Holidays (or shall I say, les vacances), despite the relaxed connotations surrounding the concept, is a serious subject in France and no one does holidaying quite like the Parisians. Living in a country with one of the most amounts of paid holiday days in the world, the Parisians really know how to take advantage of it. I have never lived in a city before where it feels like almost the entire population migrates south for the month of August. And yet this is not to say that they don’t work hard the rest of the year, they just make the most of their time off and really know how to holiday. Even in this COVID-19 era, it’s been a hot topic of conversation.
And with the Mediterranean on their doorstep, they are perfectly placed to fully profiter (enjoy) their time off, with multiple options including Provence, Saint Tropez, Marseille and Corsica alone, where they can holiday without getting on a plane. It’s no surprise, then, that I’ve found since living in the French capital that the French women know a thing or two about swim and beachwear. Keep scrolling for my top four French-inspired styles so you too can look a little bit more Parisian on your summer holiday, even if it’s basking in the sun in the local park.
Parisians do tend to love one-pieces because they are the easiest to wear and often tend to be one of the most flattering styles for all body shapes. They’re especially great if you love swimming, as there’s an unlikely chance that a one-piece will pop off when you jump into the sea or pool. And when I think of a brand that creates the perfect one-piece, Eres immediately comes to mind. The Parisian brand has been around since the ’70s and was the first to sell a collection of swimwear all year round. Its one-pieces are a Parisian’s wardrobe summer staple. If in doubt, go for classic black.
Eres Les Essentials Aquarelle Swimsuit (£270)
Norma Kamali Wonderwoman Mio Swimsuit (£125)
& Other Stories Belted Swimsuit (£55)
M&S Collection Tummy Control Padded Wrap Plunge Swimsuit (£28)
2. High-Waist Two-Piece
The high-waisted style is a firm fixture on French beaches, in back gardens and, of course, on Instagram. I personally love styles by French brands such as YSE, who make styles with the real curves of a woman’s body in mind.
Haight Vintage Bikini (£187)
Oséree High-Waisted Bikini (£198)
La Reveche Amelie High-Waisted Bikini (£229)
H&M Brazilian Bikini Bottoms (£13)
3. Smocked Styles
The stretchy crinkled seersucker material made famous in the ’80s by Julia Robert’s cutout dress in Pretty Woman and resurrected a few years ago by Hunza G is undoubtedly one of the most flattering and comfortable fabrics for swimsuits that I’ve ever worn. The same goes for smocking, as both fabrics won’t cut into your skin. And a myriad of brands, including H&M, have since followed suit (excuse the pun)—such as with the lime-green underwired smocked style recently seen on Anne-Laure.
Hunza G + Net Sustain Nancy One-Shoulder Seersucker Swimsuit (£135)
Lisa Marie Fernandez + Net Sustain Button-Embellished Seersucker Swimsuit (£445)
Self-Portrait High-Rise Gingham-Seersucker Bikini Briefs (£60)
& Other Stories Ruched Square Neck Bikini Top (£27)
4. Printed Sets
Contrary to popular belief, Parisians wear quite a bit of colour and that includes swimwear. Try brands such as Ganni, Rixo and Faithfull the Brand who have made a name for themselves with their quirky patterned fabrics, prints and cuts. I also love Parisian brands Ephemera and Rouje.
Faithfull the Brand + Net Sustain Malady Floral-Print Bandeau Bikini Top (£91)
Faithfull the Brand + Net Sustain Marina Floral-Print Bikini Briefs (£85)
Monki Underwire Bikini Top (£18)
Arket Printed Wired Bikini Top (£25)
Next up, the retro floral swimsuit trend is big for 2021.
This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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