We may be coming to end of the Summer, but with temperatures set to hit 32° in London today, and with my ‘Summer’ holiday not taking place until the end of September, I’m very much still in a sunshine mood and still obsessing over all the retro inspired bikinis and swimsuits I can’t have.
My love affair with vintage style swimwear began, almost accidentally, when I was about 12 years old. I saw a denim-look one-piece with shorts style bottoms and a halter neck in a copy of Clothes Show Magazine, and promptly hunted it down in my local C&A (yeah, remember C&A). It probably looked terrible on me (even then I was a size 14, but I was more tummy and less waist than I am now) but I loved the style and ever since that moment I’ve been all about the skirted bottoms, high-waisted styles, polka dots and vintage touches. I already have my new bikini for the season (hello, Freya Venetian) but that doesn’t stop me swooning over these amazing offerings…
Fraulein Annie ‘Ahoy Sailor’ bikini shorts £49 and Balcony bikini top £79 at Hepburn and Leigh – Ever since I discovered this bikini I’ve been dreaming about it. I simply can’t justify over £100 for a bikini I know I would ruin with SPF cream and salt water within a year or two, but I can at least enjoy it from afar. It’s reversible (the other side is blue and white slim stripes) so you’re really getting two bikinis for your money, but it’s still a bit investment. I just can’t get over that amazing cut and gorgeous print though. Oh, for a bigger budget!
Hibiscus print 1950s swimsuit £35 at ASOS – Oh, the one that got away! I’m gutted that this bargain swimsuit is sold out in my size or it would definitely be travelling to Vegas with me. I love the hawaiian inspired print, the cute buttons, the black trim and the low-cut shorts which would hide any stretchmarks! Sadly this is now only available in small sizes (8 – 10) but I’m crossing my fingers ASOS may restock the 14 – 18s so more of us can get our hands on the gorgeous cossie.
Seafolly La Vita skirted bikini £79 Beach Cafe – Seafolly does a brilliant line in retro styles, and though they’re expensive, they still often come in a bit cheaper than the pricey US imports. Right now I’m loving the classic black polka dot La Vita bikini, with its lovely skirted bottoms with cute buttons. This is available all over the place, so if Beach Cafe doesn’t have your size, try Cocobay or Simply Beach.
Fables by Barrie ‘Perfecting My Formalwear’ swimsuit $86.99 ModCloth – Fables by Barrie was one of the first retro swimwear brands I discovered, and its Etsy shop has featured on my much-loved retro shopping guide for years. The brand is also available at ModCloth, where I fell in love with this tuxedo-style retro swimsuit. I think this would look just as amazing tucked into a high-waisted pencil skirt as it would do poolside!
Beach to Beach chevron bikini top £18 and briefs £12 at Simply Yours – I’m amazed this is available in any sizes now after it made waves when Gabi wore it on holiday and it them became the inspiration for the much talked-about xojane ‘fatkini’ gallery. But there are a few sizes available and there’s no denying this is a seriously gorgeous bikini that says ‘screw you’ to traditional ‘rules’ about swimwear for plus sizes and looks bloody brilliant as a result.
Tropical kitten bikini top £42 and bottoms £42 at Kiss Me Deadly – this is the first year Kiss Me Deadly has done swimwear, and they’ve definitely hit the market with a bang, offering up a small collection based on customer requests, beautifully modelled, pirate-style, by long term Kiss Me Deadly model Morgana, and former Britain’s Next Top Model contestant Jessica Etonye. My favourite is the high-waisted tropical bikini, which just needs tiki shoes and a hibiscus in the hair to top it off!
Resort shapewear minimiser bikini top £18 and “>skirted bottoms £12 at Very – I love this set as an affordable alternative to the Esther Williams bikinis that by now I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about a million times. I have one in red, but probably can’t justify spending abother £50 on a bikini…but this one is a bit more reasonable at £30 and the navy polka dots are really cute. I’m not sure how I feel about the minimiser top (I kind of love my ‘girls’) but it will provide good support for fuller busts. The skirted briefs are available up to a size 24.