It’s sunhats and protective lotion ahoy in the office this week, as we forget the chilly spell this March has taken, and instead dream of our summer holidays on some far-flung beach location (probably Bournemouth, actually – but we’re not complaining!).
As ever, both the big department stores and high street favourites like New Look are showcasing all their finest swimwear and beachwear already, and we’re spotting a few key trends that you can shop between retailers.
There bikini influences this summer can be shaped into three distinct categories – probably most easily delineated by decade – 1950s; 1970s and 1980s.
For modern swimwear with a 1950s look, think ruffles, one-pieces with cinched waists and lower leg lines, or classic polka dots and push-up tops – we’re seeing a huge 1950s influence across all patterns and colours, in terms of the cut and style of top, which tends to hold more structure and have a slightly more halterneck or even sweetheart neckline.
Marie Meili Polka Dot Bikini Top from New Look
Red and white polka dots are the order of the day. There’s also a few nautical stripes at play, and some ruching and asymmetrical gathering. You can find this style echoed all the way from the top designers and posh bikini makers all the way to your local high street shop or department store – and in terms of flattery and support, it’s a cracking choice.
As for the 1970s, well, it’s more about flimsiness and showing a little flesh. If you’re into one-pieces, it’ll be one-shouldered, or with laser cut-out sides and huge ruffles across the chest. Yep, that’s right, those ruffles once again come into play; but we’re also enjoying a lot of Missoni-esque zigzag patterns in deeper brights with a dash of metallic ripped through the pattern for extra decadence. Very much a party girl/St Tropez sort of swimwear choice.
And for the 1980s trendsters amongst us, it’s about neons, plain colours and sporty finishes, eschewing patterns or polka dots, instead going for sleek, bold and completely fluo. Neon yellow works on dark skins like a dream; or if you’re very pale a hot hot pink or electric blue might work better.