Swimwear trends for a seriously sweet summer

Do you find shopping for swimwear is about as fun as a visit to the dentist? Something that you put off until it's absolutely necessary? Let's face it, stripping off in a brightly lit change room in front of a full-length mirror and squeezing into a piece of lycra-infused material is hardly something you do just for kicks. So if you, like many of us, have been putting off buying new swimwear for this summer season... here are some tips that will hopefully make it less stressful.

This year there are plenty of new, exciting swim styles to choose from. The latest swimwear trends are not so much about itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikinis and more about flattering, retro-inspired style. So if you're not Miranda Kerr (but if you are, hi Miranda!), then we've got you covered. There's no better time to step out of your comfort zone and into swimwear that you'll want to live in this summer.

First things first, consider the structure and level of support you desire. It's no surprise that you feel better in swimwear that fits well, flatters and supports you. For those of us blessed with a larger cup size, the best swimwear will be underwired and will come in bra cup-sizes... your confidence will lift, your shoulders will relax and your head will be held high!

Trends for the 2014/2015 summer season:Floral - more garden party than beach party, this season's floral trend looks incredible feminine. The Elomi Kariba Bikini and the Panache Annalise collection (available as Tankini or Bikini)  capture this trend beautifully.Retro - taking inspiration from the 50s, the latest retro styles take the best of the past and infuse a modern twist. The Freya Tootise Bandeau and Tankini can be worn with a removable halter neck strap for added vintage-effect. Panache have added a playful touch with the Panache Page swimsuit, which is skirted at the bottom for extra length.Ruffles - a feminine touch, ruffles are a great way to draw attention where you want it. Both of the above bikini styles by Freya embrace this pretty trend.Sporty - perfect if you're doing something active in the water, instead of just lounging beachside. These sporty styles are designed to help you get the most out of every swim session, with cup-size support.Classic black - nothing can beat the elegant style of a classic black swimsuit. Freya's Rock The Beach adds a glamorous touch. Miraclesuit's Mystify swimsuit is flattering and sexy, and the Panache Isobel Tankini is another classic option for when you feel like a bit more coverage.

Fitter's Tips:

  • If you're pear-shaped, try matching a patterned bikini or tankini top with a solid colour bottom.
  • If you feel self-conscious about your tummy area, look for a style with gathered/ruched fabric or contrasting panels on the torso or waist. It will create a flattering division between your bust and hips.
  • If you'd like to minimise your shape, look for solid colours with some interesting details.
  • A high-cut leg will accentuate the natural curve of your hips.
  • Halterneck styles offer lift and support whilst also giving the appearance of a longer torso - another benefit of this style is that you can adjust your fit when needed. But if you find halter necks uncomfortable, try a fuller cup style with shoulder straps that are fully adjustable.
  • Don't think of one-piece swimsuits has being boring or matronly - many of the latest swimsuits are downright sexy! Another option to consider is a three-piece swimsuit that includes an ultra-supportive swim bra, tankini top and bottom. The Elomi Isis collection offers just that in a range of fashion styles and colours.

What do you think of this season's new swimwear? Do you have a favourite trend?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.