Where to get swimwear that fits and flatters, whatever your shape

It’s not too late to perfect your beach look

 

 We are days into July and swimwear has already been sitting on shelves for the past couple of weeks, so it would be astute to acquire your beach gear immediately, before, let’s face it, all the good stuff goes.

Few of us can claim to enjoy swimwear shopping. From florescent lighting, itsy-bitsy Lycra, to major meltdowns, no, it’s not an episode of Love Island, but a test of sartorial resolve in the changing rooms.  

Swimsuit, €128, Seafolly, at Arnotts

Usually when we shop for swimwear, we converge on a suit that hides or conceals instead of accentuating our prime assets. Instead, this year, utilise the power of well-cut swimwear that will enhance your favourite bits. Want to show off your décolletage? Pick a plunging style. If your legs are your best asset, go for a higher-cut like a hipster brief. Use features like prints, ruffles and embellishment to draw the eye to the parts you’d rather underline.

Swimsuit, €47, Warehouse.
Swimsuit, €47, Warehouse

Skimpy doesn’t always mean sexy, so skip the Kim Kardashian school of swimwear and find Bardot, longline crop top or tankini styles that create a beautiful silhouette and give substantial coverage.

The one-piece

Ticking all those coverage and comfort boxes is the reliable one-piece. The classic swimsuit once viewed as conservative and the bikini’s dowdy sister, has shaken off its sensible sartorial connotations, thanks to creative aesthetics and flattering silhouettes. In the midst of a revival, the chic cover-up has been refashioned in mesh, neoprene, frills, and a myriad of prints.

Swimsuit, €150, Jets, at Brown Thomas.
Swimsuit, €150, Jets, at Brown Thomas

But the gravitation back towards the one-piece is not purely aesthetic: “With people becoming more sun smart, there is less of a focus on tanning and more of a focus on making a strong style statement, and looking and feeling your best self. A swimsuit is versatile too so can see you through various holiday scenarios,” says Roslyn Ellis, swimwear and lingerie buyer for Brown Thomas. 

Fitting

Whatever your shape, you should be investing as much time and energy into finding your swimwear as you would with your lingerie. “Be fitted for swimwear as you would for lingerie. You want to make sure nothing rides up and everything is lifted and supported,” says Ellis.

Bikini top, €59, Fantasie, Arnotts.
Bikini top, €59, Fantasie, Arnotts
Foldable briefs, €39, Fantasie, Arnotts.
Foldable briefs, €39, Fantasie, Arnotts

And just like well-crafted lingerie, if you spend more, quality fabrics will naturally lead to a better fit. Look to Lycra that will actually give you the support you need, and fits and moulds to the body.

Swimsuit, €170, Ganni, Netaporter.
Swimsuit, €170, Ganni, Netaporter.

Ellis also highlights adjustability as another key component for swimwear that delivers both on fashion and function.

“A lot of the swimwear we carry is finished with adjustable features that you can use to adjust the level of coverage, depending how you feel or where you are, on a given day. Think Lazul, Heidi Klein, Kisuii for adjustable pieces or Seafolly or Heidi Klein for rolldown bikini bottoms.”

Ellis also points to halter necks that give support, and can be adjusted, especially if you have a larger bust, while side-boning detail will ensure lift, no matter what size you are. 

Swimsuit, €25.95, Zara

But if you’ve over spent on the holiday and haven’t much left in the bikini budget, the high street has upped the swimwear ante with expensive looking suits, with quality to match, coming in under the €50 mark.

Swimsuit, €59.99, Mango.
Swimsuit, €59.99, Mango

If you want something simple, Cos, Arket and H&M have the classic suit covered, and if you’ve a weakness for pretty prints, look to Mango, & Other Stories, River Island and Asos.

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