$

A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!

5.09.2014

B-b-b-bikinis! Urgh! Part 1

Or a more sensible title: Perfect Swimwear For Your Body Shape


It's nearly bikini season again. Oh that fills me with joy - not. I would rather go to the dentist than shop for swimwear. That said, I NEVER try on in the shops so tend to order en masse and work out what is going to be remotely acceptable from the comfort of my own home, behind a closed bedroom door. Are you getting my drift - I HATE SWIMWEAR. There I've said it. I could end this post now but even I know that there are certain situations when skinny jeans and a blazer just won't do and a bikini is more acceptable (laid down on a sun lounger with a kaftan at arms reach should I feel the need to sit up).

So let's get this over and done with and then we don't need to mention the b-word again this year. Here are my tips for choosing the right swimwear. Rather than working on body shapes, I've decided to look at problem areas.

Big Bust

It always amazes me when I see a woman with huge boobs wearing those little triangle bikinis with tiny thin straps. The strain on her poor neck. Ouch! I think it pays to choose swimwear that is specifically designed for the larger bust which will give much better support. A bra top style is an obvious choice but if you prefer a halter neck, look for wider straps that will be so much more comfortable. Avoid ruffles and bows or indeed anything of 3D design as these will enhance your boobs even more. Patterns are good at disguising and confusing though.













Small Bust


You may want to build up this area (particularly if you are wider around the hips). Go to town with detail on the top half, patterns, ruffles, embellishment, studs are all fantastic. There are amazing plunge bikinis available these days but make sure they fit properly, there's nothing worse than a gaping bra. Now this is why I prefer to try on at home...lie down on the floor and check the fit, recline on the bed (to mimic a sun lounger), does it still look good? Avoid bandeau tops, they will only flatten you - I'm sure you've already picked up on that. Actually I'm not sure who they look good on, answers on a post card please. 


Ditsy floral bikini top: Marks & Spencer
Ditsy floral bikini bottoms: Marks & Spencer


Light blue 3D bikini top: New Look 
Light blue 3D bikini bottoms: New Look





Wide hips

It's all about minimising this area for you. Look for plain, dark bottoms, you don't want anything to draw the eye down to this level. Instead, draw attention to your top half by wearing bikini tops with patterns, embellishment etc, it will draw the eye upwards . Don't be afraid of mixing bottoms and tops. You don't have to buy the matching set from the same shop. Find a good pair of plain bottoms and then go to town with the top half. 




Ok so not the most sexy of bottoms but they do their job. They're boring, the eye doesn't do boring so sub-consciously, it searches for something more interesting to settle on. Ok so not the most sexy of bottoms but they do their job. They're boring, the eye doesn't do boring so sub-consciously, it searches for something more interesting to settle on. Voila, the bikini top. Problem diverted


If bikinis aren't your thing, how about a swimsuit. Look for 'cossies' that have a darker bottom half (it's the same principal as above).




Colour block swimsuit: Marks & Spencer



And look at this little number, how clever is this for balancing out proportions AND lifting the eye.


Black & Purple Swimsuit: BHS


A side note for pear shaped ladies: 
Here is where I differ from Gok Wan, don't get me wrong I love him BUT, he doesn't get pear shaped ladies. A halter neck does not widen the shoulders, it narrows them making bottom heavy ladies look even heavier. If you imagine the shape of any halter neck, it forms a kind of triangle doesn't it. So you're basically mimicking the triangle shape of your body - it's not good. Rant over. If you are a very pronounced pear shape, I would avoid halter necks if you can.

Ok my eyes are hurting looking at all this swimwear. I'll be back next time with disguising a tummy, creating curves for boy figures, broad shoulders and apple shapes. But I refuse to look at another size 8, 6 ft gorgeous model strutting her stuff on the beach. It's put me in a really bad mood. Off for a glass of wine. I'll leave you with this little bag - how cute? I came across it earlier whilst doing my swimwear research, I guess there's an upside to everything. So, where's it from? Go on have a guess.


It's from Matalan and is only £8. Here is the link: Matalan Geometric Beach Bag. Don't say I never treat you.

See ya

Donna x
(p.s. I don't know why there are huge gaps between some of the paragraphs. Blogger has gone mental tonight and I'm too tired to sort it and now you're going to scroll all the way back through to see what I mean) x
19 comments on "B-b-b-bikinis! Urgh! Part 1"
  1. I am so upset I don't get to see you in a bikini (!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just for me and the sun lounger to see Fiona x

      Delete
  2. Great post, I hate buying swimwear but luckily I had to do it in a rush in February when we went on holiday. I think it might be time for a one piece for me next time!
    Abbi x

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love M&S for bikinis! Love the one you featured here for the smaller bust....I shall be checking that one out, such a great shape xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They've been a bit hot over the last few years haven't they. Popped in today and there are some excellent bargains in the swimwear department (unto 50% off)

      Delete
  4. Ugh! Bikinis .. shudder! Can't even bear to think about them. There would need to be a lot of work done before I could even contemplate getting into one :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I empathise Helen, I really do. I have to psyche myself up for days before x

      Delete
  5. At 6ft 2" and size 18 wearing ANY swimwear is a trauma but I still feel nicer in a bikini than a swimming costume. Just need to increase tnumber of sit ups!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, now I am impressed. 6 ft 2 - wowza, I'd love to be that tall. I can understand why a swimsuit wouldn't be appealing x

      Delete
  6. It's a nightmare isn't it Donna! Not sure I'd choose the dentist over bikini buying but a nightmare all the same! I've always gone for the triangle type but now I'm an old git not sure what to go for! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope these last 2 posts might help you out Jenny x

      Delete
  7. Oh I hate buying swimwear...I'm long in the body so a one piece gives me a wedgie ever time...but a twin full-term pregnancy put paid to my bikini days. So I'm stuck with those stupid tankinis that are never long enough either. Please tell me if you ever find a long in the body tankini or one-piece! I will love you even more than I already do. Ax
    PS thank you for your hilarious comment today that made me laugh and cry a bit (in a good way) all at the same time. It wasn't pleasant to witness..but I was home alone so that's good :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zoe, (see comment below is 6ft 2!! She's suggested Lands End Avril.

      If I ever get the silly idea of changing the blog over to Word press, have a word with me please xx

      Delete
  8. Just had a look at Lands End. They have some full coverage swim bottoms to wear with a tanking top. Might be a good idea for all us tall ones who have a problem with one pieces having a cheese wire effect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Zoe, Avril (see comment above) has a similar problem, as do I actually. Going to pop over there now to have a look at Lands End offerings. Thank you for the heads up xx

      Delete
  9. I totally agree with you about halter necks! Gok has that all wrong! I struck it lucky with a tankini from M&S last year & I bought my first one piece in decades last July! Its not a joy to buy them but I generally hide under a sarong or matching skirt if I'm honest! xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. This post has made me giggle Donna! I must admit I've been a bit of a bikini freak in the past, two little triangles and I've been happy to go ;-)
    This year I've added some swimsuits to my 'bathing repertoire', Marks and Sparks and I love them. I'm usually happy on the beach abroad in a bikini but do like to cover up with a sarong or shorts or kaftan for walking around the pool. Next have got some lovely swimwear this year.

    ReplyDelete