Wednesday 20 November 2019

Laid Back - bringing the fitting experience to swimwear


Bikini set, Melissa Odabash, €215; Bag, Stella McCartney, €195
Bikini set, Melissa Odabash, €215; Bag, Stella McCartney, €195

Getting away on holiday can be a tricky business: organising work, kids, packing. In the rush of life, it's easy to leave the purchasing of the essentials to a last-minute dash into town. Whereas, in fact, isn't the scantiest outfit we will wear in public the one we should give most thought to?

Never have we needed more support, literally, from our clothes. Brown Thomas's recently refurbished Lingerie Room in its Dublin store - as well as the equivalent in the Cork, Galway and Limerick Brown Thomas stores - offers complimentary fitting appointments with its expert stylists.

Getting fitted isn't something one would traditionally associate with swimwear, but with so many lingerie brands launching swimwear ranges, it's a good idea to benefit from their expertise and find a suit or two-piece that offers the flattering support of a good bra.

"Lingerie brands bring their fitting experience to swimwear," says Frances Fleming, swimwear, lingerie and hosiery buyer with Brown Thomas. "It adds quality, and means you can feel really good about yourself on the beach."

Simone Perele and Chantelle are two such brands now stocked by Brown Thomas.

Understandably, the countries whose natives spend an abundance of time on the beach also have the most influence on swimwear trends, with Brazil and Australia being two of the most important. Irish women's skintones will work with the strong colours favoured by Brazil; tropical prints and solid colours are big themes for this season, says Frances.

"When we're buying, we're very conscious of Irish skin colours. The strong colours are much nicer on Irish skin," she says. For the Irish woman who might prefer a more conservatively cut brief than that of her Brazilian counterpart, Australian ranges work well, explains Frances. Seafolly is a huge favourite.

As in all areas of fashion, the athleisure trend has invaded swimwear. In this case, it works hugely in favour of the customer, favouring practical fabrics like neoprene - its heavyweight quality makes for a flattering, bump-covering effect.

"Fabrics like neoprene lend themselves to really good body shaping," explains Frances.

Fashion that is also functional - our favourite thing.

Photography by Alexa Singer

Styling by Paula Hughes

Words by Liadan Hynes

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Independent

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