We live in a country where it is perfectly normal to spend a large portion of our lives in a state of undress. Most of us are so immune to flashing flesh on a regular basis at the condo pool that we have shed the self consciousness of our counterparts in chillier climes. We live in a permanent state of ‘second week of holiday mode’. No wafting around under a kaftan and sucking in wobbly bits for us; we’ve forgotten our wobbly bits exist. Well, almost. We are perfectly happy to stand chatting to virtual strangers about the humidity levels while wearing significantly less than we might have otherwise for eleven and a half months of the year.
Good, I say — we should be liberated and happy in our skins. But there is a downside to this relative uninhibitedness. We are so blasé about swimwear, and wear it so often, that we tend to throw on whatever we have to hand, and ignore the obvious: Swimwear worn every other day has a limited life. ‘Researching’ for this article I discovered that – while I have a full drawer of bikinis – once I’d edited the faded, saggy, or the half-has-mysteriously-vanished, there was truly nothing left.
Surely the most shocking part of this shot is those yellow saggy bikini bottoms.
So swimwear needs to be updated, girls. Regularly. And now is a natural time to address the issue and take advantage of the summer sales. But when it comes to what swimwear to buy, I revert to my previous point. Really, who cares whether swimwear sucks in, gives you any semblance of a bust or covers every lump and bump? Join the liberation ladies and simply buy swimwear that you like, and feel happy wearing.
Yes, that might be a cover-everything-wetsuit, or it might be a micro string bikini. Confidence is what counts, not whether you have the perfect figure. Although of course it doesn’t hurt thatfashion’s current penchant is for a more covered up beach look, with swimsuits, sports styles, rash vests and demure two pieces all featuring, and allowing greater options if a thong isn’t your thang. Here’s my online top 24 that cover all bases:
I like to think donning nautical swimwear imbues one with an air of just stepping off a private yacht in Cannes. Be it a demure one-piece or a micro bikini, there will always be a certain timeless chic attached to classic red white and blue.
Heidi Klein, H&M, P.E NATION, Boden, ERES
This season’s plunging one-piece takes 1950’s Sophia Loren as its inspiration. Sexy, but with a whiff of retro innocence, botanical colourways and bow detailing enhance a more demure approach. NB: Curves are certainly no prerequisite.
Show Me Your Mumu, Seafolly, Mara Hoffman, Adriana Degras, ZARA
Cut out swimwear continues its reign, but for those of us over 25 try a colour palette of monochrome and burgundy for a more grown up take on the look. Plus now we have choice of less obvious cut outs we can decide what bits we feel happy revealing.
Michael Kors, Tart Collections, Stella McCartney, Kalmar, H&M
An easy-to-wear style for everyone, retro generally reads as more covered up than other swim trends, although there is still sexiness to be found in frills, waisted bikini bottoms and halter neck one-pieces. Saturated pastels are a perfect stylistic match here.
Lisa Marie Fernandez, NEXT, Lisa Marie Fernandez, Topshop, Solid & Striped