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Making The Change From Bikinis to Swimsuits And Some Very Affordable Beach Wear

I shouldn't really be buying anymore beach cover ups because I have plenty and I love them all. I tend to be drawn to white - there's something about white on holiday isn't there? But it's nice to have something new to look forward to wearing. I have a mixture of cheaper ones from TK Maxx and more expensive ones. And because they're mainly light colours, I do look after them. It means only wearing them once in between wears (I know, it's a pain in the bum) and NOT wearing P20 (double pain in the bum). Any excuse for new stuff, I found myself ordering a few non-white ones from old Maxxy pre-spending ban of course. 

I prefer a tunic cut because it feels more like a dress. This is really lovely and looks much better in the flesh than online. Although I keep my normal clothes fairly plain, I'm a sucker for details such as tassels and ruffles for pool wear. I also like to cover up with a loose sleeve, particularly at the end of the day when you can't be bothered to reapply sun cream. That walk back from the beach can be brutal. The embroidery is also carried over to the back of the tunic - a nice touch for £19.99. It's a great length with splits up both sides. A keeper! Mine is a size medium (I'm a UK10/12).

navy blue tunic beach cover up

This one (click here) is really pretty too especially if you prefer a floatier look (check out the lace up front). 

When I first tried this next one on, I wasn't sure as it's slightly more voluminous and stiffer cotton. I think it will soften in the wash though. And because of the length and style, it's pretty perfect to pop over swimwear for leaving the resort. It can almost pass as a dress. So that swung it for me. 

black beach cover up

And it bears more than a passing resemblance to my black mules (click here). I'm not actually sure why I said that because they have bu*ger all to do with this post. Maybe the same elf made them??

Black PomPom Mules - Here

Anyways....back to the beach cover-up, it's one size which I reckon will fit a larger UK8 through to a UK14

This pink one is unfortunately damaged so is going back. And although I really like it, I think I prefer my own more. The fabric is lovely and light and you probably can't see from the stock photo that it's a circular design so more kaftany than tunic. Again one size which I estimate would fit  the same as above. 

On our last holiday in February, I made the decision to switch from bikinis to swimsuits. There were a few reasons for this:

1) I wore a swimsuit on one of the days and it felt good and surprisingly glamorous. Everything was tucked in and there was no muffin tummy to worry about. That's the beauty of lycra, it sucks you in. Which obviously works against you in a bikini because it only sucks in the bits that are covered (oh that poor belly).

2) My daughter complemented me! I think she said something on the lines of, you should wear swimsuits more often because they suit you. High praise indeed.

3) These days, I'm not much of a sunbather. In fact, this week, I haven't been out in the sun at all, so I figure that I won't miss getting my belly out. 

I've ordered and returned so many different styles (at different price points) over the last couple of months in my quest for the perfect shape. I can't quite get my head around spending over £100 on something that I'm going to get suncream all  over and god forbid, sweat in. So that's the cap - £100 or less. I think what I will end up doing is buying one really good swimsuit  and supplement this with a few cheaper end ones. And then, build up the collection by buying a higher end one each year. That's the plan. But, what I have realised is that there isn't always a correlation between cost and quality.  Some of the supermarkets, Tesco and Sainsburys have really decent swimwear. And let's face it, they don't last forever so why pay mega-bucks?

This week, I ordered a couple very cheap ones and am very pleasantly surprised.

**Tip** try sizing up in swimsuits as they can be much more flattering if they're not clinging for dear life to your skin. Just check that there's no nappy sag at the back and gaping at the top of the leg. 

This one looks much nicer on than off and the fabric is really, really good. Everything feels very secure. Far better actually than this one from Seafolly that I tried recently. I sized up to a 14. I'm trying to avoid black because quite frankly I don't fancy being fried alive in the sun so light navy it is.

Ok, deep breaths Donna, deep breaths. I can't actually believe that I'm posting photos of me in a swimsuit on a public forum. But we're all friends right? 

blue and white chevron stripe swimsuit ladies

Large Tassel Shopper Bag - here (and also available in yellow)

And one that I'm absolutely thrilled with is this bright yellow bargain from Clearance 365. I thought it might be see through but as you can see it isn't. That said, I accept no responsibility for any transparency issues after swimming!! I mean, you don't really go in the pool do you? Do you?? Urgh you might swallow toe bogies or belly button fluff. Just no!!

One of the reviews states that the frill is quite deep which isn't flattering for the bigger bust. I disagree, I think it works really well, it shouldn't, but it does. The straps are totally removable although I wouldn't feel terribly secure in a wave situation. 

ladies yellow swim suit

Large Tassel Shopper Bag - here (and also available in yellow)

Not a bad haul. I've decided to wait until we get to the States to shop for my 'premium' swimsuit because quite frankly, I'm all beached out right now. And traumatised by the above!!

So, what are your plans this year? Are you a bikini or swimsuit kinda girl. Or a mixture (which is probably what I'll end up doing until I've built up a stash)?

Anyway, we've just had to order four new suitcases because our daughter seems to be using ours as an extension to her wardrobe. Dear Lord where are we going to put all her stuff when she comes back from London in the summer?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend x

6 comments on "Making The Change From Bikinis to Swimsuits And Some Very Affordable Beach Wear"
  1. Donna you look amazing and the perfect inspiration for me to go hunting for some new cossies as we have just booked our Nov hols to the Caribbean . Thanks Sam

    1. I was a little nervous about publishing these photos Sam but then thought sod it, I can always delete. I just wanted to explain why I've decided to make the move in to swimsuits and that they can look ok without looking a) frumpy or b) tarty. Now is definitely the time to pick up a bargain Sam. Happy shopping and thanks so much for commenting xx

  2. You look sensational ... if I looked that good in a swimsuit, I'd be delighted with life!! I love the navy one. I've never thought to look in TKMaxx for swimwear. Thanks for the tip! (And dear God, I'm most definitely a swimsuit gal ... been quite a while since I wore a bikini!!!!!!)

    1. Thanks Helen. I'm surprised at how many women have told me they prefer swimsuits because when we're in the Caribbean, everyone wears bikinis. I'm a convert now x

  3. Looking great in all your beach outfits Donna. I only wear one piece swimsuits now as I feel more comfortable in them. I think they look elegant and streamlined. I do have a favourite one bought from M and S, no longer in stock, but they have similar ones in at the moment. It has very wide set straps (I find halter necklines very uncomfortable) and a ruched front panel which is so flattering, and a blue and white pattern. I tried on a few sizes and as you say found the size up looked best. I'd definitely buy another like it.

    1. Thanks Elaine. Of course I took a squillion photos and obviously picked the most flattering out!! I prefer wide straps too (even on bikinis) and I really wish that the yellow one had them (think shoe lace width). Sizing up just works doesn't it x