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Wednesday 21 May 2014

This Year's Best Retro and Vintage Inspired Swimsuits

Introducing possibly the world's most twee adult bikini ever, courtesy of Pour Moi. They don't come much more retro than the Ahoy set (£47, tops and bottoms sold separately, larger cup sizes available) in polka dots with a red frilly trim. I will warn you now that though the pieces are well made, this style comes up small. We're talking "I want to cut the label out of the size that actually fits me" small. Order at lease one band size up in the top, possibly two, and consider going up a size in the bottoms unless you have a particularly flat tummy.

Aussie brand Seafolly is expensive, but your investment will last you much longer than one summer (provided you thoroughly rinse and dry your suit after every wear, lazy)! This year's offerings are a lot less retro than usual, so I've been scanning ebay for pieces from previous collections (the tea rose is particularly gorgeous) but one piece that's perennial is the Goddess swimsuit (£88). If you hate high cut legs, this is the style for you.

There are no shortage of retro retailers on Etsy, but Sugardoll Swim is one of my favourites. The mix and match bikinis are pure pin-up girl, and work out at around £65 each. Prints are pretty much what you'd expect; polka dots, gingham, leopard print, and nautical touches, all for your inner Vargas girl.

Don't underestimate good old Topshop when it comes to retro inspired styles. They're obsessed with high waists at the moment, and have lots of girlie '50s style prints on offer this season. Obviously their lack of proper cup sizing makes this swimsuit best suited to those of us with 'average' bodies (*splutter*) but at £36 this is an affordable option that would do double time tucked into a pair of white capri pants or a pencil skirt for full-on '50s beach babe style.

Kiss Me Deadly's swimwear range is really finding its stride, and I love the black trims and waist sash on this teal one piece (£79). This style would make an hourglass figure look incredible, and the underwired top gives a little more support than some of the more flimsy halter neck designs in this list. As a bonus, this is one of the few colours that suits almost every skin tone. Only those with very yellow-toned olive skins may need to approach with caution.

I'm as surprised as you are that a member of Atomic Kitten is appearing on Domestic Sluttery, but when I saw what Liz McClarnon had been cooking up (Celebrity Masterchef pun for you, there) with Fashion World, I was pleasantly surprised. Flamingos, ruched retro shorts...what's not to love about this set? It's yours for £30 and as a bonus, this set goes up to a size 32.

Speaking of unexpected celebrity references, here's another! Kelly Brook's range for New Look is a goldmine of great girlie retro finds. They're all ridiculously over the top when it comes to details and prints, but that's half the fun. There's a relatively generous size range (up to E cup) and prices are affordable, this set is £16.99 for the top and £10.99 for the frilled briefs.

I'm completely besotted by this Pinup Girl style ($97 - they ship internationally), which is the perfect hybrid of swimsuit and bikini. Whether you can't decide between the two, you can't bear to flash the amount of flesh a regular bikini requires, or you struggle with high-waisted bottoms that roll down, this is the ultimate solution. I am definitely saving up for this baby!

No retro swimwear round-up would be complete without mentioning the excellent For Luna, UK stockists of the beloved range of retro-cut swimsuits and bikinis from the late great Esther Williams. The swimsuits (£65) and two pieces (£65, tops and bottoms sold separately) are cut from patterns based off the swimsuits Williams wore when she was Hollywood's resident Bathing Beauty, and they are well worth the investment. For Luna stocks limited sizes but Modcloth has a wider range if you're willing to order from the US (or just visit the official website).

And who knows, maybe in one of these swimsuits, you'll be this awesome?


  1. Lovely designs! And extra points for the Esther Williams clip - everyone should read her autobiography because it/she is brilliant. I'm always proud to wear my Esther Williams swimsuit (bought via For Luna).

  2. Damn that For Luna model has incredible hair. Sort of want to splash water all over her.

  3. I used to have that For Luna cozzie, it was gorgeous, but such small leg holes - not comfortable/flattering. I was probably a wee bit too pear-shaped for that style in hindsight!

  4. Bravissimo does a bikini that looks very similar to the Pinup Girl suit: Used to come in red as well but sadly they appear to have discontinued it :( However they do have a *lot* of swimwear that involves polka dots at the moment, which pleases me immensely.


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