Cool stuff Phoebe loves: Bathing Suits and Bikinis

Don't fret about how you look in swimwear, just remember what Nancy Mitford's nanny used to say: “Don’t worry; nobody’s going to look at you.”
Publish date:
August 3, 2012
shoppables, fashion, summer, swimsuits, Bathing Suits, bikinis, retro swimwear

Vevie Cooden cheeky button swimsuit, £135,

Have you all been on your summer holidays yet? Where have you been and if you haven’t gone away yet, where are you going? My ‘summer’ holiday is happening right at the end of September, which is a bit weird, but was the only time left on the calendar after Brownie camp and London Fashion Week (the two polar extremes of my life.)

So I haven’t given much thought to swimwear yet as it’s so far away. Actually that’s a complete lie – I spend ages looking at bikinis and bathing suits online, but never commit to trying or buying, assuming that the same tatty old bikini I got free with a magazine three years ago will probably be fine. It won’t. Much as it pains my stingy soul, I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that I might actually have to spend a bit of money on some seriously scaffolded swimwear this year - something with non-cheapo fabric and decent support. Pass the smelling salts.

Vevie Cooden Cheeky Button swimsuit, £135 and Praa Boldly Belted swimsuit, £160,

I did get as far as trying on a bikini in Urban Outfitters one Sunday – I had it in my head that gigantic pants would be a flattering, bum-covering, tummy-holding-in-ing look. It turns out that’s a complete fallacy – on me anyway.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but as long as it fits properly (bottoms not digging into flesh, the correct cup size), sometimes a skimpy bikini can be extremely flattering. Still, this year I might try a swimsuit just for a change; I have a hankering for a simple, '80s-style swimsuit with a low back and scoop neck in a plain colour.

Prism London swimsuit, £177 and bikini,

Also, I want to restate firmly that it’s really not worth worrying about how you look in a swimsuit – if it's the right size, you can swim in it and you like the colour and pattern, that’s all you need. Beating ourselves up about how we look under the harsh lights of the changing room in swimwear is a total waste of time and energy. Just remember what Nancy Mitford’s nanny used to say to her charges (including a radiant Diana Mitford on her wedding day): “Don’t worry; nobody’s going to look at you.”

But there are so many pretty options! How can one possibly choose? Here are a few of the nicest I've come across in my swimwear odyssey for your enjoyment…

Topshop has a fantastic selection of bathing suits this season and there are still plenty left in the shops and online.

Topshop pink fluoro one piece, £30, palm print one piece, £35, Mint Calypso one piece, £35, black floral one piece, £32 all

And they've got plenty of cute bikinis too - as I said, I'm not convinced that the 'big pant' look is the most flattering for me, but Rebecca rates them so try and see!

Topshop coral stripe bandeau bikini, £26, dark floral bikini, £28 and space print bikini, £32 all

This polka dot beauty from Evans is only available in a few sizes now so if you want it, get clicking!

Evans pindot swimsuit, £20,

Every season Boden bring out a peerless range of sturdy swimsuits and bikinis with plenty of support and vibrant, vintage-inspired prints I love the way these colours really pop and the chic halterneck shape.

Boden Retro swimsuit, £29.40, Fifties swimsuit, 24.50, Vintage swimsuit, £14.70,

These Boden bikinis look like something Gwyneth would have worn in The Talented Mr Ripley - in other words, amazing.

Boden bikinis from £20,

And finally, let me fantasize for a moment and show you my holy grail - a Lisa Marie Fernandez red, white and blue striped seersucker swimsuit. Aahhhhh. It is £400 from net-a-porter. *rolls on floor laughing* I love it, but there's no way on earth I would spend that much on a fridge let alone a swimsuit. Oh well.

Lisa Marie Fernandez The Jasmine striped seersucker swimsuit, £400,

And looky here, our dear editor rushed straight out and bought the big-panted Topshop bikini in my edit! If she's this impressionable, what other stuff could I make her do...?

Look at her happy little face!

Where do you stand on swimwear? Do you spend for better quality or opt for cheap and cheerful? And is my theory about skimpy sometimes being more flattering than covered up complete nonsense? Talk to me!