Swim Fashion: Dervla Louli Musgrave of Compare Retreats on 2019 Swimwear & Wellness trends

Beach holidays are the best. There is nothing quite like spending time down by the ocean or in the pool to calm a restless mind. With the shores of places like Bali, Samui, Phuket and The Maldives beckoning, this year all you need to sort out is where, when and what you’re packing.

To get us in the mood for our next beach excursion (not that we needed much help), we chatted with the ever-stylish Dervla Louli Musgrave, founder of the wellness travel agency, Compare Retreats. Dervla told us all about the swimwear and wellness travel trends we need to know this year to both look and feel amazing.

Dervla Louli Musgrave - 2019 Swimwear Trends
Image Courtesy of Dervla Louli Musgrave

What swimwear trends are you seeing for the 2019 season?

One-piece swimsuits are getting increasingly more popular this year. Meanwhile, the high-waisted bikini that was prominent is slowly phasing out. Clashing colours, delicate florals and more embellished pieces (see Chanel’s current show) are all coming in this year.

There will, however, always be space for staple black, white and nude swimwear every season. Sometimes you just want to throw on something easy and hit the beach running, which is what these simple pieces are great for.

What are your current beachwear and swimwear obsessions?

Dervla Louli Musgrave - 2019 Swimwear Trends
Image Courtesy of Dervla Louli Musgrave

Traditional kaftans from Morocco, statement and light cocktail earrings, silk scarves as headbands, fun colourful slides and well-cut black swimwear.

Are there any rules for finding the right piece for your body?

Yes! The rule is that there is no rule. Pay no attention to sizing as swimwear sizing differs hugely and don’t get frustrated if you’re a different size on top than on the bottom.

Also, ruffles can hide a big bust and complement a small one, and tie-side bottoms are often more flattering than ones offering more coverage.

Read also: Five luxury updates for your swimwear wardrobe

What do you prefer, bikini or one-piece?

I love and have so many bikinis and one-pieces that I wear on different occasions, but I’ve fallen in love with a black ERES and two Lenny Niemeyer swimsuits this season so I’ll go with a one-piece.

Read also: Luxe List: New swimsuits from Eres

What beachwear staples are in your luggage?

Dervla Louli Musgrave - 2019 Swimwear Trends
Image Courtesy of Dervla Louli Musgrave

Currently, my large gold Gucci pineapple sunglasses, red Aquazurra fringed-slides, red Oscar de la Renta tulip earrings and nude Marysia bikini are coming everywhere.

Which labels are you loving?

Dervla Louli Musgrave - 2019 Swimwear Trends
Image Courtesy of Dervla Louli Musgrave

There is so much to love! Everything in the vacation edit on Moda Operandi, Tabla and Karim Bouriad kaftans, Original Marrakech monogrammed straw bags and sun hats. Then there are the holiday designer staples like those from HULA and Vestiare, Johanna Ortiz, Eres and Marysia swimwear. Bella Blue large black sunhats are great when you’re out in the sun. I love For Restless Sleepers pyjamas for the evening and Olivia Von Halle silk pyjamas for bed. 

For more outfit inspiration, I’m always putting holiday-looks up on my Instagram @dervlalouli.

You’ve been to the Maldives quite recently, what do you love about it?

That I relax as soon as the seaplane takes off from Male airport and fifty shades of blue spread out beneath me. The Maldives is pure escapism. I have never seen so many shades of turquoise on my travels; it really is exquisite.

Hospitality and tourism are extremely well established there so the level of service, food, accommodation, treatments, etc. are exceptional. I have only just returned, and I’m already planning when to go back.

Open-water villas are a must (if you don’t have little ones of course) and are really special places to stay where you can wake up and jump into the ocean to start the day.

Read also: 7 things you need to know before visiting the Maldives

What about wellness retreats in the Maldives are you most excited about?

What excites me most is how eager our clients are to go on wellness retreats in the Maldives. We surveyed over 500 of our clients and readers last year asking them where they want to retreat to, and the Maldives was their top choice. Now that we have this information we can craft experiences at our wellness retreat partner properties that we know they will love.

The Maldives is a perfect spot for healthy hen parties, birthdays, honeymoons and special celebrations that are great for solo travellers, couples and families.

Read also: The Luxe Guide: Wellness retreats for every need

For anyone just getting started in wellness, what are your beginner go to’s for a healthier life?

Dervla Louli Musgrave - 2019 Swimwear Trends
Image Courtesy of Dervla Louli Musgrave

We know the basics for physical wellness – get eight hours sleep a night, meditate, don’t eat processed food, exercise three days a week, limit your screen time, etc. While all of these are true, I believe that real happiness comes from a much deeper place by doing what you love, finding your true purpose and by staying true to your values. The eight Talisman letters from the book, ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ offers a road map for achieving true happiness, health and wellness in the deeper sense. Bring it with you on your next wellness retreat if you haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

Elisabeth Forsman

Our predictably unpredictable adventure nomad, Elisabeth is the yogi who wants it fast, the ultra-runner who prefers taking a hike, and the swimmer with a fear of lap pools. A consummate lover of all things outdoors, she’s on a perpetual quest to get those around her outside and moving.

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