Helen Mirren headshot

Timeless beauty Helen Mirren. Photo: Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

"Grankini," anyone?

British department store Debenhams says that bikini sales have soared by 118 percent -- and it's all thanks to 65-year-old bathing beauty Helen Mirren and her posse of glammy grannies, the Daily Mail reports.

Mirren's age-defying appearance in a red bikini two years ago has inspired baby boomers to wear skimpier swimsuits, according to the paper.

Um... yay?

Research from Debenhams, which banned airbrushing of its swimwear photos, reportedly shows that 71 percent of customers between the ages of 50 and 65 preferred two-pieces over conservative one-pieces, while 74 percent of those who wear bikinis cited Mirren -- who has been credited with encouraging older women to go glam -- as an inspiration.

"There are no rules to say when a woman should retire her bikini," store swimwear buyer Sasha Nagalingham told the UK newspaper.


"Women over 50 are as interested in looking glamorous as their younger counterparts; and the beach is no exception.

"Like it or not, a full costume on an older lady instantly says 'granny'; but wearing a supportive, well-proportioned bikini is less aging and accentuates rather than hides natural shape.

"This is not about an older woman throwing on a string bikini and hoping for the best -- advances in swimwear technology mean that we can now create bikinis that flatter a mature shape."

Swimwear features like slimming panels, high-waist bottoms, and boob-lifting cups reportedly help flatter an older figure.

Of course, not every silver fox has Mirren's enviable body, but if a 76-year-old Giorgio Armani can hit the beach in a Speedo, who's to stop Granny?

In other swimwear news, see Britney Spears show off her newly toned body in a yellow bikini.