While window shopping in Paris, browsing through the latest issue of Vogue, or simply walking through one of the trendy North Coast hotspots, one feels the need to check the calendar. It’s 2008 real-time, 1950s fashion-wise.
The latest swimwear features polka dots, ruffles, high waists and boy shorts and they are everywhere you look. This year, there are very little sequins and thingamajigs hanging off swimsuits, straying from the belly dancer look and veering towards the elegant. The bathing suits are a throwback to the black and white golden age of Egyptian cinema: Think Nadia Lotfy, Soad Hosni and Lubna Abdel-Aziz.
It isn’t unusual that fashion repeats itself. From haut couture to high street, every item of clothing is inspired by a different 20th century generation. The swimwear is following the same path – out with the scandalous, back to the glamorous.
The new refined look leaves more to the imagination, which is good news for the ladies because the extra fabric can be strategically placed to hide those parts you would rather not flaunt on the beach.
For those cursed with love handles (or, without sugarcoating it, a fat waistline) high-waist bikinis are the most flattering. The tight fabric hugs your body just where you need it to give you a more proportional silhouette.
If you haven’t spent the last few months doing stomach crunches, try bikinis with a thick waist band that can be folded over when tanning. They make abs look smoother as you catwalk down the beach, and you can flip it down when sunbathing.
The majority of Egyptian women are bottom-heavy, in come boy shorts, ruffles and tight mini-skirt look-alikes, all of which help hide those hips. For once, these cuts are abundant in the market.yippee.
Bikini tops that look like push-up bras are rare this season. Following the more conservative theme, tops are more of a halter shape with discreet cleavage.
The one-piece swimsuits made a strong comeback a few years ago, but this time they are more conservative. Unlike last year’s monokinis (a bikini where the top and bottom are connected with flimsy fabric that doesn’t cover much), these 1950-inspired designs show very little. No stomach, barely any back, shorts from the bottom and little cleavage from the top.
The modest bathing suits come in a variety of colors and designs, but the pattern that most captures the spirit of the era is polka dots.
If polka dots are too much for you, try mixing and matching with solids: Pair a black high-waist bikini bottom and a dotted halter-top.
With these swimsuits you’ll make your grandmother proud as you strut down the Mediterranean coastline looking just like she did back in the day.