Is there anyone out there who considers themselves beach ready? I still have two weeks until we set off on our summer holiday and so in theory I could make a good start with one of those magazine articles that count you down to the airport departure lounge so that I’m plucked, primed and primped to perfection and yet am I doing that? No, of course I’m not. As usual, there will be a last minute panic and everything from toning exercises to eyelash tinting will be left until the night before. Because really, who has the time?
“I DON’T LIKE MY BOTTOM HALF!”
Check out ASOS.com for all sorts of innovative cover-ups and swimwear. You can now look stylish as well as demure on the beach without having to resort to hiding behind a wind breaker.
What I am doing however is keeping an eye on a bikini listed on eBay, a differently coloured version of one I had last year. This bikini by Pour Moi fitted perfectly, had two types of bottoms for which I could pick my size and also as a bonus happened to be bang on trend red gingham. A fortnight of showing off my backwards dives, pretending I knew how to play table tennis and even some panicky knees up to chin running out of the waves Jaws-style when someone spotted a jellyfish – the bikini held out. By the end of the holiday I knew I had met my swimsuit match and it felt good. Especially as it had only set me back £40.
“I CAN’T GET RID OF MY TUMMY!”
This is the best time ever in the history of swimwear because control panels have been introduced. Go for structure, block colours and have an eye-catching top half to draw attention away from below the wiast.
Swimwear; the shopping for, wearing of and even thinking about is something most of us beyond the age of twelve, would really rather not have to do. Except it comes as part of the package of having a lovely beach holiday somewhere hot and so for that reason we add to our summer wardrobe the kaftans, sarongs, palazzo pants and huge hats. We rely on these garments to cover us up from our heads to our toes even though they are largely unflattering, wildly patterned in a way we would never consider the other 50 weeks of the year and most baffling of all, render us overheated within minutes of their (usually) rather complicated application.
“I’VE GOT NO BOOBS!”
This is a good problem to have when it comes to bikinis, a game of bat and ball will be a much simpler thing. Simply target padding, uplift and bright colours.
What is the answer? The answer is to find the swimsuit that you actually feel comfortable in; one that holds you in and up or pushes you up and out. Engineered garments aren’t just saved for jeans and dresses these days you know. You wouldn’t wear a bra that ejected a boob every time you ran down stairs so why accept compromise with a bikini? I agree, browsing for swimwear is no fun at all – nobody in their right mind wants to remove their bra in the middle of a shopping centre – so I’ve done the looking for you. All of these items are still available in the shops and online and most of them are full price stock so there are still a range of sizes too. We all have different moans and groans about our bodies so I’ve tried to cover every eventuality. Let me know if I’ve missed anything and I will happily get back out there.
“I DON’T LIKE MY ARMS!”
Well this year you’re in luck – even bikini tops have gone off the shoulder…
Another handy thing to emerge in the swimwear market is the two or even three in one swimsuit. If you ignore the obvious hygiene issue of a bikini which can be worn one way, turned inside out and then worn the other way, this is an amazing development, the like of which I haven’t seen since friend Kerry introduced me to the tea towel style beach towel (I know…). Disclaimer: I haven’t put either into active use but I did see Kerry’s towel come out of an A4 envelope.
“I DON’T HAVE A WAIST!”
A belt effect will instantly create a waist. Alternatively go for a fifties style structured bikini with more coverage on the bottom and seams in all the right places.
“OH AND HANG ON… AAGGHHH… I’M TRAVELLING HAND LUGGAGE ONLY!”
You lucky thing, you are clearly travelling without children. Buy yourself a multi-way swimsuit and be off with you, I have run out of sympathy…
I am now almost looking forward to spending two weeks with only two small pieces of fabric covering my bits and pieces. Good luck with your swimwear shopping and let me know how you get on!
My book SHOPPED is full of bossy boots tips and advice for successful dressing and is available in all good book shops and online here: