Bare feet or flat sandals, please!
1. Never, ever wear bikinis with metal details
You really haven’t thought this through, have you? Metal + sun = very hot things on your bare skin. So if you’re not careful you’ll end up with scorch marks instead of a tan. And even more important than safety, it can look a bit ‘soap star in Marbella beach club’.
2. Swimwear and stilettos? No thanks
Look, we know that heels make your legs look longer and everything, but that doesn’t mean you should prance around in them while wearing swimwear. Aside from the fact that it makes you look eccentric – akin to wearing ankle socks with lingerie and a bit ‘Page 3’ – no one wants to be that girl who falls in the pool in their Louboutins…
3. Avoid baseball caps
I’ve recently witnessed my dad wearing my old baseball caps in the garden. My Wayne’s World and Michael Jackson: King of Pop ones are his current favourites. Breaking news: you won’t look any cooler than he does. And unless you’re the kind of girl that can pull off the Adidas Originals x Rita Ora range head-to-toe, you might have the same problem. Perhaps try a straw trilby instead?
4. To toejazzle or not toejazzle?
Why do people feel the need to have a toejazzle? (I thought I’d made that term up, but pop it into Google and you’ll find plenty of images of weird embellished pedicures.) Personally, I don’t think you can get much more chic than a classic polish in One Perfect Coral by Revlon. Leave the crystals on your jeans’ pockets. Oh, actually, don’t.
5. Beware the Elderly American Tourist look
I’ve fallen into this trap myself. Think those checked trousers look good with a polo shirt and Birkenstocks? But Alf from Michigan has been rocking that look since he went on his first trip to Europe in 1989. Opt for some culottes – you’d never catch Alf in culottes.
6. Cork wedges: ugh!
At a push you can get away with a cork wedge hidden under a pair of just-the-right-length denim flares, but not teamed with a floral-print maxi dress. Wear a maxi with flats. If you must wear cork wedges… well, good luck with that.
7. Bare-faced cheek
Things you need on your face on the beach: sun protection, sunglasses, a slick of lip balm and possibly a coat of waterproof mascara. You’re going to get hot, sweaty, sea salty and maybe a little bit sandy if you’re a beach volleyball/frisbee kind of gal. So save the liquid liner and lippy for the evening. We don’t want to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show on tour thanks.
8. Get shirty
Remember: you don’t have to buy your beach cover-up in the holiday section of the shop. Try swapping your sarong or kaftan in a print that, let’s face it, you don’t really like, for a longline chambray shirt instead. Other than it being a proper cover-up (in that it actually covers your skin), it looks really sexy if you leave it unbuttoned. Win win.
9. Wacky Shades
Fluro sunglasses are a little bit Jamie from Made In Chelsea and, dare we say, even a bit Mark Wright on a stag do in TOWIE. Perfect for a teenager’s first festival, less cool for a sophisticated woman in her thirties on the French Rivieria. Do yourself a favour and invest in some sunnies that are chic, oversized and black.
10. Jingle-jangle hell
I’m not saying you need to take off your delicate everyday necklace and tiny hoop earrings. Those are totally fine. But maybe rethink the bangles up to the elbow and ankle bracelets. If it’s heavier than your piña colada, take it off. Your tan line will thank you for it.
What to wear...
A retro-style bikini with good coverage
Classic shades in black are timeless
£27.59, Le Specs at asos.com
Leather slip-on sandals are chic and practical
Ditch the baseball cap! A trilby or Panama is way cooler.