Friday 20 September 2019

Feeling chill


T-shirt, €3; bikini bottoms, €6; multi-strand chain, €4
T-shirt, €3; bikini bottoms, €6; multi-strand chain, €4
Bikini top, €7; matching bottoms, €5; earrings, €3; multi-strand chain
€4 Animal-print swimsuit, €14; earrings, €3; multi-strand chain, €4

We can thank both Love Island and millennials for swim/holiday lifestyles being so in vogue. The reality show - one of the most anticipated and reported-on TV programmes of recent years - generally features excesses of voluptuous and taut flesh dressed in as little as possible.

While millennials, for their part, are notoriously freedom- and free-will-conscious, and probably enjoy the most holidays of any generation.

So, it's a perfect storm for the swim/holiday lifestyle right now.

And as our awareness and desire for it rises ever upwards, designers and stores everywhere have upped their game to meet our desires.

Bikini top, €7; matching bottoms, €5; earrings, €3; multi-strand chain
Bikini top, €7; matching bottoms, €5; earrings, €3; multi-strand chain

One has to hand it to Penneys - the swim wall in its Mary Street branch in Dublin 1 is a sight to behold. And then there is all the ancillary support to that style wall, in terms of racks and rails with yet more style options, and everything that could possibly be required for the most style-aspirational holiday lifestyle.

Be that striking clothing to style-cool circular towels; neon water bottles to kitsch lilos; funky footwear; headgear; garden candles... and on, and on - the happy/cool holiday desires are met in this mega store.

Long-time swim-lifestyle inspiration, Ibiza, with its love of hippie-artistic-bohemia, seems so last decade compared to where we are at this year, with sexy sophistication and sleek, chic modernity.

This year is all about the high leg. There is no getting away from that, be it designer or high street. Tan lines are sexy. Plunge front is de rigeur. As are animal prints, oxblood red and brown with gold hardware, which are all, in fact, a nod to the sleek, chic, confident sexuality of the 1970s.

I know many of you might be internally wailing or actually, loudly, right now, cursing me, saying that you can't wear these looks because, you are… a) too old, b) not in shape, c) big-busted and d) otherwise. But that won't fly either at Penneys, as it has Secret Slimming shapewear swimsuits, cup-size bikinis, plus-size ranges, clothing, and a vast variety of separates and 'cover-ups'.

And additional support is multitudinous on Penneys' digital platforms such as Instagram and, where you can find everything from make-up tutorials to styling advice from fellow Primaniacs on Primania!

Not to mention the all-important social consciousness information.

Photography by Alex Hutchinson

Styling by Courtney Smith

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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