I had no idea that a new swimsuit would give me a mini Chanel Capsule!
I like a swimsuit with tummy control for a bit of figure confidence but, this time, I was disappointed to find no coverup dress - only a pair of wide legged pants.
I love a matching set and 'beggars can't be choosers' so I took them.
Once I got them home, however, I realized just what a clever and stylish set of co-ordinates it created.
I adore wide legged pants - they're soft and fluid, hide a multitude of sins on the hips and thighs, and they're flattering whatever your height.
Although this print is no longer available it's a very easy look to copy.
Now it might sound fanciful, but the
outfit suddenly reminded me of vintage photos I'd seen of Chanel in the
fashionable resorts of Deauville and Biarritz during the 1920's.
Loose fitting pants are widely attributed to Coco Chanel and were usually teamed with a close fitting top. This was a completely new feminine silhouette during the post war period which still works today.
On my holidays, however casual the venue, I would never eat in just a swimsuit. But adding the matching pants meant that this swimsuit became a stylish and ladylike outfit.
Just in case I ever get my swimsuit wet (!) I pop undies and a suntop into my beach bag.
You can never have too many little tops so I picked up a couple of inexpensive tanks in navy and cream to pop into my beach bag. Suddenly my poolside outfit was versatile enough to take me from the beach, to lunch, to drinks and even to dinner.
Such as easy idea to copy! All you need is a couple of items that match or tone, add in 2 tank tops and you've got your own mini Chanel capsule.
This little set formed the basis of my holiday wear and certainly earned it's place in my suitcase. I've found lots of different mix and match co-ordinates to form the base of your holiday wardrobe - if you prefer to wear a skirt you can still get the same effect.
You can work this just as easily with a plain swimsuit. Match in some wide legged pants in a beautiful print and choose your tank colors to complement. Each of the pants I've pictured below will also take black so I've added in an extra tank.
Each set gives you a swimsuit and 4 additional outfits, a real BEACH HOLIDAY CAPSULE.
During World War I Coco Chanel honed her design skills in the smart 'neutral' French resort of Biarritz, the playground of the rich and famous escaping the hostilities.
She swiftly climbed the ranks of society (mostly through romantic encounters) and by 1919 she was considered an established 'couturière' with her own property in Paris.
High society flocked to the lavish resort of Deauville in Northern France in the early 1920's, and when the famous Promenade des Planches, the wooden boardwalk next to the beach was completed in 1923, it was the place to see and be seen.
Women of this era, constrained by uncomfortable narrow corseted dresses, were ready to rebel and enthralled by the avant-garde designs of a young Coco Chanel. She is credited with liberating women from the 'corseted silhouette' as she introduced a new sporty and casual chic.
The look was unconventional but practical. Women cut their hair and discovered a simple but stylish look, more often than not wearing WIDE LEGGED PANTS, so they could move easily and actually enjoy their leisure and nautical pursuits.
The famous CC logo also originated during this time.