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Bathing beautifully as we pass the summer solstice

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Left:  Shirt, €150, Fenn Wright Manson, Arnotts. Swimsuit, €40; necklace, €53, both River Island. Bracelet, €49, Dyrberg/Kern, Clerys. Middle:  Bikini top, €10; bikini bottoms, €8; long necklace, €7; bracelets, €8, all F&F, Tesco. Short necklace with triangle pendant, €25; scarf (on model’s lap), €47, both River Island. Right:  Bikini set, €29, Piha; sarong (worn as head scarf), €18, Pia Rossini; cuff, €69, Dyrberg/Kern, all Clerys. Headband, €10, River Island. Ring, €8, F&F, Tesco.

Left: Shirt, €150, Fenn Wright Manson, Arnotts. Swimsuit, €40; necklace, €53, both River Island. Bracelet, €49, Dyrberg/Kern, Clerys. Middle: Bikini top, €10; bikini bottoms, €8; long necklace, €7; bracelets, €8, all F&F, Tesco. Short necklace with triangle pendant, €25; scarf (on model’s lap), €47, both River Island. Right: Bikini set, €29, Piha; sarong (worn as head scarf), €18, Pia Rossini; cuff, €69, Dyrberg/Kern, all Clerys. Headband, €10, River Island. Ring, €8, F&F, Tesco.

Left: Swimsuit, €48, Lepel, Clerys. Headpiece, €45; bangles, €25 for set,  both River Island. Scarf (worn on arm), €210,  Liberty London, Arnotts .  Middle: Kimono, €87, River Island. Bikini top, €10; bikini bottoms, €8; earrings, €7; bracelet, €7, all F&F, Tesco.  Right:  Kimono, €50, River Island. Swimsuit, €135, INO; necklaces, from €98, Thomas Sabo; watch, €220, Folli Follie, all Arnotts

Left: Swimsuit, €48, Lepel, Clerys. Headpiece, €45; bangles, €25 for set, both River Island. Scarf (worn on arm), €210, Liberty London, Arnotts . Middle: Kimono, €87, River Island. Bikini top, €10; bikini bottoms, €8; earrings, €7; bracelet, €7, all F&F, Tesco. Right: Kimono, €50, River Island. Swimsuit, €135, INO; necklaces, from €98, Thomas Sabo; watch, €220, Folli Follie, all Arnotts

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Left: Shirt, €150, Fenn Wright Manson, Arnotts. Swimsuit, €40; necklace, €53, both River Island. Bracelet, €49, Dyrberg/Kern, Clerys. Middle: Bikini top, €10; bikini bottoms, €8; long necklace, €7; bracelets, €8, all F&F, Tesco. Short necklace with triangle pendant, €25; scarf (on model’s lap), €47, both River Island. Right: Bikini set, €29, Piha; sarong (worn as head scarf), €18, Pia Rossini; cuff, €69, Dyrberg/Kern, all Clerys. Headband, €10, River Island. Ring, €8, F&F, Tesco.

At this stage of summer, having just passed the solstice — the season’s halfway point — everything is looking different. By this I mean not only how we are viewing trends, but how we are styling ourselves. We are also thinking about just how much holiday and fun in the sun we are realistically going to get. Stylist Linda Conway believes buying swimwear, and its associated clothing, boils down to your age, where you are going, and what you want from it.

If you are young and you are going  to a trendy place like Marbella, you are going to be influenced by trends, definitely,” she says. “You probably will go to somewhere like River Island, who, every season, push it to do something really cool, to load up on accessories, as well  as find really strong swimwear.”  

When doing her research for our shoot, Linda popped into the newly  revamped Clerys and was very  impressed. Clerys has long had a strong reputation for being great for outsizes in lingerie, as well as clothes. But what Linda didn’t expect to find was really cute — and affordable — swimwear.

“I think, unless they knew it, younger women wouldn’t necessarily think to go to Clerys,” Linda says. “But they have something to offer them. They have trend-driven pieces and prints. They have Miraclesuit — a great body shaper — and great price points; the Piha bikini is just €29. Clerys have upped their game.”

Clerys also have those so-cute, retro swim hats with the plastic flowers,  a la the 1950s bathing belles. I have  only ever seen those in vintage stores or in The Vermont Country Store in the USA, an emporium of reproduction vintage (it has an online store).

Recently, I met with Tesco’s clothing buyer for Ireland, Bozena Carty, to  discuss their swimwear offer. 

“F&F is all about quality, style and affordability. I think we’ve done a really great job this season,” she says. “The  collection is full of gorgeous neon,  tropical colours, and strong Aztec prints, but there is prettiness in there, too.”

F&F at Tesco have the kind of details in their swimwear that are seen in high-end stores — pretty frills, broderie anglaise, crochet, and exciting colours; as well as micro bikinis, flattering  maillots, and gorgeous cover-ups. 

“We have fab accessories, too. Tesco is a stylish, as well as value, destination,” Bozena says.

As regular readers know, we debate cost and quality constantly. Arnotts are very much about quality, investment pieces and thinking long-term. When it comes to great swimwear, and holiday casual pieces in soft jerseys, their focus is hugely on fit, as well as trend. “Arnotts swimwear has a really considered buy,” Linda says. “They know their customer, but haven’t played it safe. The price point is a bit higher, but the fit and  quality mean you’ll get great mileage.”  

Video of the Day

Photography by Lili Forberg, see www.misslili.net

Styling by Linda Conway, see www.lindaconway.net

Make-up by Michelle Kinsella, see www.michellekinsella.com

Hair by Joanne Kelly for Aussie hair care, using Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Aussome Volume Mousse, see www.aussiehair.com, Assisted by Aideen Feely and Grace Browne

Model: Joanna Alegria, Best Models, Portugal

  • The team stayed at the 5-star wellness and lifestyle Cascade Resort in Lagos, Portugal. For more information and special offers, see www.cascade-resort.com.

 


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