Sorry boys this one's (mostly) just for the girls. We'll be dealing with your side of the story in our next installment of style secrets.
It might seem a little far into the season to be diving into the topic of swimwear, but with more people choosing to make the most of their holiday dollar by booking their beachtime off-peak and into the Autumn, the hunt for the perfect two piece gets a new lease of life in late summer. And it can take on a desperate intensity as the racks of summer dresses, bikinis and flip-flops rapidly disappear under the deluge of camel coloured woollies and trench-coats.
But don't despair there's still a few weeks grace before summer 2010 is packed away for good and there are some great options still hanging around on the high street. Next and John Lewis are good first ports of call for your water-adjacent wardrobe. Our picks of of their poolside collections are this pretty floral bikini (1. top £16, briefs £12-main image right) and dramatic black mesh-insert one-piece (2. £20) both from Next and from John Lewis, the vibrant Freya Moonflower tie-side bikini (3. top £19-28, briefs £14-20) and the snapshot-of-summer that is the Ted Baker Tiarela Floral Print Halterneck Bikini top and matching briefs (4.top £29, briefs £25).
Known for their expert knowledge of the female form it's not to surprising that Rigby and Peller can craft a flattering silhouette and they've put this expertise into some timelessly elegant one-piece suits. We've fallen in love with their modest-yet-daring Gottex Tanzania Plunge suit in white (5. £115) and the Empreinte Pacific Halterneck (6. £110) in a seductive Mediterranean blue.
But if it's something a little more catwalk and a little less high street you're after – perhaps to fit in on the glamorous sands of the Riviera – then your somewhat unlikely shopping destination is St Neots. The lovely Cambridgeshire town is home to swimwear boutique Sandstorm, which stocks such high-end lines as the latest collections from 'queen of the swimsuit' Melissa Odabash and chic Italian label Parah. But in our humble opinion the belle of the beach will undoubtedly be whichever lucky lady gets her hands on the blindingly gorgeous Bendito Praline tankinin (7. £99) from Columbian designer Agua Bendita. They can all be bought online form the website http://sandstormboutique.co.uk/