THE TIMELESS GUIDE TO SWIMWEAR
The marker of truly perfect swimwear? When you want to wear it again and again.
Seeking out a timeless swimsuit that looks and feels as good now as it will in ten years time, not only means always having your beach outfit spot-on, it's sustainable too; when clothes are loved and worn they don't end up in landfill.
The starting point is fabric. Well-crafted, premium stretch fabrics that have a snug fit and retain their shape even when washed, mean swimwear stays looking pristine. Double-layered fabrics feel luxe and offer extra coverage and support.
Fit is also key. When a swimsuit feels comfortable to step into and works with your curves and contours it's a pleasure to wear. Think about what makes you feel your most confident: do you like bust support? Extra coverage on your bottom half? Showcasing your shoulders? Listen to your body and find the piece that fits like a glove. No compromises.
Consider colour, too. Pick a versatile tone that compliments your skin tone and works with the rest of your beach wardrobe. Neutrals and colours drawn from nature, be they rich earthy tones or an ocean-inspired palette, never feel dated.
Finally, overly embellished and fussy trend-driven styles can quickly feel out of date. Choosing a classic silhouette with proven staying power ensures your swimwear will last for a lifetime.
By way of inspiration, these are the timeless styles worth investing in.
The retro aesthetic of a high-waisted bikini has endured for over fifty years. A signature of the 1940’s and 50’s, the waistline-accentuating silhouette chimed with the ultra-feminine hourglass look made popular by Christian Dior’s New Look. Worn by screen sirens such as Rita Hayworth and Jayne Mansfield, it continues to be one of the most glamorous swimwear styles as well as offering extra seat and stomach coverage. Pair high briefs with a sculpted top for a fully supported feel.
The LBB (LITTLE BLACK BIKINI)
The Little Black Dress is universally acknowledged as a wardrobe classic – and the swimwear equivalent is just as timeless. Just look to Sophia Loren in the 1961 film ‘Madame Sans-Gêne’. The simplicity of a solid black swimsuit makes it the most versatile style to own; whether you’re in a roof-top pool or wild swimming, it never looks out of place. Select your favourite silhouette and wear it season after season.
THE MINIMAL ONE-PIECE
When Bo Derek stepped onto the beach wearing a honey-coloured maillot in the 1979 cult film ‘10’, the appeal of a sleek one-piece was cemented. The power of this piece is in the simplicity; clean lines and a seamless construction are essential. Basic doesn’t mean boring though. Think about a tie waist, low back or elegant strap detailing to add interest. Wear it on the beach, then maximize wearability by using it as a layering piece underneath skirts, shorts and trousers.
The bandeau bikini rose to fame after Brigitte Bardot wore a floral print style on the beach at Cannes in 1953. At the time the strapless, shoulder-revealing shape was considered risqué, however fast forward fifty years and it’s synonymous with simple, enduring style. Look for curved lines that create an elegant silhouette and ensure the top doesn’t roll down. A snug back band also means your top won’t slip. Wear with straps for a vintage appeal, or go without for a minimal look.
THE CLASSIC TRIANGLE
It was French designer Louis Réard who first introduced the triangle bikini in 1946. Made from two triangles of cloth attached with a string, the barely-there style quickly caught on among beach-goers and was immortalized by Brian Hyland’s 1960 hit song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini”. It has since become a core swimwear style, the slim, adjustable straps perfectly suited to tanning.
THE STATEMENT PRINT
Not all classics are low-key. A bold printed swimsuit can be the beach-side piece that transforms the rest of your summer basics and gives you an extra confidence boost on holiday. Prints inspired by nature have an organic and timeless quality. Look for curved lines that enhance your natural shape and try a colour palette that incorporates black or white to increase the versatility of your piece.
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