The big reveal… this summer’s swimwear and lifestyle clothing


Off-the-shoulder bikini, €225, Kisuii

Sometime, within the next few months, we will take off all our clothes and show the world that which has been hidden for the last 10 months (maybe even years) under layers of wool, tights and denim.


“You want to have something really special for the first day of your holiday. You want to feel your best – because you are baring your all,” states Roslyn Ellis, Brown Thomas buyer for lingerie, swimwear and hosiery. “You may have spray tan, you may have no tan, but everything is going to be on show. You need to feel 100pc yourself.

“The best advice I can give is take [to the dressing room] loads of pieces to try on, especially things you think you would never wear,” she says. “Even I get surprised constantly by what will work with my figure. Once you have that done, you can build the rest of your look.”

Off-the-shoulder bikini, €225, Kisuii22
Off-the-shoulder bikini, €225, Kisuii

So courage (and time) spent in the dressing room will pay dividends on your holiday.

This summer’s swimwear and lifestyle clothing reflects an appealing femininity. Shapes are simple, flattering, and sexy, but not overtly so. Hardware is minimal, and restricted to touches of gold. Leg cut is gaining 1980s height, and necklines are either plunging low or rising high. Stripes are in, as are two-tone colour blocking and monochrome.

But it is the delicate, often art-like, never ostentatious, always elegant prints, such as in Stella McCartney Swim and Lazul, that are really going to break your heart when it comes to having to make a choice. Stunning is the word.

“That ‘try hard’ thing is definitely over,” states Roslyn. “Everything this season is about quality over quantity. Sustainability. It is about investing in pieces you love; pieces that are versatile, that will last. It’s about individuality and true style.”

New to Brown Thomas swim are Max Mara and Kisuii (womanly, sexy, powerful); Les Girls Les Boys (1970s cool, devised by one of the original founders of Agent Provocateur, Serena Rees); Love Stories; Tommy Hilfiger; and Susannagh Grogan’s new range of cover-ups.

Perennials are Aussie swim-sperts Seafolly; Calvin Klein; and queen of cool – and never disappointing at it – Stella McCartney, with Stella McCartney Swim. Cup-size support is by Simone Perele, and Fantasie.

Cover-ups range from shirt dresses by Heidi Klein to maxi dresses by Melissa Odabash.

“Though there are a lot of retro shapes with a modern twist,” says Roslyn, “this season is ageless. It’s all about individual style and expressing yourself.”