Did you know that over the past few years, sales of swimwear have soared? I think it’s gone from one of those pieces that we might have one or two of, to a wardrobe staple that we might own in several different styles and colours. We’re also spending more money on beachwear than ever before, so this sector of the fashion market is booming. Interestingly, the strongest growth in sales has come from women buying bikinis, with sales of two pieces representing 68% of all sales for the swimwear sector! But what about if, like me, you’ve got hips and a bum, and maybe a bit of a tummy too – is a bikini for you? If you’re planning to hit the beach this summer, here are my tips on buying a bikini if you’re curvy.
The golden rule: go for it!
I’ve written about this before, but the only ‘rule’ on whether you should wear a bikini or not is whether you want to. Whatever size or shape you are, you should rock a bikini with confidence!
Choose the right colour
When buying any item of clothing it is always best to buy a colour that suits your skin tone. For some reason when it comes to swimwear, I seem to go completely colour blind and buy swimwear in mad colours that I wouldn’t dream of wearing any other time! I’m usually all about the monochrome, but there’s something about neon swimwear that calls out to me. I can’t wear anything fleshy or peachy either – I just look ill. If you’re the same, try to rein yourself in and buy a colour that’s going to flatter your skintone.
Buy for your body type
I mean, we’re all different, right? A bikini top that looks wonderful on a small breasted woman will look terrible on a more busty lady who needs a top that provides more support. Try it on and do a little dance about. Everything still in place? Winning!
Choose cuts that disguise areas you’re a bit conscious about
If you are small breasted, you can rock all those amazing strappy styles and bandeau bikinis (also, I’m loving those off the shoulder, ruffled styles). If you’re a bit self conscious of your tummy, bottoms that finish just below the belly button are the best option. Also, consider going a size up – that way there’s less chance of a muffin top.
Buy some matching beachwear and accessories
It’s all very well lying on a sunbed and feeling fab, but when you’re up and walking about, a kaftan or cover up is ideal. I’m loving a woven beach basket at the moment, and I’m also completely in awe of those lovely ladies (you know who you are) who wear fabulous accessories with their swimwear. Add a pair of flip flops and your outfit will take you from beach to bar without having to go back to your room too.
Make sure you try everything on before you go away. This sounds obvious, but we’ve all done that thing when we go ‘oh it will be fine’ and then found that it’s not. I took these bikini bottoms away (above) in a size 14 thinking they’d be loose, and the brand obviously comes up tight because when I was upright, they were really unflattering. Also, see above re: jumping around – if you actually want to swim, run after small children or even partake in the odd game of beach volleyball, you need to make sure that everything stays put.
Where to learn more and buy the perfect bikini
Buying online means you don’t have to run the hideous changing room mirror gauntlet. Pick a retailer with a good selection of different shapes and cuts (see all of the styles here), order a whole bunch of stuff and then have a massive trying on session in the privacy of your own home. Also, consider buying separates, which give you the chance to mix and match, making it easy to put together exactly the right bikini for you.
Off you go, then, and remember the golden rule: rock that bikini with pride!