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Thursday 26 July 2012

Beach Goddess-ness this Way...

With the Mercedes Benz Swim Fashion Week in full swing over in Miami, its pretty impossible to avoid the barrage of catwalk shots of models in bikinis. As I flick through the photos, a couple of thoughts spring to mind...:
  1. OH GOOD GOD I need to get to the gym IMMEDIATELY;
  2. I am so pleased that I don't live anywhere even vaguely in the vicinity of Miami Beach and therefore nowhere even vaguely in the vicinity of this gaggle of sickeningly perfect beach bodies;
  3. I need new uber-flattering swimwear and an enormous Muumuu in time for my next shuffle between the shore and my sunlounger...

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So, while I vow to get up an hour early tomorrow morning so that I can put in some quality time on the cross-trainer, I bring you a round-up of my favourite online purveyors of bikinis, beachwear and general promises of being sprinkled with a little of the Miami Swim models' magic in exchange for your credit card details...

Beach Flamingo
In Brief: Brand new swimwear site, Beach Flamingo, is a bit of a family affair. Founded by two sisters (one of whom is Grazia's Shopping Editor, Lily Russo) and their Mother,this one-stop beachwear shop brings together a carefully curated selection of swimwear labels from around the globe. The Russo girls spend two months a year on the beach in Italy so when it comes to looking good in small scraps of lycra, they know what they're talking about...

The Brands: A range of cutting edge brands from all over the world, our favs include Caffe, We Are Handsome, Mara Hoffman and Zimmerman. The site also stocks their own brand range of accessories - embellished beach baskets, retro tasseled sun hats and cute leather sandals.
3BM Top Crush: Zimmerman Floral rebel Frill Bikini - £147.00

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Itsie Bitsie
In Brief: We've got good news! Our favourite Hong Kong Swimwear brand, Itsie Bitsie, has just launched an online store! At last, everyone everywhere can get their hands on Itsie Bitsie's gorgeous Bali-made bikinis, beach cover-ups and accessories. Wonderwoman, Cristina Wilkinson, not only runs the business (including often being on-hand in store to help pick out your purchases) but also designs all the swimwear herself. The brand only launched this year but has already become a life-saver for Hong Kong girls ensuring that when junk season kicked-off, we were all kitted out in uber-flattering, affordable swimwear. Top Tip: Itsie Bitsie has also just started selling personalised bikini bottoms - the perfect honeymoon gift for all your bridezilla buds.
The Brands: 100% Itsie Bitsie - stacks of choice though, definitely something for everyone (boys and babies coming soon apparently!)
3BM Top Crush: The PaperDoll Cut Out One-piece - HK$780

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In Brief: Part swimwear boutique, part travel magazine, Beach Cafe has teamed up with boutique hotel gurus, Mr & Mrs Smith, to make every step of holiday planning as painless as possible. Hop over to the site to pick-up a caseload of holiday must-haves in between browsing destination guides for a variety of exotic spots. Handpicked hotels, the lowdown on all the best restaurants and boutiques and the inside track on where you can find the best sunset cocktails (the Mice think that planning your next trip based on where there are Mojitos with a view is eminently sensible). The website also has a team of style advisors on hand to ensure that you find your perfect holiday wardrobe. Tell them where you're off to, let them know about your body hang-ups and they'll pull a selection of pieces that'll have you chucking your sarong to the side and parading around the pool in no time.
The Brands: All the top designer beachwear brands, think Melissa Odabash bikinis, Sam Edelman sandals and Tom Ford sunglasses.
3BM Top Crush: Melissa Odabash Jemima Hat - £96.00

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The Girl and The Water
In Brief: Waterbaby and wanderluster, Melissa Derreumaux, set up The Girl and The Water after falling in love with Hawaiian bikini brand Acacia. The online boutique sells everything you need for a day at the beach from teeny bikinis to brightly coloured Turkish towels. Melissa's a keen paddle boarder and has tried and tested every piece that she carries so you're guaranteed flattering swimwear that can withstand more than just poolside posing.

The Brands: Lots of unusual brands that we haven't found elsewhere. We particularly love Hawaiian brands Acacia and Posh Pua (the Posh Pua Nui bottoms are the most flattering bikini bottoms we own!). The site also carries our favourite find from a trip to Mexico earlier this year, Josa Tulum.
3BM Top Crush: Josa Tulum Low-back Halter Dress - USD$170
(And you can get your hands on this bad boy for 25% less than usual for a few more days with the 3BM x The Girl and The Water Summer Offer! Just type JOSA25 at the checkout until 31st July to get 25% off all Josa Tulum cover-ups!) 
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Beach Tomato Shack
In Brief: We have a confession to make, we're a little Tomato obsessed. It all started with a mild crush on luxury travel company Black Tomato (go check out its travel porn website to see why). It intensified with the discovery of the Black Tomato travel e-zine, Beach Tomato bringing us our daily dose of sunshine via fun features like Celebrity Beach Bag and Beach House of the Week. It then developed into a full blown love affair with the launch of sister site and online holiday boutique, Beach Tomato Shack. The quirky website features a mind-boggling range of super stylish beachy fashion modelled by squirrels, kittens and robins...yes really!
The Brands: From your trusty go-to designers through to the newest kids on the block - Beach Tomato Shack has all bases covered. We particularly love Roksanda Ilincic, Tara Matthews, Mileti and Violet Lake.

3BM Top Crush: Roksanda Ilincic Black Cut Out One-Piece - £365

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And if you still want more, over on Moda Operandi two super amazing trunkshows are currently shoppable - We Are Handsome (until 28 July) and Charlie By Matthew Zink (until 31 July). We're coveting everything We Are Handsome right now and particularly...

The Poisons String Bikini

The Spirit Sleeveless Dress

The Calypso Cut Away One-piece

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