Flattering beachwear that fits you beautifully isn’t cheap, so it’s important that we look after it. I’m still wearing bikinis, kaftans and sarongs from my very first collection-they’re eight years old but still look great. It takes a bit of an effort to keep them in good nick, but it’s worth it. Here’s what I’ve learnt along the way.
Swimwear receives a battering on vacation; sun, salt, chlorine and sun creams are its natural enemies. To counteract this you must hand wash any swim you’ve worn every night and never dry them in direct sun. I usually do this in mild shampoo (as queeny as I am, even I draw the line at taking washing detergent on holiday with me) and lay them flat on a towel to dry. In the morning they’ll smell clean, fresh and be ready for another round. It won’t take more then a few minutes.
Once you’re home, all your bikinis and one pieces should be washed again and this time use a little fabric softener too. Next season they will and smell look gorgeous all over again.
Any white clothing is also in danger of emerging from your box of beach kit marred by yellow stains if you don’t wash it thoroughly at the end of your vacation-or during it if you want to wear it more than once. This is almost definitely residue of sun cream. I’ve learnt this from bitter experience. When you get home, everything white needs a long, warm soak with a good hand washing detergent. I wear tons of white on vacation as everything goes with everything, and if I’ve been tying a sarong or wearing a cover up on the beach-where it’s been liberally smeared with sweat and sun cream-I’ll hand wash it that night.
Coloured kaftans and sarongs can wait til you get home as they won’t yellow up- but don’t pack them away without a wash-even if you didn’t wear them. That lovely holiday smell-vaguely coconut-y and sexy today-will smell stale and fetid by next year and you’ll never get it out. You have been warned…….