Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Breathable, absorbent and drenched in vintage charm, the retro fabric is back in full force — just in time to save your summer holiday

Rewatch the seminal 1964 Bond film Goldfinger and, at around the nine-minute mark, you’ll likely have to stifle a laugh. For, while investigating the titular villain’s Miami hotel suite, Sean Connery’s superspy zips up one of the most ludicrous outfits of the franchise — and Bond dressed up as a crocodile in Octopussy

But the pale blue terry towelling onesie, complete with patch pocket and gold clasp, has become an icon of its time. This year, British swimwear brand Orlebar Brown even took a daring step off the diving board and re-released the outfit as part of its impressive 007 collection.

And that’s not all. This semi-serious onesie has led something of a long-looped, absorbent cotton charge. Over the past few seasons, everything from button-downs to baseball caps has been fashioned from the fabric, and terry towelling is enjoying a timely — if unexpected — resurgence in popularity. Here’s why you should get involved.

A towelling polo shirt will see you home and dry

Designed to absorb large amounts of water, it’s no surprise that towelling will be serving as your poolside salvation this summer. Whether your day has been spent lounging or doing lengths, slip on a terry T-shirt and you’ll be ready for drinks or dinner in no time.

Orlebar Brown has more to offer than the onesie in its 007 collection — with this Dr No Towelling Polo taking inspiration from the T-shirt Bond wore on Crab Key Beach in 1962. The brand’s Sebastian Towelling Polo also features a three-button placket for a more open neckline. Or opt for Sunspel’s simpler shirt, in a lightly shaded teal.

Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Orlebar Brown Dr No Towelling Polo

£165

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Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Sunspel Cotton Terry T-Shirt

£75

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Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Orlebar Brown Sebastian Towelling Polo

£125

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Terry towelling sweatpants are perfect for late night lounging

You’ve had a long day of tanning, swimming or surfing and now all you want to do is enjoy some down time. But, even when relaxing on the Riviera, the temperature drops significantly after the sun sets. So, rather than pushing through in your swim shorts, why not slip on a pair of terry towelling sweatpants?

Ideal for summer evenings spent on the beach or outside your villa, these trousers are at once relaxed and smartly cut. Take Sunspel’s offering, for example — fitted with a flexible drawstring waistband like those from fellow British Brand Prevu. Or opt for Hamilton and Hare’s track trousers; your new versatile off-duty staples.

Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Sunspel Slim-Fit Cotton-Terry Sweatpants

£125

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Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Prevu Aston Towelling Jogging Bottoms

£80

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Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Hamilton and Hare Terry Track Trousers

£120

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Do away with towels by taking a terry robe

You’ve almost finished packing your beach bag, but you’re running out of space. As tightly as you roll your towel, it just won’t stuff in. But don’t despair — such is the vintage versatility of terry towelling that you can actually wear your towel rather than carry it.

That’s right — we’re talking robes. From Ralph Lauren’s laid-back option to Derek Rose’s sumptuous navy gown, there are plenty to choose from. But, if you’re still hoping to follow in the footsteps of Bond, Orlebar Brown’s Dr No Towelling Robe is surely the shawl-collared choice for you.

Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Ralph Lauren Terry Towelling Gown

£110

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Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Orlebar Brown Dr No Towelling Robe

£295

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Terry towelling is this summer’s poolside style salvation

Derek Rose Cotton-Terry Robe

£120

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