I was chatting with a friend recently about swimwear. Just about this time of year – when you’re still debating whether to bare your lily white pins in a pair of shorts in case you dazzle a passing driver and cause some sort of accident – is, weirdly, the best time to buy your new swimwear. The shops are still full of all the lovely bits. But, woe betide that you leave it until a couple of weeks before your summer holiday – it will all be sold out and you’ll be left with the choice of a teeny tiny string bikini or a boring black sporty swimsuit left in your size. Happily, I’m here to help and yesterday I took a little sortie to Milton Keynes to check out the swim and beachwear from M&S. There aren’t many places better to buy swimwear – their fit is always good, the prices are reasonable, the fabrics wash well and don’t fade in the sun, and they always have nice matchy matchy bits too. Read on, then, for my best buys:
If you’ve not heard of Carla Bikini before, they’re a lovely French swimwear company that stock a wide range of swimwear, sportswear (if, like me, you’re always after good fitness stuff, they have some great tops, sports bras, leggings and shorts, beachwear and lingerie, from some great brands like Seafolly, Rip Curl, Fantasie and Freya. I ordered this swimsuit (pictured above – sadly not in the sale) a while ago and absolutely love it – it’s so comfy and supportive, doesn’t ride up and washes really well. I’ve done a couple of orders now and found them really helpful too. At the moment, there’s a summer sale on with prices up to 80% off so I thought I’d pass on a few of the bargains I’ve spotted. Here are my top picks from the swimwear sale at Carla Bikini.
Now you all know I’m a huge Boden fan, and it’s that time of year again when they’re releasing gorgeous pictures of all their beautiful beach and holiday ranges. I love Boden for great quality, bold patterns, awesome design and just a little hint of British quirkiness. As an added bonus, from now until tomorrow, Sunday 11th June, there’s 30% off dresses, (including playsets and rompers), accessories (non-footwear), boys’ trousers and menswear with code: 6T2C. Here’s my pick of Boden’s holiday heroes – get those credit cards at the ready!
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. Read more
If you’re following me on Instagram (if not, why not?!) my Instagram story is currently full of me obsessing about packing (and worrying about forgetting boarding passes and passports!). You’ll also have seen my holiday picks from Cocobay Swimwear, where, strangely for such a lover of colour, I actually chose a completely monochrome outfit! I’m very excited to tell you that, exclusively for English Mum readers, we’ve arranged a special 20% Coco Bay Swimwear discount! Before you choose – here’s what I picked: Read more
I’ve loved spending the summer at home. I really feel like we’ve been ‘nesting’ in our little house, getting things sorted and finishing a few bits off. We’ve finally planted trees and climbers to disguise our ugly garden fences and Mr E has painted my office a beautiful periwinkle blue and spent ages upcycling old pieces of furniture and shelving from Ebay. The end result is my dream mix of all the colours I absolutely love. I’m so pleased with it. For the rest of the house, we’ve been choosing flooring after living with a fetching mix of lino/carpet/bare concrete since the wall came down between the kitchen and dining room, and I’ve been baking, cooking and working – all the things I love! I’ll be honest though, I’m starting to get itchy feet and we’re all collectively getting VERY excited for our late summer getaway – a cruise on the beautiful Celebrity Eclipse. Read more
Happy Friday! For me, it’s a proper Feel Good Friday as English Mum is a whole ten years old this weekend! I can hardly believe it’s been ten years since we moved to Ireland and, feeling lonely and homesick, I started recording my thoughts and feelings on this, my little corner of the internet. Since then, English Mum has grown so much, creating a fabulous career for me (I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d end up writing for Cruise International and The Guardian, speaking at World Travel Market and appearing in Sainsbury’s adverts!) and picking up quite a few loyal readers along the way.
Win Coco Bay vouchers for you and a friend
All these years later, I still hope the mix of news and updates from our home here at English Towers, gorgeous clothes and lifestyle bits, travel tales, family recipes and all the other little simple pleasures that I love continue to resonate with you guys. I always aim to make it a place where you can grab a cuppa, sit back, relax and catch up from time to time. To celebrate English Mum’s big day, I wanted to do something really special, and team up with a brand that I believe genuinely reflects the same feel and lovely laid back luxe lifestyle/travel vibe that I aim to achieve with English Mum. Take a bow, Coco Bay! I love that Coco Bay was created in 2003 by twin sisters, Anna and Belinda from the spark of an idea for creating a customer-friendly site where women can find sophisticated, flattering, mix and match beachwear and buy it from the comfort of their living room (I’ve long mentioned the hideousness of trying on swimwear in changing room mirrors), supported by great customer service with a really personal touch.
Have you ever been in Oliver Bonas before? Oh my god, we came across one in Leeds: I recognised the name because I remember a gorgeous flatlay from one of my faves, lovely Amanda featuring a funky pineapple from there and I thought we should pop in. I literally loved everything in there! As Laura pointed out, all the colours are really me: soft corals, minty greens, denim blues… and the homeware stuff is gorgeous too. Totally off topic for a cutest summer holiday wishlist roundup but look, I bought a pineapple!
It’s finally here! I’m so excited to share the brand new hush beachwear collection with you. I’ve been having a good old virtual rummage around and there are so many amazing new pieces I don’t really know where to start. There are some delicious brights, including gorgeous hot corals, fluros and bright turquoise, plus some seriously lovely neutrals and lots and lots of lovely denim too! Here are my top picks:
I’m still mad about everything blue this summer. If you base your wardrobe around one colour when packing for holiday, it makes everything so easy! Here’s a little roundup of all the beautiful summer blues I’ve been adding to my wishlist recently.
So recently, I’ve been mulling over the bikini/tankini/swimsuit question. I think I told you recently that I wore a tankini when I was away last week, but actually felt massive and bulky (I know I’m not, I’m a size 12, but I’m not as toned as I’d like to be). The tankini gave a very unflattering flash of flesh every time I moved and the bottoms went very baggy in the water. Attractive. Then again, in a bikini, I tend to feel a bit self-conscious, and I have to hold my stomach in. Still, since the backlash to that ‘beach body ready’ advert, where detractors rightly pointed out that if you’ve got a body and you’re on the beach, then you’re beach body ready, I think it’s fair to say that we should all be embracing our beach body, no matter what shape it’s in!
Did anyone see the Modern Family episode where they’re all in Australia? If you did, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say ‘oh my goodness, Gloria’s swimsuit!’
- Come shopping with me: swim and beachwear from M&S June 16, 2018
- Coconut chilli prawn noodles June 14, 2018
- Marvel Summer of Super Heroes at Disneyland Paris June 12, 2018
- Haddock and cheddar tart: pescatarian perfection June 9, 2018
- Balayage at The Hair Secret, Berkhamsted and new Oway organic hair products June 7, 2018