x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Katie Trotter: Don't be too brave when selecting your swimwear

There are plenty of ways to show your bravery - but not with swimwear, please.

Other people's dreams are boring. Intrinsically so. Catastrophically so. Few people care about the time you met Father Christmas on the moon and his head turned into a spaceship. We weren't there - remember?

The same goes for fashion. Let's face it, most of you find fashion about as intelligent as jumping off a ferry. Banal, unchallenging, moronic. La-la-la - I get it all the time.

And then comes swimwear - tra-la-la-la! Everyone cares about swimwear. Why? Because you are pretty much naked - and nine times out of 10 in front of many more people than usual. (Mum doesn't count.) How do I know? Look around. Crowds of us are plastered to our towels close to the water's edge in order to avoid the shameful 200-metre walk. We may as well call it a day, stick some clothes on, jump in, frolic about a bit and be done with it. But, unfortunately, that wouldn't work. Far too simple a hypothesis for fashion. Far too much fun.

Instead the inevitable happens and we find ourselves flailing around like some Bridget Jones-type character -worried we are a bit plump or too mumsy, too long, too short or too pale, questioning why the Gucci cut-out swimsuit we spent a month's wages on makes us look like some poor sod who's been abducted by crazed, hungry mountain people.

Extreme swimwear - that's where we have run into problems in the past few seasons. Think the high-cut Eighties revival; the minimalist, daringly teeny bikini; or the weird-on-anyone-over-four cutsie polka-dot number.

My advice: don't test out revolutionary. Swimwear should never be a mutiny. There are plenty of other ways to be brave.

I know it's agony, but try on as many items as you can bear; do your research and be strategic. The most common mistake people make is confusing a flattering garment with one that covers you up as much as possible. Fit the bust first. If you're big-busted, you will need a wide strap or a halter neck. If you are small, go for a bandeau top, which broadens the chest; or if you need a more supportive top, simply experiment with ruffles or a bold pattern.

Avoid marketing ploys such as the tankini (a swimsuit that essentially has been cut in half to make you feel like you are young enough to pull on a bikini without having to expose any skin). Same goes for the built-in skirt. Instead of the faint promise of camouflage, these simply draw attention to your "bad spot" with a flashing neon sign. Think about trying the one-piece, no longer the sole preserve of the Floridian retiree. Think more Fifties French Riviera, less Sports Illustrated. Groundbreaking? No. Exactly my point.



This week's highs and lows

PAMELA LOVE The jewellery designer's creations for Topshop have arrived.

THE NEW GOOP? Heidi Klum's new blog reminds us ever so much of Gwyneth Paltrow's. She doesn't stand a chance!

KANE CABS Christopher Kane designed London taxi wraps inspired by his "Galaxy" print.

WILD WEST We're not buying into Rodarte's new prairie look.

BIG DREAMS The 17-year-old model-of-the-moment Lindsey Wixson wants to add "singer" to her already accomplished portfolio.