An Irish Summer doesn't quite equal sun-kissed skin, short shorts and sangria, more sunburn, shivering and capri-sun. Once May creeps up on us, we become lighter, brighter versions of ourselves. We shed our many layers of faux fur, over-sized wool scarves, and, however daunting, we say hello to our skin. Our luminescent, pale skin. For me, this is traumatic to say the least. Unless I have assumed a pinker version of myself from my one week of sun (thank you Portugal), the thought of exposing my ghostly limbs makes me shudder. My many polo necks and long-sleeved tops are placed in hibernation, alongside my beanie collection, and neon rain-coats. Summer, you could say, comes as naturally to me as small talk. “Yes, my bank holiday was delightful thank you...”
I bought a one-piece floral swimsuit in H&M last week. The only other swimsuit I own is from lifestyle sports – an inspired idea during my unemployed and ‘swimming’ phase (this lasted a week). Though slightly risqué (I’m Irish, ok), I saw model Suki Waterhouse wearing a Solid & Striped swimsuit on holiday last month and decided to say goodbye to the bikini, in my head at least. Though more difficult to wear and less flattering, it is a funky alternative to the overrated two-piece. The original swimsuit first appeared on professional swimmer Annette Kellerman in 1907 – she created quite the uproar on Boston’s Revere Beach in a one-piece bathing suit that revealed her arms and legs and lead to her subsequent arrest. Since then it became slightly less controversial and gradually skimpier and skimpier until 1946, when designer Jacques Heim created the statement ‘bikini.’ Brigitte Bardot, Jean Seberg, and Jane Fonda all offer inspiration when it comes to the onesie challenge. I will wear mine once, just to prove a point, before running inside, arms flailing like Phoebe Buffet and swiftly change into my trusty polka dot bikini. Baby steps.
Summer is also an excuse to be casual. To slouch and stroll and wander casually through the streets in nothing but jeans. I refuse to wear anything else unless it’s a crocheted jumper on the beach. Summer is not just a season, it’s a state of being. Like I said, I plan on wearing a lot of jeans. Think model Daria Verbowy without any styling or make-up. Just her. I may not be able to achieve her perfect olive tan, or nonchalant ease, but I can always visit Kerry (where she lives). Ireland is not the Carribean. Even when it’s sunny, it’s cold. Despite the nation’s blatant denial and love of a good pair of shorts, faded, ripped jeans are to Ireland what a thong bikini is to Brazil. Denim rip-offs and saggy granny tights are never a good look, especially not in broad daylight. In the 1950s and 60s in Ireland, good, respectable girls didn’t wear jeans. They were more Rebel Without a Cause, than good Irish Catholic girl. Just like anything frowned on or forbidden, they felt good, casual. Ideal for an Irish summer. This is one trend I won’t be running away from.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Christina Higgins @missnutricious
LOCATION: Greystones Beach, Co.Wicklow
Look 1: Pale pink ruffled lycra top, Hannah Choy O'Byrne @ Om Diva Boutique, frayed jeans, Zara, pale pink ruffled lycra leggings, Hannah Cho O'Byrne @ Om Diva Boutique, denim frayed sun hat, Zara, jelly shoes, Topshop, Printed handbag, Vintage Anya Hindmarch
Look 2: Lace pink top, Om Diva Boutique, off-the-shoulder, striped ruffled top, Zara, denim spray-painted jeans, BT2, pink fringed sandals, Office, antiqued brass three stone ring by Aliquo @ Om Diva Boutique, Art Deco style pastel ring by Aliquo @ Om Diva Boutique