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Beach to Bar Swimwear | Ma Belle Allure | Byron Blu Swimwear

From Beach to Bar – You Can Get So Much More Wear Out of Your Swimwear

When I was younger, at the first sign of Spring I would buy a new bikini and a new one piece each year (sometimes two if I couldn’t decide on just one!)  But with the onset of “growing up” and getting a mortgage, having babies and body shape changes the idea of going into a change room to try on swimwear became very ‘scary’.  I decided this had to change.  So I put together a shoot that shows us all how to wear our swimsuits with confidence regardless of your age of size.  I also took it one step further because I thought, why do you just have to wear your swimsuit in the pool or beach – why not put together some looks that could take you from the beach to a bar or even a restaurant for dinner!!  And remember – “beach waves” are very “in” at the moment and so is a beautiful sun kissed complexion (without sun damage though – and remember to slip, slop slap, seek and slide).

I read a post recently by the gorgeous Stacey McGregor that I had to share with you because it pretty much summed up what I was trying to achieve in our latest shoot:

“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.” – Anne Lamott

So I had the concept and next I had to find the swimwear!

Welcome the beautiful and talented Reshmai Knox, Designer and Founder of Byron Blu Swimwear. Reshmai is a Byron Bay local who’s philosophy is Beauty is style that effortlessly stands out from the crowd”. Byron Blu designs have been created based on this philosophy. Each piece is original and designed with performing cuts and minimal attachments for a slimline look. Byron Blu’s patterns are modern and unique with bursts of vibrant colour.

The stunning Reshmai and I at Brisbane Fashion Weekend

I’ve featured two of Byron Blu’s swimwear pieces in this shoot – the Lily Deep V-neck Crochet One Piece (Colour: Immaculate) and the Sunset Party Strap Detail Bikini (Colour: Chewing Gum). Why only two – well both of these designs are constructed from an Italian polybutylene terephthalate fabric. The fabric coupled with Reshmai’s design ensures that her swimwear naturally lifts and supports your bust without bulky underwire.  Oh – an added bonus – all Byron Blu Swimwear is made here in Australia!!! Reshmai also has a beauty blog on her Byron Blu website so check it out.

Concept – tick! Swimwear – tick! So next I had to source a location and model???  These two were easy!!!  Location was The Bunyip Scenic Rim Resort and the model was one of my favourites, Cara Gilligan. Tick…tick…tick…tick!!!!

On the day of the shoot Mother Nature put on a scorcher – 35 degrees. But she also gave us an amazing sunset and beautiful butterflies!!!!

This butterfly obviously wanted to get in on this shot
This butterfly obviously wanted to get in on this shot


The Sunset Party Strap Detail Bikini was styled with a bright sarong that can be worn short, like in this shot, or long if you want to wrap it around your bust or waist to go and get an ice cream on a hot day.

Cara Gilligan wearing the Sunset Party Strap Detail Bikini


Next we have teamed the same bikini with a fabulous kimono which incorporates the vibrant colour of the Sunset Party Strap Detail Bikini.  This is a versatile piece that can conceal your “not so favourite bits” but still feels and looks cool and classy.

This shot of Cara Gilligan shows the stylish back of the bikini
Just love the back of this bikini


To take this bikini from beach to bar we had a bit of fun and teamed it with a gorgeous sheer Pasduchas Blouse from Florence and Marabel, so that you could see the pop of colour from the bikini and teamed it with shorts from Lily and Bridge and Tomas Pumps from Wittner (all this season).


The pop of colour from the Sunset bikini looks amazing with basic black


For a more casual look try wearing your bikini with a distressed pair of jeans and fabulous earrings.  Add a comfortable flat to complete the look.  Earrings from SFH Designs, shoes and jeans model’s own.

Pop on your favourite denim and earrings
Pop on your favourite denim and earrings


The Lily Deep V-neck Crochet One Piece is just so versatile.  Team it with a flattering kimono (stylist’s own) for a modern look.

This monochrome kimono looks amazing with the Lily one piece
This monochrome kimono looks amazing with the Lily one piece


Or a gorgeous embellished Kaftan from SFH Designs. The sheer fabric can either camouflage areas or show off your slim figure underneath.  The length of this Kaftan enables you to team it with a pair of shorts or straight skirt, or even skinny jeans – whatever is your style.

Cara Gilligan looks stunning in this embellished kaftan


This one piece is so pretty that it looks like a body suit.  So it was very easy to style for the transition from beach to bar.  We added an on-trend pair of wide leg pants (model’s own) and an Ixiah Fallen Hearts Necklace.  The addition of a Renzo Heel from Wittner completes the look.

Tone on tone is very flattering
Tone on tone is very flattering

Next we added the stunning “Jilted Lover” boho maxi dress from Get Frocked. It buttons up through the front and has a drawstring waistband.  The stunning embroidered detail on the front adds to the opulence.  Cara wears the dress unbuttoned so it looks like a kimono.

White on white looks great when the weather warms up

So don’t shy away from swimwear this season.  Embrace the beauty you have been given and create your own “beautiful look”!


PS:  I bought the Lily Deep V-neck Crochet One Piece for myself.  I am a different shape (and age) to Cara – I have all the lumps and bumps that most of us worry about but I found this one piece very flattering!

Note: We do minimal editing to our photographs because we want you to get a true representation of the fit, colour and cut of the clothing we feature.