From Bottega Veneta to Bondi Born, Kirstie Clements searches for the perfect swimsuit

Kirstie Clements takes the plunge and goes online shopping for swimsuits.

Kirstie Clements takes the plunge and goes online shopping for swimsuits. Photo: Getty

If week eight, or is it nine … whatever, of lockdown isn’t challenging enough, I decided it was time to shop for a new swimsuit.

It looks like I won’t be requiring any clothes, shoes, accessories, jewellery or makeup for the foreseeable future, but I’ve taken up cold water swimming to help beat the blahs and my functional black one-piece has seen better days. As has my melanin.

I was initially inspired by a style I spied on Net-a-Porter, which pretty much looked like my perfect swimsuit: it was a black halter neck (but not plunging,) by Bottega Veneta, with low cut boy legs, more like a playsuit, in a fabulous stretchy, scrunchy fabric.

Bottega Veneta’s seersucker halterneck swimsuit. Photo: Net-a-Porter

So chic, I could see it with a wide-brimmed hat, and espadrilles and tortoise sunglasses, very Lartigue, South of France gorgeousness.

I’ve always had the Cote D’Azur of the 1930s in mind when I think swimwear.

I recall one holiday in the Greek Islands in the mid-90s, where I embarrassed my husband horribly when I wore a cream and black 1930s designer tank with boy legs and 50 SPF sunblock and a hat while all the other women on the beach wore neon G-strings and a slick of coconut oil.

But this new playsuit was stupendously pricey and I had to rationalise whether it was going to go the distance for my daily dog paddle in the harbour.

It was more a lounging-by-the-pool-in-St Tropez suit – and, call me psychic, but that’s not happening any time in the foreseeable future.

I decided should look for a more sturdy, sporty option, maybe a sleek maillot. Perhaps I’d even branch off into a nice colour.

I hit the internet. The big trend, I’m here to report, somewhat reluctantly, is one-shouldered.

I think my bigger-than-a-B-cup sisters of ‘a certain age’ will join with me here in agreeing there is no point in even trying this style on.

We know, we can predict, just like we do when applying our own false eyelashes or buying patterned leggings, that this is going to end in disaster.

Staying abreast

One bosom will be sort of where it is supposed to sit, the other one will be closer to your waist, or even under your arm. No matter if you happen to have perfectly symmetrical bosoms, the optical illusion will be that one has gone completely rogue. And forget actually swimming and keeping it up.

I discovered another more classic sporty maillot, not too expensive, and read the description. The company claimed they had tried the style on 114 different body types and found the perfect shape to flatter all of them.

Where this catchment area of women emanated from I don’t know, maybe that Greek Island in the 90s, but apparently a Baywatch-type high-cut leg was deemed best as it “elongated” the leg.

Okay, doubtful, but it also exposes most of your behind and some surprising areas of skin at the front that have never seen the light of day, let alone sunscreen, so nah. I like coverage.

There is a great Australian label Bondi Born, which has some classic cuts with lower legs, and I’m eyeing off a one-piece in emerald green. With two straps. And I’ll probs need a rashie.

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