Summer style

We got three days of scorching sunshine last week, did you enjoy it? Good because that was probably summer. With the turn of each year, we remain hopeful that this year, yes this year will be the one that brings that big ball of fire far far away to shine upon us. Yet we are defeated in its absence. But thanks to that little invention by the Wright Brothers, the jet plane is at our disposal to cart us to lands where the sun always shines.

So this week, I am going to get you beach ready. The shops are flooded with colourful beach attire and we have never been so spoilt for choice. Styles are not limited to the standard bikini, we now have the return of the ever-classic one piece (we can thank Kiera Knightley in Atonement for that ), the "tank-ini", and the all important kaftan. Swimwear is so versatile, so to show you how, I have done the research for you to get you packed and off on your summer hols!

She wore a ….

Yes as the song goes, "an itsy-bitsy, teeny, weeny.." but don't feel like you have to comply. Brands now sell bikinis separately so you can mix and match your choice of style (Colleen Rooney bikini at Littlewoods, €39 ). Whether you like to wear shorts, or brief style bottoms, you can style up your own bikini and change tops and bottoms as you like. Not only will this benefit your luggage space, it’s cost effective too! Keep one piece in a block colour, like black or pink and try out with prints and bright colours (Floral high waised bikini, Urban Outfitters, €42 ). And don’t' be afraid to accessorize your swimwear. Wear long chains and statement necklaces to glam up your beach outfit. And if you are planning to stay by the pool, swap your old fitflops for some wedges which will take you through to a night time look as well.

All in one…

The traditional swimsuit is not just restricted to wading in the local pool. The one-piece suit epitomises classic beach wear, and evokes decades like the fifties (Halter one piece, from a selection at Fat Face ). I especially like the halter style swim suits which also look great worn as tops - pop on a skirt or cropped trousers; this look is chic and really comfortable (Pink one piece, Dunnes Stores, €15 ). And speaking of comfort, brands like M&S and Debenhams make swim wear as shape wear now with control panels to create a sexy silhouette.

Cover up...

Keeping shielded from the sun is imperative. I'm no expert, but I never go without a high factor SPF, a hat and some form of cover for my arms during the day. Kaftans, wraps and sun dresses are easy to pick up in advance of your holiday and you only need one or two max (Print Kaftan, from a selection at Accessorize ). Opt for something that has some length so you can wear it as a dress or over leggings in the evening when the temperature drops. Opt for something bright and colourful - I am very fond of cerise pink and lime greens right now and they look great against a tan!

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