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LIVE AND LET LIE… On the beach

Which Bond girl are you, based on your swimwear?

If the James Bond franchise is anything to go off, you can tell a lot about a woman by her swimwear. From Pussy Galore to Honey Ryder, a Bond girl’s beachwear wardrobe is about as iconic as her name. James Bond’s various female character counterparts - be them villains of destruction or his second in command – tackle beach-to-pool dressing like no other. They slay literally and metaphorically! Where many enjoy the cars, the catchphrases and epic fight scenes, we obsess over the nostalgia-causing costume cuts and animal prints.

With 26 Bond films in total and counting, there’s a backlog of Bond girl beach fashion to delve into. You too can channel your inner Bond girl with the right swimwear, but which one is the most ‘you’? 


Do you ride a motorbike? Are you Italian? Do you carry a shotgun on the beach? Yes?! Then you MUST be Fiona Volpe – the redheaded assassin in the 1965 Thunderball. Volpe, played by Luciana Paluzzi, is the epitome of her leopard one-piece. It’s her job to be seductive but subtle – and her costume is exactly this: like a leopard, it’s lethal and alluring without being too ‘out there’. Unfortunately Volpe in the end is killed, but the leopard swimsuit lives on. Phew!


AGUA DE COCO, Leopard Print Brazilian Swimsuit


Ah the metallic swimsuit, is there anything more glamorous? One for the party-girl, metallic swimwear is best worn in places like Ibiza and Miami, where the cocktails flow and the beach parties are many. However in the 1965 You Only Live Twice, the gold lamé two piece is sported by Ama diver Kissy Suzuki in Japan. But don’t be fooled into thinking metallic just means gold or silver. Despite this film’s title, you actually only live once, so please, embrace the colour!


LA REVECHE, Amelie Bikini


You’d be excused in thinking a white swimsuit was, well… boring, but leave it to a Bond girl to prove you wrong. Honey Ryder’s off-white two-piece is an institution in the swimwear world. Most notable for its killer accessory (literally): the knife belt. Honey Ryder is the definition of a woman who takes no shit, she tells 007 that she once killed a man by putting a female black widow spider into his mosquito net. Whilst the white bikini, cool and understated, is no killer, it has this same nonchalant cool-girl vibe. It’s more about the cut than anything else, it can be distinctive, even when the colour isn’t.


RUDI GERNREICH, Choker Bikini Top


Wear lime green on the beach, or any fluorescent colour for that matter, and you’re looking to command attention. Enter on horseback like Solange Dimitrios in Casino Royale, and you’ll have yourself an audience. Neon green is the colour du jour, sported by Hailey Bieber with athleisure and Billie Eilish with her roots. Be warned, you may need sunglasses to see yourself in the mirror, but boy does it make your tan pop!


NETIQUETTE, Bel Air Bikini


Sometimes sexiness in swimwear isn’t about showing off most of your body. Domino Derval, the ‘other’ Thunderball leading lady, proves this. Her one-shoulder one-piece with sheer detail on the chest reveals a little, but not too much, and oozes 60s Italian elegance. You’re a Domino Derval if you too like a suit, and have a little trouble letting go of the past… well, in terms of fashion.


PERSE MAR, Cinto One Piece

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