Looking out of our living room window today, our normally spectacular view over County Clare is shrouded in grey cloud. Wind and rain lash the forestry trees and the glorious summer weather we enjoyed last week is but a distant memory.
At times like these, a bit of window shopping for holiday clothes can be very therapeutic. What better time, I thought, for a little piece on swimwear?
For many of us, the idea of exposing our figures to public scrutiny for one or two weeks a year, may be the single worst thing about going on holiday. Choosing a flattering swimsuit or bikini is therefore essential if we are going get the full benefit of enjoyment and relaxation. Luckily the same rules we applied to dressing for individual body shapes, work equally well when compensating for imperfect figures when shopping for swimwear.
There is a huge variety of styles available and, now more than ever, it is possible to mix and match tops and bottoms to suit every taste. Here are some favourite picks as a guide:
Tummy control: The all over polka dot print and deep V-neck on this swimsuit from Figleaves are great ways to disguise a tummy. This particular suit features a supportive lining to hold everything in and smooth your silhouette. Alternatively, try a plain swimsuit with a pretty sarong like this one from Debenhams.
Minimise your bum: There are lots of retro 50’s styles with built-in skirts around at the moment. These are great for disguising your bum. I like this cherry print number from M&S. The pretty ruffled skirt hides your bottom, while the V-neck directs attention upwards.
If you would prefer a bikini style, try a hipster style that ties at the sides like this one from Pour Moi.
Instant slim: If you’re in need of a style that provides an overall slimming effect, go for a suit with built-in control panels. There are plenty to choose from. The most flattering styles will have vertical design details, like this one from Debenhams, or choose a suit with a contoured centre panel that gives the illusion of a slimmer shape.
Boost that bust: Lots of swimsuits and bikinis come with padded tops, but think also of choosing a style that adds detail or volume to the bust area, whether through a bold fabric pattern or a textured design, e.g. ruffles or rouching. String bikinis or bandeau tops work well too. Here is a pretty swimsuit from Beach 2 Beach and a bikini from Frost French.
Bust minimizing: For comfort, make sure to choose a style with support. Try a dark coloured underwired bikini or tankini top with a more elaborate bottom. This plain tankini top from Fantasie has a hidden underwired bra to keep everything under control. Or, may be, try a swimsuit style with a square or V-neck. Avoid fussy detail on the bust. This underwired grey swimsuit from Venice Beach has removable cups so you can alter your profile.
All you need now is some killer sunglasses and suncream!