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ready to wear : The dare bare bunch

On a beach, I don't know what to wear. Lying down, sunbathing, is fine: any old pants will do me. Standing up is different. Bikini: no, feel too much like I'm wandering around in my underwear. Swimsuit: no, think I look like the girl who couldn't get a bikini to fit/has a huge scar on her torso, so had to resort to the one-piece solution. My answer is to avoid the beach all together or to visit it only at night, when I can wear cut-off Huckleberry Finn-style shorts and a fleece. So, what do you wear if you want to go to the beach but don't want to bear all? Something light in both colour and fabric. Pedal pushers are ideal as they have that Fifties, casual look and yet are super-stylish. Little tops and vests are also fantastic. Great. But crap if you have breasts. But this week's fashion is more geared to those under 21, for whom such problems do not exist. Bless you.

Top right: green cotton vest (sizes S,M,L), pounds 17, Sisley, selected Benetton branches. Enquiries: 0161 929 9259. Green check silk trousers (sizes S,M,L), pounds 50, Nougat, Fenwick, Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London NW4, and Jill Black, 2 Barton Arcade, Manchester. Enquiries: 0171 208 4300. Bottle-green sunglasses, pounds 99, Calvin Klein Eyewear, major department stores. Enquiries: 0800 722 020

Right: white linen trousers (sizes 10-14), pounds 99, Kevan Jon, 30 Byram Arcade, Westgate, Huddersfield, and Sub Couture, 224 Kensington Park Road, London W11. Enquiries: 01484 456312. Pink vest (sizes 10-14), pounds 18, Warehouse, 16-21 Argyll Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 278 3491

Top left: white cotton shorts (sizes 8-16), pounds 21.99, Oasis, as before. Navy/white stripe top (sizes S,M,L), pounds 25, Nougat, as before. Blue suede one-star sandals (sizes 3-11), pounds 29.99, Converse, Cobra Frontier, 41 Carnaby Street, London W1. Enquiries: 01372 731343

Left: denim hipster shorts (sizes 10-14), pounds 49, Kevan Jon, as before. White V-neck linen tunic (sizes 10-14), pounds 44, Jigsaw, 126-127 New Bond Street, London W1, and 39-43 King Street, Manchester. Enquiries: 0171 491 4484. Purple sandals (sizes 3-8), pounds 19.99, Ravel, 184-188 Oxford Street, London W1, and 19 Schofields Shopping Centre, Leeds. Enquiries: 0171 631 0244

Blue gingham pedal pushers (sizes 8-16), pounds 26.99, Oasis, 76-78 Kings Road, London SW3, and 3 Frederick Street, Edinburgh. Enquiries: 01865 881986. Turquoise vest (sizes S,M,L), pounds 24.99, French Connection, 249 Regent Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 399 7200. Blue sunglasses, pounds 109, Cutler & Gross, 16 Knightsbridge Green, London SW1. Enquiries: 0171 581 2250