Seafolly's vintage-inspired Sophia swimsuit.
Seafolly's vintage-inspired Sophia swimsuit. Contributed

Retro glamour back for swimwear

SUMMER is in full swing and with that comes the daunting task of swimsuit shopping.

Fortunately this year one of the key trends involves more fabric than we've seen for a long time.

It's all about vintage va-va-voom.

Retro glamour is back in swimwear and perfect for a fuller figure.

Whether you choose a more demur one piece such as Seafolly's Sophia Indigo (pictured) or a two-piece bikini the vintage trend is about embracing your curves.

Famed for her swimwear which is worn by the likes of Elle MacPherson, Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham, Beyonce and Kate Moss, former model Melissa Odabash said vintage inspiration was continuing to grow in popularity.

"A carefully constructed one piece accentuates a woman's curves and hides her flaws," Melissa said.

Hannas' swimwear assistant Jennifer James agreed that one pieces were very popular right now.

"There are a lot more one-pieces in this season," she said.

Jennifer said that type of swimwear offered more choices.

"Colour wise there is a lot to offer - bright colours, stripes, prints …" she said.

"Some have a lower leg, tummy control and also varying cup sizes."

Jennifer said many of the pieces saw a return to old-style Hollywood glamour as well as retro 50s and 60s.

Think bandeau, bustier and balconette tops worked back with high-waisted boy leg bikini bottoms in bold colours, nautical prints or chic safari shades.

"It is a trend that suits both older women and the younger ones as well," she said.

Now is also a great time to purchase with many swimwear items on sale, and, according to the US and European catwalks, the vintage-inspired bathing suits are here to stay.

According to Westfield the key trends for 2012 are:

Colour and more colour

Colour blocking, pop colour, brights and pastels are huge in swimwear following the popularity of this trend throughout the cooler months and the brilliant hues translate strikingly into the lycra and stretch fabrics of summer. Be bold with any shade of the rainbow from a single saturated colour to a mix of tints to suit your taste and complexion.

Vintage va-va-voom

Vintage glamour is back in swimwear and is perfect for a fuller figure. For curvaceous ladies, try anything that plays on the hourglass waist, halter neck or cupped style tops. Ruffles are also in for a return to vintage swimwear and not only is this trend beautifully feminine, but ruffles are an effective way to create fullness in the bust if you are a pear-shape. Crochet was a big bohemian hit in the 1970s and this chic, open weave is back in a big way this summer.

Striking straps and cut-outs

One-shoulder fashion has dominated runways throughout 2011 and the single strap swimsuit is bound to make a splash this summer. Simple, striking and flattering, a one-shoulder bikini or one-piece can take a plain swimsuit and turn it into a statement look for around the pool or on the beach. Small, tasteful cut-outs and asymmetrical lines are a modern way to update your summer look this year, just be sure you're not baring too much flesh in the wrong places!

Patterns Emerge

Whether you choose pretty pastels of floral elegance; big, bold and bright flowers; stripes; or a striking digital print, patterns are a great way to avert attention from your body and onto your swimsuit if you're lacking in a little confidence.

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