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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!

5.13.2014

B-b-b-bikinis! Urgh! Part 2

I think I've recovered from my last blog post - just. I've had lots of emails from readers asking about individual problem areas and I hope the replies have helped a little. Drop me another line if you're still unsure.

Let's crack on and finish this bloody awful necessary topic shall we.



Disguising a tummy

This has got to be THE biggest problem area ever. 90% of ladies that I have worked with have issues with their tummies (me included). I only have to look at a bread roll and it starts to bloat. As much as I moan though, I can't give up my carbs so I have become a master of disguise.

First of all, forget the little string bottoms, they really aren't your best friend. Look for a more robust bikini (it doesn't have to be unsexy either). The roll waistbands are perfect as they tend to sit higher on your tummy and believe it or not, the pleating is very flattering.

I have a few of these from Marks and Spencer and the fold isn't stitched down so you can roll it higher if you prefer. It doesn't look frumpy - trust me.

The matching top isn't so bad either for a bandeau - the shaping definitely helps as does the strap which can of course be 'lost' for sunbathing.





Another good way to disguise a tummy is to confuse and dazzle the eye. That is, patterns, pleats and folds in swimsuits. Yes, I know, old granny and all. But actually they've really come on in the last few years and there are some gorgeous ones out there. I invested in cossies last year for the first time in ooooh ages. Look for the tummy control ones, they stop the wobble but aren't uncomfortable like some shape wear. That said, make sure there is enough length from shoulder to crotch or they won't be pleasant to wear all day. Surprisingly BHS have some of the best on the High Street.




Now either I've gone totally bonkers or BHS have really come up trumps with these. I would wear any of them and not feel a frump. They're fun, an excellent price (£28 each) and cover up the bits you would rather people not see. Team with a bright coloured kaftan, a pair of Havianas and a straw hat  and I bet you would turn heads walking to the pool.

I'm not a lover of tankinis personally. I mean the idea is good, you can pull up the top to tan your stomach but if you do have a bigger tummy, the darn things keep riding up and you end up with an exposed muffin top. I really would urge you to try patterned swimsuits - they are fantastic at disguising the midriff area.


Creating curves

We're talking ladies with boyish figures that go straight up and down, no real curves, little waist definition, flatish bottom and boobs. So if this is you, you may want to create the illusion of curves. Look for bikinis (yes, you will look fab) with ruffles and detail, bold horizontal stripes, side tie bottoms.



In fact anything uber-feminine. Oh dear God look how narrow these bottoms are. You are so lucky to be able to wear them. Go forth, enjoy and create those curves.



Broad shoulders

You have broad shoulders if they are wider than your hips, a very athletic body shape indeed. You may want to create the illusion of a narrower shoulder line and yes it can be done. Take Jenni Falconer, cracking figure but she is slightly broad shouldered. You will often see her wearing a halter neck. The reason this works is that it gives a triangle shape to the body so the eye line is drawn in and towards the straps, particularly if it's a strong colour.

You can also wear brightly coloured and embellished bottoms to build up this area (i.e. opposite to pear shapes that we looked at last time here). Avoid horizontal stripes on the top half as this will widen you.





It's probably best to avoid bandeau tops as they tend to flatten out the bust line which will give you the illusion of being even wider on top.


Apple shapes

You carry your weight mainly on the top half of your body, around the bust, waist and stomach, a flattish backside but you will probably have great legs. It's a crying shame that some retailers still seem to advocate those dreadful skirted creations. Oh dear! First of all ditch these. Look for tummy control swimsuits with a v-neck. A round neck will emphasise a large bust, a v-neck is far more flattering. Illusion swimsuits as seen below in the first two pictures are great too.








Next, invest in some beautiful kaftans, even the semi sheer ones that float around your body. Stack bangles on your arms and wear a fantastic pair of jewelled flip flops. Finally slap on some bright pink lipstick and rock the walk to the pool side. Look, I know it's all going to come off when you get on the sun lounger but looking a million dollars when you're popping to the bar or going for something to eat will give you so much confidence.

So it's either this....





I mean there's nothing wrong with it, it's just, well it's boring



Or this....you decide




Well, I hope this has given you a flavour of what to look for in swimsuits. I know there are areas I haven't covered such as large thighs (bring all the detail to your top half) but I really do need to finish this post. I am so over beachwear. Bring on woolly hats and scarves.

Oh and here I am in my bikini

What do you mean you can't see the picture, look closely ;-)

Until next time.

Donna x










11 comments on "B-b-b-bikinis! Urgh! Part 2"
  1. Brilliant post & LOVED your last pic LOL!!! Actually. I'd never considered a patterned cozzie for concealing the tummy. Excellent advice!! Thank you xx

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    1. I am there, you just have to look carefully :-) xx

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  2. The BHS selection of swimsuits look amazing Donna!! I bet you look fab in your bikini! xx

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    1. Aren't they Michelle. I'd wear any of them. I think I might order a couple to have a proper look. I bought a red polka dot bikini from there a couple of years ago and it was great quality x

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  4. I have been thinking an awful lot about this since Marbella and all I can say is you need print if you have a fat stomach, cellulite or that little shelf you get after a c-section and put on weight years later! x

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  5. Lovely selection, love the gingham one, that is very me. I think a lot of work need to happen before I can contemplate it though!
    Abbi x

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  6. You're hysterical!! I am not personally a fan of patterns but I insist on wearing a bikini even with my perfect apple shape - I really believe they are slimming if you maintain good posture! I have just ordered the neon JCrew one with the wider straps on the top but I've gone for a titchy tiny bottom - I love you can mix and match their swim wear. I like a smaller bottom piece as I think it emphasizes my legs and takes eyes where I want them:) For the first time this year I have also bought a bandeau swim suit - mainly for modesty's sake at the public pool - it's much more comfortable for whizzing down the slide with the kids! Less danger of a wardrobe malfunction - again JCrew. Maybe pricier there but I love their swimwear - great colors and quality! xx

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  7. Lol! Oh bless you Donna for suffering through these last 2 posts but I can guarantee that you have helped loads of women! See...the M&S bikini at the top is just perfect & I think I will be back for more of their swimwear in years to come! Ax

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  8. Your term 'robust' has made me laugh Donna! Good grief string bottoms - I still have some of those knocking about somewhere - must chuck! I like the M&S bikini - it's not too big, not too small etc and should stay in place in the pool or when shifting about - nothing worse! xx

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  9. Hehe - the lemon swimsuit is cute - I like the 50's vibe of this and I am scared to admit but I do like all those little ruffle bandeau ones x

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