The Subtle Swimsuit

Eres was a pioneer of it.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Eres was a pioneer of it. So was Hermes. Cos, being a Swedish minimalist, specialises in it. But it’s Aussie sisters Peta Heinsen and Ilona Hamer of swimwear/holidaywear label Matteau who made the case for the subtle swimsuit the most succinct: It is the swimsuit women will reach for to feel confident and at ease by or in the water because it’s simple, comfortable, uncomplicated and tasteful.

So what makes it all that?

• It’s the simplest design – tank, toga or halterneck style, perhaps with spaghetti straps – for the most body- and age-forgiving one-piece.

• It’s built and cut for comfort and activities – without looking Speedolike or coming apart easily.

• It’s usually monotone, never multicoloured or printed; and doesn’t have unnecessary extras that would ruin its clean lines.

• It shows off the one or two parts of the body that most women are comfortable showing – the shoulders and/or the back.

• It’s never cut too high at the thigh, as most women are not Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (though she’s a fan of Matteau). – JE

1  to 3 Maillots, from $59, Cos.
4  to 6 Maillots, from $385, Eres.
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