Thursday, September 21, 2023

SPICE Style Guide: Pool Party Pieces for Him & Her

With the Summer coming to a close but fashion weeks set to see you travelling (NYFW launches this week, with LFW and PFW right behind it), bikini shopping could well be on your agenda.

From beachside getaways to cool kid pool parties, the search for the perfect swimsuit may seem daunting, but our style guide has you covered. Here’s our selection of the best suits to be seen in from the continent’s best designers – plus a few accessories for him and her to boot;

Do a Print

For Him

Bantu Wax and acclaimed men’s swimwear label, Okun have swimming shorts in a variety of bold African prints, with Okun also stocking a selection of printed slip-ons which work just as well as espadrilles for lounging casually by the pool.

Tzar’s patterned t-shirts make for statement cover-ups, with totes like this one by Mayamiko Designed being small, light and easy enough to carry around as you networking poolside.

SPICE - Print

  1. African Print Jomo Board Shorts, £36, Okun
  2. Print Shirt, quotes via e-mail, Tzar
  3. Cotton Print Tote Bag, £7.50, Mayamiko Designed
  4. Print Espadrilles, £30, Ohema Ohene
  5. Print Swimming Trunks, £35, Bantu Wax @ Barney’s
  6. African Print Beach Slip-Ons, £65, Okun

For Her

Embrace the bold tribal prints that Africa’s famed for with wax-cloth bikinis and one-pieces from Bantu Wax – one of the most popular surf brands owned by Ethiopian-American designer, Yodit Eklund. Plus, British-Ghanaian, Abenaa Pokuaa’s label, Ohema Ohene purveys traditional glamour in the form of a peplum Ankara bodysuit and wedges with soft, printed straps.

For accessories, totes are the go-to accessory if you’re partying by the beach, but look for those that include a matching make-up bag for emergency touch-ups at events, and rock some of the continent’s finest ethically-sourced jewellery to tie it all together.

SPICE - Print

  1. Two-Piece Bikini, $165, Bantu Wax
  2. African Print Peplum Bodysuit, £70, Ohema Ohene
  3. Fair Trade Bone Round Necklace, $32, Amani Africa
  4. Deep V-Shape One-Piece, $185, Bantu Wax
  5. African Print Espadrilles, £45, Ohema Ohene
  6. Multikra Sling Bag, N10,175, Design For Love @ Grey Velvet
  7. Fair Trade Cascade Necklace, $36, Amani Africa
  8. Halter Two-Piece, $175, Bantu Wax
  9. Cotton Print Tote Bag, £7.50, Mayamiko Designed
  10. African Print Wedge, £45, Ohema Ohene
  11. Fair Trade Make-Up Bag, £22, NearFar @ Gather & See

Go Sleek

For Him

Tropical prints will be the norm du jour for a sleek, stylish look. These prints can then be paired with a plain shirt with contrast ribbing for subtle variety. Monochromatic or muted print slip-ons give the outfit a solid base.

SPICE - Sleek Swimwear Guide

  1. African Print Espadrilles, £45, Ohema Ohene
  2. Printed Sneakers, £30, Ohema Ohene
  3. Elastic Swimming Shorts, $91, Bantu Wax
  4. African Print Espadrilles, £45, Ohema Ohene,
  5. Long Board Shorts, $125, Bantu Wax
  6. White Nsubra Shirt, £60, Ohema Ohene

For Her

Keep things streamlined with retro-inspired high-waist, two-piece that’ll flatter most female forms. As well as long shirts, palazzo trousers like this tie-dye Design For Love pair from the online store, Grey Velvet, are another chic way to cover up while partying with the fash-pack.

As an alternative to wedges, Senegalese label Belya by Aissatou Sene uses wax and African print with leather, to create sensational shoes with Western silhouettes – just perfect for maximising on comfort between dips and getting down.

SPICE - Sleek

  1. Fair Trade Marefu Cotton Maxi Shirt Dress, £54, Lalesso
  2. Fair Trade bead Necklace, $30, Amani Africa
  3. African Print Bodysuit, £65, Ohema Ohene
  4. Razza Bikini, $160, Stella Jean @ Moda Operandi
  5. Fair Trade Terracotta & Clay Necklace, $38, Amani Africa
  6. Aziza Two-Piece, $132.49, Andrea Iyamah
  7. Kuzama Swimsuit, £80, Lalesso @ Gather & See
  8. Fair Trade Brass Tri-Coil Earrings, $18, Amani Africa
  9. Yana Two-Piece, $113.73, Andrea Iyamah
  10. Eclipse Handmade Flats, £51.24, Belya @ Etsy
  11. Palazzo Print Trousers, £150, Republic of Foreigner @ My Asho
  12. Round Tote, N10,175, Design For Love @ Grey Velvet
  13. African Print Wedges, £55, Ohema Ohene

Be Athletic

For Him

For a more athletic look, take inspiration from the elements with varying shades of blue, adding a pair of vibrant sneakers or bold slip-ons to finish off the look.

Simple patterns are often associated with being active, so to leave the impression that you’re a go-getting fashion-follower, try a geo-print or stripes, which are also reminiscent of that sporty, ‘I work out’-type of vibe.

SPICE - Athletic

  1. Long Board Shorts, $125, Bantu Wax
  2. Long Board Shorts, $125, Bantu Wax
  3. African Print Beach Slip-Ons, £65, Ohema Ohene
  4. Handmade Flip-flops, £54.26, Belya
  5. African Print Sneakers, £30, Ohema Ohene
  6. Africa Print Swimming Shorts, £42, Okun

For Her

For a sporty approach to your swimwear, make like tomboy beach babe Cameron Diaz and don a printed bandeau or halterneck swimsuit, with It-girl-wothy, printed sneakers.

Large beach bags and backpacks make the perfect accoutrements, while more ethically-sourced jewels like these from Amani Africa will add a feminine, bohemian flair to your athletic, tomboy ensemble.

SPICE - Athletic

  1. Bandeau Two-Piece, $180, Bantu Wax
  2. Safari Tote Bag, $48, Amani Africa
  3. Deep V-shape One-Piece, $185, Bantu Wax
  4. Long Spiral Necklace, $32, Amani Africa
  5. High Tide Bikini, £76, Bantu Wax for J.Crew
  6. Fair Trade Harem Trousers, £52, Lalesso @ Fashion Conscience
  7. Deep U-shape One-Piece, $185, Bantu Wax
  8. Gold Backpack, £185, Lalesso
  9. African Print Sneakers, £70, Ohema Ohene
  10. Eve Necklace, £45, Salone Style @ Gather & See
  11. Halterneck Bikini, £55, Lalesso @ Agnes & Lola

Written by Karina So (

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