Wednesday 7 December 2016

Bikini fit: finding the right bikini

Published 19/05/2010 | 12:18

Bikini top, €34; bikini briefs, €28, both Monsoon. Shoes, €200, KG by Kurt Geiger, Brown Thomas Dublin
Bikini top, €34; bikini briefs, €28, both Monsoon. Shoes, €200, KG by Kurt Geiger, Brown Thomas Dublin
Blouse, €310, Tory Burch, Brown Thomas Dublin. Bikini bottoms, €28, Monsoon. Shoes, €182, Topshop.
Bikini bottoms, €69, Gottex, Brown Thomas Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Shoes, €101, River Island. Feather shoulderpiece, stylist's own.
Bikini top, €31; bikini briefs, €25, both Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, Debenhams. Bracelet set, €17, Accessorize
Sequin jacket, €440, Hoss Intropia, Costume. Bikini top, €70; bikini briefs, €70, both Jets, Brown Thomas Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Shoes, €150, Carvela, Brown Thomas Dublin. Earrings, €2, Penneys
Bikini top, €34; bikini briefs, €27, both Melissa Odabash, Debenhams. Shoes, €160, KG by Kurt Geiger, Brown Thomas Dublin. Model's right arm: bangles, €3 each, Penneys. Model's left arm: set of bangles, €27, Topshop
Bikini top, €6; bottoms, €4, both Dunnes Stores. Plain bracelets, €8.50 each, Monsoon. Looped-wire bangle, €17; snake belt, €37; scarf, €17, all Accessorize
Sequin bandeau top, €9.99; sequin bikini briefs, €6.99, both H&M Shoes, €182; earrings, €14, both Topshop

I think bikinis are one of those decisive areas of fashion, in that you are either a bikini wearer, or you are not. This is determined by your youth, the state of your body and your confidence.

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Bikinis are cruel exposers of ageing on a body. But, then again, if one is happy with one’s life and its charge on one’s body, why worry? Why deny yourself the pleasure because of fear of judgment?

I don’t have a model body, and I wouldn’t wear some of the bikinis on our pages today because I think they are for perfect, youthful bodies. However, I do wear bikinis — when I find the right one. The right one, as with anything in fashion, is determined by what best suits my body shape.

If you don’t know what swimwear suits you, think about your lingerie drawer. Do you like bikini briefs or camisole briefs, G-strings or boy briefs? As to tops — do you favour balcony bras or a plunge style? If balcony, then you are probably going to have to stick to underwired bikini tops for that lift-and-separate effect!

If you are a plunge girl, then the classic triangle bikini is probably for you. Personally, I love halter-neck bikinis because I have a curvy shape and they emphasize the hourglass aspect. But not every woman likes that aesthetic.

For our pages today, we visited every swimwear store that’s known to man, and we learnt a few things. For instance, Debenhams, which has long been the best swim shop around, has added the queen of cool beachwear, Melissa Odabash, to its already impressive stable of designers, including Matthew Williamson and Julian Macdonald.

H&M, whose eco range is one of the loveliest collections around, has a diversity of styles to choose from — from the kitsch to the goddess to the minuscule.

Brown Thomas, which is the Mecca for designer names, is the sole stockist of the excellent Jets range, a destination brand in which women can rely on finding flattering, comfortable, quality — as well as sexy — swimwear. Well worth the price tag.

As to trends this season? Tribal is huge. Think everything from animal to lush floral prints, to jungle colours such as khaki and brown and lots of intense reds and oranges. Metallic embellishment in gold, bronze and silver is also key.

But there is a variety of choice out there. Dashiki in Blackrock had the best floral-print bikinis. And Laura Ashley and La Senza are always good for out-of-the-usual in swimwear. Always remember — whatever lifts your soul and makes your heart sing will flatter your body the best!

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL HOLFELD

STYLING BY COURTNEY SMITH

FASHION EDITED BY CONSTANCE HARRIS

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