forever Amber

Let’s talk about swimwear…

Because I’m soon going to be heading to (hopefully) sunnier shores, I’ve been thinking a lot about swimwear.

I haven’t actually been planning to BUY swimwear, I should add. I mean, I bought three different swimsuits for my trip to California, and one of them didn’t even get worn, so it’s not like I actually NEED any more, is it? “Need” and “want” however, are two totally different things, and when it comes to swimsuits, I always think they’re one of those things you just can’t get enough of: even when you live in central Scotland, nowhere near the ocean, and don’t have a pool. Ahem.

So, as I said, I’ve been thinking about swimwear. Quite a bit, actually.

swimwear wishlist

swimsuit; sunglasses

Now, when it comes to swimwear, my preference is – and I don’t expect anyone is going to be even remotely surprised by this – for retro-inspired one-pieces. Well, it’s not like I require a whole lot in the way of up-top support, unfortunately, and I really like the way this kind of style is designed to hold everything in, and give you a fair bit of coverage, without making you look like you’d really rather be wearing a tent, or taking a dip in one of those bathing huts the Victorians used to use, to preserve their modesty. (And which actually really freak me out, because imagine being placed inside a wooden container and then towed out into the ocean? I mean, is it a vacation, or is it your worst nightmare? You decide…)

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, swimwear…

Ever since I discovered the joys of the retro-inspired one-piece (And, I mean, some of them are so pretty they’re basically like REAL clothes, that you can swim in, aren’t they?), they’re pretty much all I’ve worn. On the odd occasion I do decide to go with a bikini, though, I’ll generally stick to the retro theme, and choose one with either a tankini-style top, a boyshort bottom, or both. It’s not that I have any objection to the classic teeny-weeny bikini: it’s just that these are the styles I find most comfortable, and which don’t leave me wondering if my belly’s hanging out of my bikini bottoms or something. (Having once almost LOST my bikini bottoms thanks to a very large wave that caught me off-guard, you can can probably imagine why this is pretty important to me…)

retro-inspired swimwear wishlist

The problem is, however, that up until the last couple of years or so, this style of swimwear was kinda hard to find: you either had to go to retro-inspired brands, and pay a small fortune for something that’s going to get repeatedly soaked in salt-water (And hey, I’ve totally done it, so no judgement here…), or you had to do without. Now, though, the high street seems to finally have cottoned on to the look, which is a good thing in that you have SO much more choice, but also a very, very bad thing in that… well, you have SO MUCH CHOICE. And you’re going to want them ALL, aren’t you? Well, you are if you’re me, anyway.

All of the swimsuits in the image above, for instance, are available at House of Fraser, and the black one in particular is calling my name. “Amber,” it’s saying, “Buy me! Take me on holiday with you! Wear me with cat eye sunglasses, a swipe of red lipstick (Because yes, I sometimes do that, and I don’t even care what you think of me for it…), and a tousled up-do!” I’m doing my best to resist, obviously, but, well, I’ll let you know how that works out for me…

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  • Andrea Thomas


    I love that black one-piece and have one very similar. I’m a definite one piece girl having actually lost my bikini top when diving in ( embarrassingly at the local pool which was full of older people all of whom found it hilarious…) I think a polka dot pattern would look good in that style, or am I just being very retro?

    February 20, 2016
  • Oh I LOVE the striped tankini! I’m going to check that out right now…

    February 20, 2016
  • maria


    While I’m not exactly fond of one piece swimsuits, especially retro ones, I really like two pieces like the striped one in the photo, I like the 50s vibe with the modernity of a bikini. I can only be happy that this style is getting more widespread, because it’s been very difficult last year to find a bikini bottom that wasn’t a thong or a half assed one (literally). I can only hope that for next season bikinis will be retro inspired, because I really need to buy at least another 2 of them, as I only have one good swimsuit at the moment!

    February 20, 2016
  • I’ve just bought a new swimsuit and as I am more comfortable covering up my Buddha belly and pit pony legs I opted for a swimdress. It looks very elegant and holds everything in place .

    February 21, 2016
  • Grasshopper


    I’m so happy the retro vibe is coming back in swimwear, too. I just think the styles, colors, and coverage that leaves something to the imagination are so much sexier than the typical itty bitty bikini. Swimwear has never been my favorite thing to shop for and after almost breaking down in tears of frustration after two hours of trying on various ones last year at the local department store, I am thrilled to find a number of retro inspired suits at Modcloth this year.

    February 22, 2016