Finding your perfect swimwear can be a long, time consuming and sometimes frustrating task. When you have finally selected that must-have bikini, you then need to think about putting together some outfits to wear to and from the beach. There are lots of flattering styles to give that little bit more coverage until you get there, and choosing wisely can really complement your choice of swimwear.

First of all, you will definitely need footwear. For sandy beaches, flat shoes are much more convenient than wedges. Although there are some pretty holiday styles, save it for the pool or for evening entertainment. Flip flops are a popular choice for the beach as they can easily be slipped on and off. The foam type can be cheaper but can sometimes lead to blisters between the toes. To avoid discomfort, try a preventative anti-blister lubricant, or wrap a plaster around the toe post. Another option is sandals. There is a huge range of styles and can be cheap enough to colour co-ordinate with your bikini if you like. A pair with straps around the ankle can be good if you need to walk any significant distance, and will be cool in the heat.

Unless you have a very short walk that is not in view of the public, it is likely that you will want to wear something other than your bikini and flip flops. A pair of shorts is a beachwear essential: wearing the shorts means you can wear just the bikini top when it becomes very hot, and they are easy to take off when you want to sunbathe. Denim shorts are popular, especially a lighter denim, and will suit any bikini colour. It will also suit plenty of styles of top, such as a loose vest or kaftan, or even a shirt tucked into high-waisted shorts for a slightly different look.

With your outfit sorted, you may want to think about some accessories. Although you wouldn’t want to take it into the sea, some inexpensive jewellery can be eye-catching, such as a beaded bracelet or some long earrings. You could also buy sunglasses and a hat for when the sun is brightest and hottest and you need some shade to keep cool. A straw hat is very summery and trendy. Similarly, straw bags are fashionable for taking everything you need to the beach. Even your nail polish colour can help to give you that bit of individuality and finish off your look. So indulge in some pre-holiday retail therapy to find yourself the perfect outfit for the perfect beach holiday.

+Jonathan Crewe