A retro sum­mer

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - FASHION WITH KARLYA SMITH -

I see out­door swim­ming as one of life’s great plea­sures. It’s on my mind as soon as the weather even hints at be­ing warm enough.

Th­ese 1950s-in­spired beach­wear sug­ges­tions don’t look all that prac­ti­cal, but they’ve pro­gressed from the orig­i­nals.

Last sum­mer my pal Jenna teamed hand-medown vin­tage plaid bathers with my favourite high­crown hand-wo­ven gar­den­ing hat. The ven­ti­lated weave of the hat stayed on in the wind and a wide brim and cov­ered top is un­doubt­edly the best pro­tec­tion from sun – and wind­blown hair.

She’s more of a lounge-and-reader, which is just as well – I hate to think what would’ve be­come of the metal-toothed swim­suit zip on con­tact with salt water, and those thigh-grab­bing elas­ti­cated leg holes, but it proved ideal for loung­ing.

So while the “jan­dal and towel as beach­wear” brigade may scoff, I find long cot­ton skirts or dresses, one-piece togs, a hat and san­dals are ideal for me on the long walk down the stairs, over the scorch­ing hot sand dunes and dodg­ing the drift­wood on my near­est lo­cal swim­ming beach.

While I wouldn’t want to leave my new Penny Sage skirt se­cured un­der drift­wood to see if the wind car­ries it away, I do have a Kow­tow skirt sim­i­lar in style to the Nom*d skirt with an elas­ti­cated waist.

This sum­mer is its fourth as my swim­ming skirt, worn sev­eral times a week if I’m lucky, over togs.

I dry out the post-swim wet butt marks on the wash­ing line be­side my towel, and wash it prop­erly ev­ery few weeks.

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