woman in pink tank top sitting on white textile on beach during daytime

Photo: Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

What Your Swimsuit Says About You – "Charmant" Style (Part 1)

Charmant might be the French word for charming, but it suggests a different meaning than many of us think.

How do you make swimwear look simple yet still elegant and refined without going too overboard into the formal side? That’s the French way, in a nutshell, so finding the right balance of each element is what makes the Charmant look so much fun to put together! Inspired by the French fashion tradition, a charmante femme – a charming woman, as they say in the Old World – means that you’re more than just pretty every now and then when you go out for the evening.

Instead, you always beam with a curious vibrance and a certain luxurious "je ne sai quoi" you can’t really put your finger on. It’s an air of pure confidence that says you take life as it comes, and you never worry before it’s time, even when it comes to finding swimwear that suits your personality and sense of style.

The word Charmant has a deeper connection with innate, spectacular beauty than a happy, bubbly personality, but it didn’t develop overnight. Rather, it blossomed over centuries of cultural changes throughout France, yet there’s always been a gentle touch of indescribable, almost effortless elegance that pushes traditional boundaries.

Editor Gina Samarianaki in Eres Rio swimsuit on the sea

Photo: @gina_smarianaki

Model wearing Bamba Swim swimsuit Olimpia with a glass and white cup

Photo: @paigeinsco

jessica Wright in Melissa Odabash Rio swimsuit on a bot

Photo: @jesswright77

City of Light, Woman of Light

Charmant might be the French word for charming, but it suggests a different meaning than many of us think. Really, the word Charmant has a deeper connection with innate, spectacular beauty than a happy, bubbly personality, but it didn’t develop overnight. Rather, it blossomed over centuries of cultural changes throughout France, yet there’s always been a gentle touch of indescribable, almost effortless elegance that pushes traditional boundaries.

If you've never been to Paris, it's hard to put into words why the nickname "City of Light" is so perfect. Centuries ago, Paris was the first city in the world to line its boulevards with gas lamps, and the town glowed softly on the horizon as travelers approached from afar, almost beckoning them onward to new experiences like moths to candlelight. But it wasn't only the lights; it was a  vibe and a shimmering Age of Enlightenment in the arts, literature, architecture, and fashion. You can almost feel it to this very day in French-made luxury brands.

It’s this historical backdrop that sets the stage for the modern Woman of Light, a woman whose personality illuminates and projects an air of nearly effortless class when relaxing on the beach or by the pool with a cool glass of Pinot Gris. That’s what makes the Charmant style unique and appealing to women of all ages and lifestyles. Whereas Italian and American styles have been dominated by what fashionistas call pret-a-porter “ready to go” clothing, the Charmant look expresses uniqueness and embodies the courage to try something different.

So, with that in mind, here's how the Charmant look shines brightly in these five swimsuits from the top designers in 2022.

Andrea Iyamah – Nisi Swimsuit

Made by Nigerian fashion designer Andrea Dumebi Iyamah, this one-piece swimsuit is a prime example of what to expect this year. Without a doubt, the most distinctive feature of A.I.'s NISI mono-color, one-piece swimsuit is the vine-like accent that swoops across the neck. At a glance, that's what really pops and stands out in this swimsuit. All of A.I.'s signature elements are there, especially the leaf motif in fashion these days. While the vine-like front may be the star of the show, make sure to check out the back too.

Photo by A N D R E A  I Y A M A H on June 22, 2021. May be an image of 1 person.

Photo: @andreaiyamah

The cut rests high on the back just beneath the shoulder blades to really bring out your figure. This particular A.I. one-piece features a mono strap with a subtle cut-out underneath the clasps in place of a standard zipper.

So, that's great and all, but what makes this swimsuit perfect for the Charmant woman? Notice the use of a single color when so many other designers are going in the opposite direction and adding bright florals or sassy prints to their spring lineups. Color-wise, you can never go wrong with solid white, but the creamier shades make this swimsuit really turn heads on the beach, so pair it with a loose-fitting, "borrowed from him" button-down shirt for maximum impact.

Bamba Swim – Caesar Bandeau Top & Olympia Bottom

Next, we have the Caesar bandeau top and the Olympia bottom by the designers at Bamba Swim. All of our Charmant styles are essentially French-inspired, but this one is almost quintessential. The simplicity of the single strap bandeau top with a gold plated clasp in the back is about as minimalist as you can get without delving into something a little riskier and eye-catching. The top has side boning to fit well, and it's also double-lined to minimize sheering when you least expect it.

Photo of Caesar Bandeau & Olympia Bottom

The top is simple enough, but it's even better when paired with an Olympia bottom. Also, the fabric for this particular bottom piece is ribbed and features a rectangular, gold-clipped belt in front. And you didn't even notice the string belt, did you? That's what's incredible about Bamba Swim. Their designs often come with cute quirks and subtleties that really make a difference. The 90s-style cut is a perfect example since it echoes the age of the "booty shorts'' and the 20th-century joie de vivre.

Eres Paris – Cassiopee

Moving along, we come to Eres Paris' Cassiopee swimsuit, which is arguably one of the most attractive one-piece swimsuits we carry at our online shop! Take a close look at how the center-shiring bust and pleated cups would really bring out your curves without getting too forward and risky. Without a doubt, it's a unique style of one-piece you usually can't find in standard pret-a-porter swimwear. A U-shaped link separates the bust to keep the swimsuit demure yet still ravishing, but it doesn’t lean too far into the mature end of the spectrum.

Photo of Cassiopée

As a mono-color one-piece, this swimsuit pairs well with just about anything, but keep in mind that the Charmant look often only uses two earthy colors. If you want to add more vibrance, an accessory works great rather than going for a bold, floral pattern. Remember that proper charmante femme beams with an innate elegance and this one-piece is simply to die for if you want to go for something new this year.

Melissa Odabash – Rio

Up until now, we’ve outlined three great Charmant swimsuits, yet the Rio by designer Melissa Odabash deserves just as much attention. It's another one-piece (surprise, surprise!) that looks both classy and fashion-forward, and it's precisely the type of swimsuit we're seeing more of on social media. Whereas the Bamba Swim two-piece we previously discussed is more of a 90s throwback, the Rio by Melissa Odabash goes back even further to the mid-20th century but with a few light contemporary touches.

Image of a woman wearing Rio Cream Ridges Swimsuit by Melissa_Odabash

Photo: Melissa_Odabash

Mainly, notice the low, scooped-down back, belted waist with a circular gold clasp, and a higher side-cut to accentuate the length of your legs. It’s not exactly the same as the high-waist look in general, yet you still get a similar effect. If you don’t want to go strapless this year, this one-piece swimsuit works well since it goes over the shoulder for maximum comfort without sacrificing style.

FAE – Gypsy Top & Goi Bottom – Neapolitan

Last but certainly not least, we round out the top five Charmant swimsuits with the Gypsy top and Goa bottom two-piece from the designers at FAE Swim. If you just can’t let go of your penchant for two-piece swimwear, this design is one you should strongly consider, especially if you’re into throwbacks. FAE's best-selling bikini is loved by celebrities worldwide for its flattering v-wire front that accents cleavage and supports your bust. The FAE sustainable recycled nylon is a luxurious, sparkle fabric that is versatile, hyper-resistant, thin, elegant, stretchy, soft, and breathable - making it twice as resistant to chlorine and suntan creams and oils than competitors' fabrics and this Neapolitan print of pink is awesome.

Photo of Gypsy_Top_Ibiza-Photo_1

Photo: @FAE

So, if you want to stick with the Charmant appeal, this swimsuit is about as bold as you can get while staying within the motif.

No matter what, any of these swimsuits brings out the Charmant look – a little touch of charm and supreme confidence in your beauty. After all, why limit the French-inspired look to evening wear when it’s versatile enough for any occasion? Please, keep reading through our Stories to see more examples of what it means to be a charmante femme, bathing in the sun and loving life as it comes.

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