I won't lie to you.
Despite the hot spell, I can't promise summer is going to last. I've checked the long-range forecast and it doesn't look too good: bad news for those of us who merely crave the chance to "summer" as a verb (like rich Americans – "I'm summering in George Clooney's Lake Como property," I shall say to myself, mind wandering as I try not to mouth-breathe smog on the bus to work). It is perhaps even worse news for retailers, who have a mountain of stock they can't shift until the seasons do, and an economic forecast that's as uncertain as the weather.
So what's a girl craving a little legs-out, paint-your-toenails action to do? Especially one possessed of an unfashionably irrational but unshakeable conviction that sometimes the clothes make the weather, not the other way around (don't judge me – I'm northeastern).
The answer is a high-season purchase that will see you through this summer and several more to come. To paraphrase Gandhi: "Buy the change you want to see in the world." Swimwear is a great starting point. Even if it only gets an airing at your local pool, it's an optimistic purchase that speaks of summers to come.
The coolest cossies on the market come from Notting Hill boutique Pistol Panties. Designer Deborah Fleming is inspired by the chic style of 1950s St Tropez. If the original article is beyond your budget, try Deborah's collaboration with Topshop. Vintage styling (from 50s shapes to 70s cut-outs) is big news in swimwear at the moment, but if you prefer a contemporary look try a digital print, as featured in Matthew Williamson's latest beach collection. Florals are another key trend at the moment. I love Aussie brand Zimmermann, but this Next two-piece is stunning, too, and a fraction of the price.
If you want beachwear that works hard while you wear it, you'll be pleased to hear that there has been a boom in control swimwear these past few years. M&S is worth a look and Figleaves has a great selection of brands as well as a label of its own. I loved this giraffe-print, monochrome number – it is worth bearing in mind that "shaping" swimwear can be a bit of a squeeze, though, and some brands advise you to go up a size.
If you're tall, you probably already know that finding the right swimsuit can – quite literally – be a pain in the arse. Try Seaspray – a beachwear brand offering a selection of tall-fit swimsuits as part of its cracking range.
If you're blessed up top, head to booby-lady mecca Bravissimo. They have some great tailored beachwear, too.
Meanwhile, if you're petite (or, like, perfect) why not try this barely there bikini from Accessorize?
Last but not least, ethical shoppers: I'd recommend the UK-made wares of Kiss Me Deadly (again with a retro feel) or Toast, whose ethical policy is admirably strong.
See you on the beach! I hope.
Follow Lauren on Twitter @LaurenLaverne
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010