The sun has finally got his hat on. Hip Hip Hip Hooray!
OK, so it might not be for very long but it’s got me thinking about booking a summer holiday, which got me thinking about my summer wardrobe, which made me consider my swimwear options now that I am almost 46! That itsy bitsy teeny weany uber expensive Missoni string bikini I wore back in 2001 ain’t gonna cut the mustard anymore. More likely it’ll cut into my hips like a cheese grater!
I’ve not been on holiday for a few years now so haven’t had the “what to wear to the beach” dilemma for a while. And it is a dilemma, believe me! Especially as you get older and everything is well, let’s just say, a bit more jiggly!!!
How do you flash your flesh in a flattering way so that you maintain your fabfitforty FFF status poolside?
Added to that, what if, like me, you want to achieve an overall even tan, especially on your tummy which, don’t know about you, but possibly because of the amount of isolated fat in that area (rather like a roasted suckling pig), is the area that tans the deepest and the quickest!? Always goes a lovely shade of teak whilst the rest of me is lobster.
Not sure that I’m quite ready for the all in one lycra clad speedo swimsuit and having no religious affiliation, the Burkina isn’t appropriate. Plus, you’re on holiday, nobody knows you, so who cares if, when you role over to grab your frozen margarita, there’s more flesh flopping around on the sun chair than a beached whale wallowing on the shore!
Finding the ultimate bikini for your shape and size can lead to both a frustrating and fearful shopping expedition. That’s where on-line shopping is great. You can try away to your hearts content in the privacy of your own boudoir then return (with the hygiene labels intact natch!) anything that makes you look like a sausage role!
Rather like a pair of jeans, you need to be shopping for your body type and not following the seasonal trend. That stringy Boho be-jeweled beach babe bikini might well look totally fabulous on Bella Hadid but you need something that first and foremost is form fitting rather than fashionable.
A few crucial DO’s and DON’T’s before I go on to explore by shape this season’s best offerings and my favourites in each category.
DO try on lots of different style and go outside your normal comfort zone. You may be surprised by what actually suits you.
DO also consider taking a smaller size than usual. Remember, swimsuits expand when they get wet and nobody wants saggy bottoms now do they.
DO play around with the ties and straps like you would your regular lingerie. Lean over, jiggle those boobies into place and then adjust to fit. Don’t just throw it on and then discard its suitability before having properly checked out the final fit.
DON’T just follow the trend. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit and if it doesn’t flatter your figure, you’ll either not wear it, only wear it with a cover up which defeats the purpose, or wear it without your swagger! You need to own that swimsuit girlfriend. Strut around that pool and SLAY that bathing suit!
DON’T assume that a bigger size or lots more fabric is going to be more flattering. You need to purposefully select your swimwear the same way that you would your lingerie.
Ok so let’s drill into different body shapes and what recommendations I’m making about how to find the most flattering fit
PEAR SHAPE – this one is me! Curvy at the hips and thighs, plenty of booty to behold, a slim waist and smaller on top. I’m in good company and so are you if this is your shape. We’re talking Beyonce, JLo et al and how god damned gorgeous are those gals in their beachwear?
The trick here is to BALANCE those proportions, making sure you have enough of your gorgeous derriere covered. Stay clear of chunky, thick banded, boy short style designs and make sure you have an eye catching or interesting detailed top or a plunging neckline that will draw the attention upwards.
I’ve just discovered a totally fabulous new swimwear brand (actually it’s the sister in law of one of my best friends so everybody PLEASE show it some love) which has some darling pieces as you’d expect from someone with French flair. Its sure to be a big hit with the fashionista pack so get yourself something from this label before its popularity explodes and you can be a real fashion trail blazer and say you discovered it before everyone else! Check out www. carizzi.com to see the range but I’m already in love with this Elizabeth Bali Hai set which is perfect for a pear shape.
Here are a few of my other favourites from various high street to high end labels.
LARGE BUST – definitely not me mores the pity! If you have more than a handful like Katy Perry and Sofia Vergara then congratulations! I suspect I’ve no need to tell you that what you’re looking for is SUPPORT! You want to be going for underwire or molded cup designs and whilst they might look pretty, steer well away of ruffles and loads of eye catching details and embellishments unless you really do want all eyes on your tits!
SMALL BUST – not necessarily flat as a pancake but definitely on the petite size. Say an A or B cup. Think Kate Hudson. Great news is that you can afford to be more experimental and even daring. Less is more and more is more too if you get my drift. Teeny tiny tops covered in striking detail and patterns to provide a WOW impact. Triangle tops are great, push-ups, tiny scoop tops and even bandeaus look great. Basically you can embrace them all and take full advantage of all the seasonal trends on offer so for once, be pleased that you have little ones!
ATHLETIC – you’re probably going to be longer and leaner and have fewer curves, Cameron Diaz style. Again, less is more here. Flash more flesh and it will create more of an illusion of shape. You can be more daring with your bottom half drawing attention to your derriere with ruffles and bold prints. You can probably also really get away with the Monokini as those slashes and cut out panels will help to actually create the illusion of more curves than you actually have. Lucky you as I look like a pig in a blanket in a monokini!!!
YUMMY MUMMY TUMMY TUCK - you’re either more apple shaped and carry your weight round your middle or you might recently have had kids and so the tummy isn’t an area you’re that keen to highlight this summer. Go for a fabulous one piece or a high waisted brief to smooth out the middle jiggle. Gathered effect fabric hides a multitude of sins as does a wrap or cross over fabric. Think classic Diane Von Furstenberg in bikini form!
CURVY GIRLS – you’re going to look va va voom sexy whatever you put on. Mama made you that way and you need to rock those assets and highlight your curves. The key is going to be in making sure you have enough support and coverage and steer clear of too much chunky detailing. Asymmetrical suits will work well on you, experiment with colour blocking and go retro too.
So there you have it, a quick guide on what swimwear you should be looking to buy for your shape and size. I don’t mention age. Age isn’t important. Knowing your body and what suits you is. You’re fabulous so flaunt it.
On that final note, in case you come over all shy when you’re popping to the bar, there are some truly stunning cover ups available and I am a HUGE fan of a Kimono both to the beach and also styled over a little black dress in the evening. Here’s a curated selection of some of my favourites.
I've bought loads of my own summer wardrobe from www.dancingleopard.co.uk and they do just fabulous holiday wear at a really reasonable price so I've you've not checked it out yet, DO! I currently have about 15 things in my basket. I've also literally just discovered the brand Camilla. Its eye wateringly expensive but its truly exquisite and stunningly beautiful.
I hope you all have wonderful holidays planned for the summer ahead and if you do find any fabulous bikinis or one pieces, please be sure to take a selfie and share on our Facebook page or send us links of any fab finds you’ve uncovered.
Just one final little slide show! This one is WHAT I WOULD BE WEARING if money were no object today. I've included a bikini, cover up, hat, sandals, beach bag and new sunnies. Already packed the sunscreen! What do you think to my style? I've gone for a sophisticated mono-chrome look with an urban twist!