So it occurred to me the other day that I still have the same red polka-dot swimming costume that I bought for my honeymoon, almost 10-years ago… despite my swimwear collection clearly being woefully neglected, you could say that I’ve had the value out of it. Sadly I don’t necessarily have the same body that I had when I first bought it, but that’s another story. Two children, two c-sections can do that to you. Anyhow, I’ve been scouring the shops and online to find some good options, I’m generally more of a swimsuit-er these days, occasionally (but rarely) I feel brave enough to venture into a two-piece, I wanted to share a few of my discoveries for any of you planning to hit the beach this summer.
My first port-of-call, Beach Cafe. Take a look, they have some b-ea-u-tiful pieces, really gorgeous, from leading designer swimwear brands including Melissa Odabash, Seafolly and Juliet Dunn. I bought an amazing maxi-dress beach cover-up dress from them last year by Pitusa in the most stunning coral colour that I wore on a trip to Jamaica and I felt like the absolute business every time I put it on. They don’t seem to have it in the maxi-dress version in this watermelon colour this year, although they do have the mini version as well as the same maxi-dress but in other colours like this pretty lavender – swoon. Anyway, focus here people, I’m meant to be looking at swimwear and once again I’m getting distracted by dresses, argh.
Okay, we’re not off to a good start here because of course scrolling through the swimming costumes the first one that I have fallen in love with is WAY BEYOND my price range – it’s the Lisa Marie Fernandez Mira Flounce Swimsuit, I’m a sucker for ruffles. BUT, it’s £395… weep. Still, isn’t it gorgeous?So, so gorgeous. But £395 on a swimsuit is just not going to happen… luckily enough though, I’ve found this look-a-like from J.Crew, which is a pretty good second best and at a more affordable £130:I know the ruffles aren’t as deep and the body-material probably isn’t as ‘hold-you-in’ as the pricier version, but it’s a good option if you don’t want to totally splurge (I mean let’s face it, who amongst us is comfortable to spend almost £400 on a swimming costume?!). If you’re quick and lucky enough to be a size S in swimwear, then you should definitely jump on the chance to snap up this other ruffle one-piece, which is by Eberjey and is another good look-a-like at a much lower price point (£124):
Straying dangerously away from black, how about this pretty Nanette Lepore Mayan Mosaic Seductress one piece, £122 at Shopbop. Pretty, no? And the pattern will do a great job of distracting eyes from any mum-tum you might be carrying to the beach with you:As an aside – why is it that when you’re looking at swimwear, all the models are basically in the 18-25 age range, which is depressing when you fall outside that and just know that whatever you order, you’re just not going to look as good in it as the picture you fell in love with while shopping. Sigh. Might help if I wasn’t snaffling a whole bag of mini eggs whilst writing this, but pah, life’s too short to worry about calories all the time. Am I right?
Earlier this year I went to a press day and was introduced to the swimwear brand Gottex, which is this year celebrating it’s 60th anniversary. A luxury swimwear brand, some of it is a bit too “grown up” for me (yes, I know I’m 41 years of age, but I’m still not ready to go all Joan Collins on the beach). However, there are some pieces that have really caught my eye, like this iridescent Moroccan bead print one, which at £190 isn’t cheap but is certainly a beautiful investment piece that would make you feel a million-dollars despite your love handles (which would be neatly sucked in thanks to the 27% elastane, boom!).I’ve also been pondering this high-waisted bikini from the Gottex Savage Beauty collection (£102), the rainbow snakeskin print is so striking and it might just not be too terrifying to appear in public in, given the high-waisted pants. It’s tempting, but will I just end up looking like a snake that’s swallowed a big lunch I wonder? – what do you think?Ok, moving forward with a dose of reality, let’s look at some more options suited less to the lithe 20-something and better placed for the mums amongst us who may have a curve or two. How about this from Boden, the Monaco swimsuit – I like it particularly in the rather ludicrously titled ‘Snapdragon Floral Vine Strip’ – in brackets, RED. And at £55, currently with 10% off using the code 2C2Z, it’s not a bad price at all. Love its French feel, it’d be perfect for my planned summer vacay:If I WAS looking for an update for THAT red polka-dot swimming costume, then this is pretty much identical and for anyone looking for a super-flattering, classic/retro style one-piece, look no further: red polka dot swimsuit by Lascana at Swimwear365 (£45):I’m back to ruffles again, but this time in a bold multi-coloured print and SIGNIFICANTLY more affordable than my first find (which I can’t stop thinking about – repeat after me, can not spend almost £400 on a swimsuit, can not spend almost £400 on a swimsuit, can not spend almost £400 on a swimsuit…): Solana Frill Off the Shoulder swimsuit from Figleaves (£40) – which includes a light tummy control panel too, winner.AND there’s currently 25% off full-priced items on Figleaves with the code Payday25, so get shopping!
Ok, a couple more high-street picks before I leave you with too many choices to make a choice. Love this leopard-print and red straps number from TopShop (£32):Also love, love, love this lemon-print one-piece from Debenhams, particularly good for those who are well-endowed up-top – currently in the sale at £36. It’s got a D&G vibe about it, the print and the shape, which I particularly adore. So pretty for a holiday in the Med:
So, if you are in the market for new beachwear, here’s some words of advice – buy now! Browsing around I can already see a worrying amount is sold-out and we’re only in April! So if you want your pick of the best, don’t leave it until the week before you’re leaving on a jet plane, or, like me, you’ll be back in your 10-year old costume again and cursing the fact you weren’t more prepared!