Swimwear: 13 solutions for the girl who hates bikinis
Full disclosure: The thought of hitting the sandy shores in anything other than a 1920's concealed bathing costume makes me want to bury my head in the sand and hide.
The cure for me is yet to come but, in my experience, figure-flattering suits from cool brands help massively. Here's one for almost every body type.
Top suit to slim the figure
Gottex' superb Art Deco print uses intertwining lines to draw the eye inwards in a trompe l'oeil illusion. This one-piece minimises the figure all over. The micro-fibre structured layer will hold you in while you're busy enjoying your holiday. The suit flatters the torso and the bum providing a balance to any body shape, at any stage of life.
Brown Thomas €199, 10% off on in-house brand days
Top suit for the girl who wants to minimise cleavage
We love structured swimwear. This suit is comfortable with a vintage halter-neck style, the best to support a large cleavage. The colour complements most skin types. Jump into the pool without having to hold your bits and enjoy that extra Gin Fizz from inside your panelled wonder-suit. Flattening and flattering. Other colour options are available.
Marks and Spencers €47.50
Top suit for the girl who loves to flash the flesh, just not the belly
Body-bits are well-managed inside this hard working garment. This design classic doubles as a bodysuit. Pop on some denim shorts with a slinky gold belt and grab a scarf to stay warm in the early evening holiday breeze. This suit is a nod to designers Jewels and Grace racier style, the chunky strap suit of the SS15 catwalk season.
House of Fraser €130 with 20% off on in-house brand days
Top suit for the girl wants something between a bikini and a swimsuit
River Island have a flowery ensemble that offers the best of both worlds. The bikini top and bottom sections are distinctive in design with a slice of mesh to join one to the other. Genius. You can feel less restricted and more fabulous... all at the same time. We are in love with the piping detail. Another darker option is available.
River Island €48
Top suit for the girl with big boobs that doesn't fancy flattening them into chapatis for the beach...
A fabulous style for those with lady lumps above a C cup. If you are looking for good support with a cup that doesn't restrict the top curve of the bust then you are winning with this style. The colour is fabulous for rocking on hot summer days. Brazilian brand Salinas had a similar style at 2015 fashion week, mixing red with a monochrome accent.
The Bikini Shop €80
Top suit for the girl who doesn't want to flatten the bum
The Shrenstone suit is a cool piece that works wonders to showcase a booty on the beach. From cotton tees to smock dresses - Breton stripes continue to be a classic style choice. The low back and quirky bow combinations make it wearable under a linen skirt for a summer brunch. Hit the beach channeling that Audrey Hepburn minimalism.
Jack Wills €54
Top suit for the girl who doesn't need to flatten the tummy
Miami Beach and illusionist prints made popular by Isabel Marant have filtered into high street swimwear. Everyone can afford this choice. The style is perfect for those who are comfortable with their tummy area, as most of the print is centralised here. The back has a gold clasp and there is a large elasticated band along the bust area to prevent slipping.
Top suit for the girl with curves and a small waist
This funky style with cut-out detail and a street-art theme will liven up your beach wardrobe. The suit is versatile with detachable straps and a bikini style the back. A supreme choice for the girl who has ample curves and a small midriff. Coloured threading detail and a sweetheart neckline are contemporary and the price is too good to miss.
Top suit for the sporty type
Contouring and support are of paramount importance if you are an active beach goer. The gorgeous flash of vibrant yellow in this Keifer one-piece makes it fashionable and serviceable. You can jump off the diving board in it and sit at the cocktail bar in your beach shorts rocking a mirrored pair of sunnies. Your Instagram snaps will be the bomb.
Sports Direct €21
Top suit for the girl who wants to rock a trend.
Tassels and candy-coloured hues are served on every fashion plate this season, and this suit offers the best of both. The Peru tassel monokini is a sweet combination of 70's flower power stencils and tropical fringing. The spaghetti-string neck detail makes it easy to adjust for any size bust. It hides a multitude and is a winner for that post beach-party by the pool.
Top suit in a monochrome style
There is no wrong move for the design team in Topshop. The scalloped trend is catered for with this superb offering in black and white. A girl needs one go-to suit to rock on a spa weekend away or a holiday in a far-flung location. Pretty dot detail below the waist and a beautiful cropped upper half favours even the shyest body among us. Personal favourite right here.
Top suit for the girl with small hips and larger waist
White is a questionable choice at times but mesh along both sides of this suit creates the illusion of a smaller torso. The fishnet details are great for streamlining the silhouette - we all pine for that. This suit is modern for the current season and going into 2016. We adore the low hip line; perfect for concealing the upper thigh.
Top suit for the girl who follows trends
This is colour-blocking in an ultra-chic tone. Cos is synonymous with smooth, stretchy, forgiving fabrics, and that's why we love them. Ice blue Shellac nails would be awesome with this ensemble. Add a floppy hat, for good measure. This suit has a low-back with slim adjustable straps and oozes sophistication.
COS, €49 here
We are getting ever more skimpy in the bathing suit stakes but the one-piece is still a universal favourite. Take a look at swimwear trends here.