Poolside Glamour

I’ve been really inspired by these Slim Aarons’ photographs of vintage poolside settings from his book “Poolside with Slim Aarons” for this post.  He photographed the wealthy, beautiful, glittering elite in amazing poolside locations from the fifties through to the eighties. With vintage replicas of all sorts of clothing cropping up in current fashion trends, I really wanted to explore which swimwear pieces have returned from this era of photopraphy. So whilst we wait eagerly for summer to grace us with its presence (and book our much needed holidays) let’s take a look at what hot summer swimwear styles, taken from previous eras, we will need to take with us in our suitcases abroad, or gym bags to the local swimming baths.

The Bikini: with the weather already beginning to brighten up, there’s surely no harm in taking a look at a total must have this summer. This Topshop number is great from Day 1 of your holiday, the day where you’re feeling extremely pale compared to the guests who have already spent a week bronzing on the sun lounger. The plum shade compliments any skin tone, and the cute ruffles speak sultry feminity (not to mention create the illusion of larger assets and defined hips). The paisley pattern only adds to its pretty, fun, summer vibe. The detachable straps also add a vintage style, as well as convenience in stopping strap lines amongst your tan –  just take a look at the paisley piece above worn by one of Slim Aarons’ lucious ladies.

Purple Meadow Print Bikini,Topshop, £28

The Swimsuit: whether you prefer to hide your belly or you just feel more comfortable and supported (no jumping into the pool accidents here) by wearing an all in one piece is up to you, but I’ve found a favourite. This monochrome polka dot piece is stylishly chic, it is fabulous for accentuating curves and has a cute peep-hole neckline with a tie up bow above it. This style can also be made into a halterneck swimsuit if you untie the bow detail, how can you get bored of wearing something more than one way! The shape of this swimming suit is also rather prominent of one of Aarons’ photographs above, except I’ve exchanged stripes for dots.

Spot Tie Front Swimsuit, ASOS, £25

The Dress: Here I’ve chosen two completely different styles. The mini and the maxi sundresses. The mini is a great bargain from H&M with it’s pretty print and draw-in bust line. The piece is very dainty and cutesy, with its sea blue and green oriental print and side pocket details its a perfect poolside cover-up. The maxi would also be fabulous in a printed chiffon material, but I wanted to show that block can also work in sandy colours to reveal a very summery, tanned look. This asymmetric maxi is the perfect piece if you’re not too keen on flash tribal prints, the ruffle is enough to keep is fun and stylish and this would be perfect for a sunset stroll. Team with a long gold pendant necklace to complete the look!

Paisley summer dress, H&M,£2.99 (BARGAIN ALERT!)
Asymmetric Frill Maxi Dress, ASOS, £30

The Playsuit: it’s all in the name, playful. If you’re the active type in summer and while you’re on holiday this floral playsuit is for you. Perfect for beach and poolside fun this vest and shorts all in one is a great alternative if you’re bikini feels too revealing, especially when playing all those volleyball and frisbee activities. This could also work as a nighttime piece; summery yet fun enough for the evening!

Floral Print Chiffon Frill Top Playsuit, Boohoo.co.uk, £24

The Shades: keeping with the floral fun these sunglasses are an alternative to the oversized shades which cover most of your face, light and perfect for the poolside and for spying!

Floral Print Wayfarer Sunglasses, boohoo.co.uk, £8

The Sandals: these light brown suede looking sandals are brilliant for sunny days, they will match any summery outfit  from maxi to skirt to bikini as they have a sandy tone to them. They speak bohemian style with fringing down the length of the foot and cute bow detail with tassel ends, these are a favourite of mine and are definately on my to-get list.

Brown Fringe Sandals, H&M, £14.99

The Bag: this stylish weaved straw beach bag is essential for all your summer accessories, from sun cream to sunglasses to towels this will hold it all. With it’s light colours and lace pom pom design, this bag won’t weigh you down like a leather would. This bag would also be great for a summer sun picnic date in the park.

Crochet Pom Pom Basket Bag, Accessorize, £30

 The Hat: as well as being kind to your scalp this hat will also be kind to your style. This hat is reminscent of Aarons’ seventies images, with oversized and floppy pieces on the heads of the elite, it’s hard to say no to this one. This white washed crochet style floppy hat adds girlyness and purity and its dainty chiffon bow finishes the allure off.

Oversized Floppy Straw Hat, Matalan, £8

The Fan: a fun and classy accessory to have with you instead of an electric fan type which resembles the sound of an annoying bee whizzing round by your face. This fan will keep you cool and flatteringly stylish.

Ditsy Floral Print Wooden Fan, Accessorize, £4.50

With my picks of the best in the bag I’d thought I’d mention a few things which are a bit hit and miss. You decide whether you want to laugh or go along with the few that have seen supporting or sporting them. One hit or miss trend this summer is the return of the swimming cap, (see above for the first Slim Aarons photograph) no stretchy plastic-over-your-head looks here, modelled perfectly by The Only Way is Essex star Nanny Pat (yeah, I’m laughing a tad), we may be seeing vintage flower petal swimming caps like this coming back into fashion.

Style is ageless, Nanny Pat from The Only Way is Essex sports vintage swimming cap

ASOS have already supported the trend in their clothing range with this nude flower design hat. The model doesn’t seem too happy to be wearing it though, and to be honest it’s a pretty strange look for an outerwear piece. The hat had previously been available in the colour purple too, but has now sold out, therefore someone must be buying into the trend, even if it is to go swimming in!

PREMIUM Flower Detail Hat in Nude, ASOS, £25


You can buy a replica of Nanny Pat’s cap at Saratoga as well as a range of other colours and styles. Searching ‘flower swimming cap’ into Ebay also brings up a fine selection, from monochrome to pretty pinks and fuschias.

Multi Colour Petal Swimming Hat, Saratoga, £25

A trend which I’ve also discovered which ties in with this is the return of the Turban, an obvious inspiration from the Sex and the City movie and the 1970’s. It comes as an alternative to the floppy oversized sun hats, one which I’ve shown above, we’re seeing this teamed with maxi dresses for a interesting beachwear look. River Island have really taken time to promote this 70’s chic trend with these styles:

Colour Block:

Blue Turban, River Island, £9.99



leopard printed turban with brooch detail, River Island, £14.99



white jersey turban hat, River Island, £9.99

And if you’re not daring enough for a full turban, try their selection of head band turbans:

Paisley and Print:

black ditsy print turban head band, River Island, £6.99

brown leopard print stretch turban head band, River Island, £6.99

2 Responses to “Poolside Glamour”
  1. April says:

    Never heard of slim aarons till your post, love the vintage styles defo be looking out for some of your picks, not sure the swimming hat is for me though, sorry Nanny Pat.

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