Wednesday 20 August 2014

Bathing belles

Splash into our gulit free'll actually want to put on a few pounds to look all woman

Bairbre Power

Published 24/07/2013 | 11:09

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Maggie wears Beach Collection blue polka dot swimsuit, half price at €30.50, Cat's eye protection sunglasses $100
1940s ‘Anchors Away’ swimsuit by Lolita Girl, $114,
Fables by Barrie new sailor style one piece with buttons, $106, and ‘Mud pie’ paper straw polka dot large brimmed hat, $42, both from

We do it to ourselves every year, beat ourselves up and desperately dive into diet mode in order to get ‘beach-ready' bodies.

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However, this week, we invite you to embrace your curves and discover your inner ‘Vargas’ pin-up girl and the powerful sensation that goes with channelling old-school Hollywood glamour.

‘Marilyn’ pink ruched swimsuit, $102,

1950s pin-ups such as Marilyn Monroe and Esther Williams wore their curvy bathing suits with gusto and, last week, we parked the temptation to sunbathe in order to track down the best of the retro swimwear both online and on the high street.

American websites such as and are seriously compelling and offer lots of vintage-inspired shapes with modern techno touches that we appreciate, features like flattering power mesh that defines your curves, interior lining and inbuilt bra support. Both these excellent brands have stores on West Magnolia Blvd in Burbank so if you're a vintage gal on holidays in LA, you know where to go!

‘Old Hollywood’ ruched swimsuit in bronzed copper, $120,

The insanely sexy ‘Marilyn' swimsuit by the pinupgirlclothing's Pinup Girl signature range is ruched and it’s like wrapping yourself up in yesteryear glamour. Skirted and gathered in a way that airbrushes any figure imperfections, the ruching continues around the back. Talk about head turning.

This is the kind of swimwear that empowers you with first-day-of-the-holidays confidence. A thoroughly interesting shape, it also comes in leopard print, red, green, black and a royal blue which Dita Von Teese models on their website. Most styles go from small to a plus size.

The designers at Unique Clothing have taken vintage Sailor Girl looks from the 1940s and 1950s and given the skirted, halter neck styles a modern twist. The Lolita Girl Sailor 'Anchors' Away' suit is so flattering with its long line body and it also features ‘big knickers’ bottoms. The proportions of the ‘retro new sailor style’ one piece with buttons detail is a really good one for sheer nostalgia and it's hard to ignore the impact of the Lolita Girl ‘Sailor Sue' one piece with vertical seams in white.

Closer to home, the Seafolly and Scandale styles at Brown Thomas capture the sexy nostalgia vibe that so many women desire. Debenhams are particularly strong on their retro styling. Maggie (right) wears a blue polka dot halter neck which is currently reduced to half price at €30.20. This swimsuit has flattering tummy control, lightly padded cups and supportive under wiring. What more could a woman ask for?



Stylist: Bairbre Power, @bairbrepower

Photographer: Emily Quinn,

Retro make-up: Ruby Garnet Make Up,

Retro hair: Joyce Clarke Henry,

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