<< back to News

Beach Watch 2005 by Vikki Hassett




I have finally given up hope on the summer sun ever staying out long enough for me to make it to the beach again, dreams of a beautiful golden tan were just not meant to be; and so, as my sunbathing days draw to a close, I reflect on some of the more ‘memorable’ beachwear fashions I have encountered this year.  I bring you; Beach Watch 2005.


The beach really is a time for ‘letting it all hang out’.  Unfortunately there is no place to hide your bumps and lumps on the beach.  There’s no pulling it in, pushing it up or tucking it under.  It’s off with the clothes and out with the bulge.


{mosimage}If David Beckham can’t get away with wearing Speedos, then I suggest your average beer bellied, sagging boobed British ‘hunk’ has made a big mistake pulling on his lycra panties and gracing the British beaches.  I have had the misfortune of sighting one too many Speedo wearing males this summer and thus, have set in motion, a campaign to ban them, on grounds of indecent exposure.


{mosimage}Speedos are offensive enough, and so I feel it my duty to warn the women of Bournemouth, there is something worse lurking on the horizon, (well actually more a blot on the horizon).  I must speak briefly of this, as I continue to be deeply disturbed by the memory.  I stress that a man weighing 25 stone plus, should not wear a leopard print thong in the comfort of his own home, let alone in a public place.  It is quite frankly a health hazard.


Board shorts are my recommended and fortunately favoured choice of beachwear for men and can transform (nearly) any man into a vision of surfing heaven, even if the closest they have got to a surf board is drooling over Pamela Anderson on Baywatch.

{mosimage}Bournemouth based fashion ‘surf/skate’ brand Animal, have captured the essence of the surfwear market this year with some fantastic designs for men. Bright/neon colours and Hawaiian and floral prints are really allowing men the scope to be more experimental with their beachwear.

I am guilty, albeit unknowingly, of having been a sheep where the trend, created by Kate Moss, of mis-matching bikini tops and bottoms is concerned.  Whilst some may class me a fashion victim, my mother will tell you, I have, what can only be classed, as a disorder, where matching sets are concerned and I mismatch everything that it is possible to mismatch.


My sister by contrast is rather obsessive when it comes to ‘sets’ and insists on wearing matching underwear at all times, if by chance she were to be involved in an accident and the medical staff may need to view her underwear.  As she bleeds near death on the operating table, I hear the doctor cry, ‘My god, this is terrible, it’s the most horrific thing I have ever seen; red knickers and a white bra, it’s an absolute tragedy’.


And so it is that I have attracted a laugh here and there from people who have concluded I am either colour blind or just plain odd.  The later being a reasonable conclusion to draw.  It seems I lack a rather large chunk of the panache and style which Miss Moss exudes that enables her to carry almost any fashion.


I overheard someone recently claiming that wearing an expensive bikini makes all the difference to your body appearance.  Whilst I agree that certain shaped bikini’s are flattering to certain body shapes, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was slightly deluded in thinking that if she squeezed herself into a £600 Chanel number then it would somehow illusively carve pounds off her rather ‘full’ figure.  Or perhaps it was me that had been going wrong these past few years, by stocking up on £5 bargain basement bikinis from Primark.


{mosimage}Elements of the fashions seen on the catwalk, as always, filtered through into beachwear, with the seasons boho-chic look translated with the heavy embellishment of swimwear, with strings, buckles, shells, beads and diamantes used in abundance. 


Less emphasis has been placed on swimwear and more attention given to creating the complete beach look.  Kaftans, shawls, hats, bags, wedges and jewellery.  Accessorising, as on the street, was also the key to looking truly fabulous on the beach.


Boundaries of what is acceptable have really been ripped apart and an attitude that if it’s good enough for our celebrities to wear, then it’s good enough for us, has been taken.  Now it seems the brighter, the bolder, and the more glamorous, the better.  Animal prints, Missoni inspired designs, crochet, gold and neon colours have ensured an undeniably feminine and dazzling year on the beach.


I excitedly await next years’ beach trends and fashions, with promises that summer 2006 will offer a whole lot more sun and a great deal less Speedos.



Written by Vicky Hassett

<< back to News