We started with underwear as outerwear. Now the new fashion trend is swimming costumes to work as heatwave returns
The great thing about fashion is the way designers find new ways to wear old items in your wardrobe, and the ability to use them for a completely different purpose than intended. With times changing it’s encouraging to see this trend. We shouldn’t have to keep buying clothes because of the weather, and with the rain from last weekend and the flooding we had a respite from the heat. However with the next wave of soaring heat in Europe lets be prepared - get ready to wear your swimsuit as daywear.
If you are on holiday already unpacking this new and exciting trend is simpler than it sounds. Swimsuits are designed to be both wet and dry, which is ideal for this next wave of heat and the human body as sweat doesn’t show up. While this may not be a fashion statement you will be able to wear to the office, the headline seems a little misleading right?: fashion bloggers continue to talk about day-to-night dressing (how do I dress for a drop in temperature without bringing a suitcase or small holdall with me everywhere I go?). Amphibious dressing is a beach-to-street dressing trend that is currently the new favourite for many women.
The high street is already pushing this new trend. TopShop suggest you wear it’s textured swimsuits “beyond the beach”. Cossie + Co, are a new brand born from the historical love of the one-piece swimsuits in grown-up colours, are also “not reserved for the beach”. Meanwhile Zara have a great selection of Swimsuits, which look fantastic with their range of pencil skirts for the boardroom.
As you can see from this recent image of Julie Pelipas, fashion director of Vogue Ukraine, the swimsuit style top with loose trousers is a massive hit for this summer. Man Repeller the fashion blog said that this was “the most perfect outfit of the summer”. In a recent article, the New York Times believes that wearing the bestselling swimsuit from a new collaboration between Staud and Solid & Striped with Levi’s Jeans is a must for any fashion conscious women. And then there’s Alexa Chung, who posted a swimsuit-and-denim skirt selfie last Friday on Instagram Stories with the caption: “Swimwear as workwear was the only option.” When something becomes normalised by Chung, it is usually here to stay.
It should come as no surprise that this trend is hitting our streets as Marni “superimposed” a swimsuit shape on to a dress in its current collection. You may remember we have seen this before with underwear worn as outerwear, Rihanna and Beyoncé were advocates of this growing trend and it even has its own Wikipedia page. Swimwear seems like the next natural progression for this fashion statement.
If you’re thinking that wearing a swimsuit to go shopping might sound a bit strange, you may want to reconsider your swimsuit. You could always wear a bra with certain styles, however a huge amount come with an inbuilt support option. There are also textured and thicker seersucker fabrics. Both TopShop and Hunza G’s have fantastic offers including TopShop’s tangerine ribbed one-piece. These are both more durable than most of the basic designs on the high street.
The creative director of Hunza G’s Georgiana Huddart says, she has seen the firm’s swimsuits “take on a diverse new role – worn as much off the beach as on”. Natascha Wittgenstein, founder of new Swedish brand Tooshie, concurs (although she prefers the word “multitaskers” when talking about wearing hers out at night). Having said that they both agree that this fashion trend is heralding a new era of textured swimsuits. As Huddart says: “A swimsuit no longer means just that.”
These are strange times for swimsuits. Love Island really took this to a new level this year (contestant’s swimsuits had enough cut-outs to trigger trypophobia). Even the Miss America pageant recently announced that the swimsuit round would be eliminated from the competition for its contentiousness. If underwear continues to draw the primal sexuality issue, then maybe just maybe swimwear can take on this new role.