Nice and breezy
Make the most of those rare opportunities when the sun comes out and dress with colour and flourish – and don’t forget your shades or a rainhat, writes DEIRDRE MCQUILLAN
STYLISH DRESSING ALFRESCO means something sassier than jeans and a t-shirt. As Irish summers get wetter and colder, those rare opportunities to pack a hamper and take off on a sunny day should be savoured to the full. Why not cut a dash and dress for the occasion with a menu to match? Here are a few suggestions assembled from independent Irish boutiques.
As for the beach these days, dress codes are changing. Bikinis, skimpy clothing and the slow motion striptease have given way to the wetsuit which has transformed the Irish seaside. Surfers silhouetted in black neoprene, as slim and sleek as cycle couriers and the best-dressed by far, show that contoured neoprene does wonders even for less than perfect figures. Undressing elegantly in public has its challenges and anyone who has ever worn a button-through dress with swimwear underneath will appreciate its advantages in such situations. The swallow print stretch cotton dress by Samantha Sung is a good example.
Norma Kamali, US queen of swimwear earned her reputation for flattering beach wear and her current styles take their cues from the more covered up looks of the 1940s. Details count. When shoulder straps are set wide, the shoulders will appear wider and if set in, the shoulders will appear smaller, according to her rules. Getting narrower too are the boundaries between swimwear and lingerie as fabric technology advances. Marks Spencers, for example, are fast forwarding lingerie expertise and sizing into swimwear for better fits all round. Underwear can be swimwear.
Dressing for a picnic by the sea or lakeshore or just a day in the country means a breezy cover up for that promise of a swim or a quick dip, be it a flouncy floral summer’s dress or a striped top along with a shopper, jaunty jewellery and colourful rug to lift the spirits. But whatever the outlook, never leave shades or a rainhat behind.
Cutout images by PRoShots.ie
Catwalk images by Getty Images. From top: Karen Walker; Moschino Cheap and Chic; Nanette Lepour