which is good for your bank balance and the planet too."
The design of swimwear is more technical than you might think. "Swimwear is costly to produce, as it takes real expertise to get a good fit and to grade the sizing," adds Russo. "The cut and fabric have a huge impact on how swimwear looks on the body. I can tell you exactly how something will fit even before I see it on a model, just by looking at the shape. The only way to produce cheap swimwear is by cutting back on these elements, which usually means you end up with a saggy bum, a bikini top that won't stay in place or a fabric that holds water and takes forever to dry."
If you're looking to invest in quality swimwear, there are some key designers that really specialise in fit. "I call Karla Colletto swimwear 'miracle suits' for its tummy-tucking and bust-lifting abilities,' she explains. "Lazul and Clube Bossa are excellent all-rounders, and when you feel the fabric of a Clube Bossa swimsuit, it feels like silk and is so soft against the skin." If you're thinking of spending a little more on your swimwear this summer, shop our edit of the key suits below.