Swimming with the sharks

Swimsuit, swimmers, togs or bathers, whatever name you give them, the task of finding that perfect suit is probably one of the most difficult shopping expeditions there is.  So many suits these days are cut for fourteen year-old waifs with no bum and no tummy pooch.  I don’t know why swim wear designers expect us to want to “let it all hang out” down there.  It doesn’t help either when you’re faced with perfect bodies advertising swimwear either, does it?

Until recently, I haven’t lived near the beach since my early 20s, and so swimsuit ownership has been minimal over the years – I just didn’t see the point in owning more than one or two.  But, now I am back living on the coast, so now I have to face the fact that my suits need updating.  
As does my attitude to shopping for one I guess (she says sulkily). 

So the challenge is to find a suit that covers me where I need it, but doesn’t make me look like my nana.  
I like the idea of basic black but I also love colour, so I think I’ll be looking for something that has exceptional fabric design, something that speaks to me, that makes me want to wear it.  
A little easier said than done I think.

I find the best way to go about shopping for something difficult like swimwear (or denim) is to know what suits me.  First I ask myself what is my swimsuit style?  Do I want a bikini or a one-piece?  Second, I go through my magazines, current and vintage to find inspiration.  

The result?  Below is a selection of images I have put together of what my swimsuit style is.  The first is this gorgeous saffron yellow bikini.  

Rosie  Tupper models a gorgeous Jemma Jube crocheted bikini in the November 2011 Australian Vogue, photographed by Nicole Bentley.  

 Lara Stone channels Brigitte Bardot in this April 2011 American Vogue editorial shot by Mario Testino.

Michaela Kocianova photographed by Greg Kadel for Vogue Italia’s June 2011 issue.  

1950s swimsuit fashion – women knew how to dress back then.  I’m noticing a distinct sway toward this iconic style of suit, yes?  

Alejandra Alonso shot by Mariano Vivanco for Russian Vogue, May 2011.

The original queen of the bikini, Ursula Andress as Honey Rider in the 1962 Bond film, “Dr No.”

This Paris Vogue June/July 2010 shoot by Mario Sorrenti always has me coming back for more.  I love the beautiful images and elegant rock chic styling of Emmanelle Alt.  The Virginie Castaway bikini worn by Kate Moss here is super cute too.

Kate looks stunning in this Dior jersey leopard print one-piece.  Could I carry this off?  

A paparazzi shot of Kate Moss holidaying somewhere fabulous no doubt, but it’s her gorgeous simple black suit that caught my eye.

Marilyn Monroe in a simple white strapless suit at Toby Beach, 1949 by Andre de Dienes.   

So, once I have some ideas, I put them on an inspiration board for a while so I can get a feel for them, really get the designs inside my head so that when I do decide to hit the shops, I have a clear idea in my mind of what I am looking for.  I find this helps a lot when there is so much to choose from with something like swimwear.  
I hope I’ve helped out in some small way with your search for swimwear this summer, at least I now know just the style I’m after.  



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