It’s starting to feel as though Spring is starting to peek its way through the gloom of winter, the days are getting (slightly) longer. The weather’s not quite as dire (for now), the Easter break is nearly upon us and for some of us, thoughts turn to a holiday in the Sun – which means the horror of swimsuit shopping!!!
If I knew how to get sound into this blog, this is where I would insert the eery tinkling soundtrack from Halloween, or maybe the soundtrack from Jaws!
Ladies, truly, is there anything more frightening than trying on swimming costumes!!!! Nope! (Unless you’re a whippersnapper of age 18 plus, size nothing and skin like a baby!)
A few years ago I was invited to attend a wedding in Cyprus which meant 10 days in the company of virtual strangers and so I was determined to look my best and if it meant spending serious money then so be it, this included shopping for swimwear that would perform a miracle! (At that point I still believed in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus).
Anyway – whilst enjoying a Bank Holiday Monday at the Coast, I stumbled across a small swimwear/lingerie shop on a back street – it looked a posh shop and bolstered by half a pint of rather nice beer and a bag of pork scratchings, I felt brave enough to enter and have a browse through the brightly coloured Swimwear on a rail near the window. The Other Half was swiftly despatched back to the pub after his high-pitched screech of “HOW MUCH!!!!!” just before I was accosted by what I can only describe as a real life version of Professor Umbridge, lots of beads, bows and purple spectacles! (Google Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix!) “Hem hem” she coughed “Can I help you?” .. now this was the point I should have said thanks but no and walked out of the shop; however, nicely cushioned by the aforementioned half pintish of beer I decided to go for it and so picked up 2 sizes of the tankini which had caught my eye .. all brightly coloured with flamingos and big green leaves (looking back I think I was slightly inebriated but hindsight is a wonderful thing!)
This is where is all started to go wrong! I forgot the cardinal rule of ALWAYS TRY THE BIGGER SIZED SWIMSUIT FIRST.
With Professor Uxbridge getting bossy outside the dressing room – I hurriedly slipped the undersized tankini over my head.
Where it stayed.
On my head and halfway down my arm pits.
And because to put on a tankini, you have to contort your arms at just the angle where your muscles are rendered inert, and attempt to use those helpless muscles to shoehorn the top down over your chest and down to your waist. But if you don’t have enough inertia going into the very delicate procedure, the arms WILL get lodged pointing straight at the ceiling as if you were begging God to send you an Angel of Mercy. (Which I was actually doing.)
After what felt like several hours (probably minutes), sweating profusely, inwardly cursing and a bit of flapping/jumping, I managed to get the top down to its rightful position, feeling slightly light-headed at this point, I reached back up and retrieved the under-bra from where it had got stuck on my nose and tucked it down into the top, shimmying and shaking whilst trying to maintain polite conversation with Professor Umbridge who was impatiently twitching the curtains of the dressing room.
Once I’d managed to get everything in place, and tucked my stomach into the pants – I was rendered into a stupefied pose of sheer horror! The flourescent lighting and 3D mirrors showed up every unforgiving lump and bump! I was still stuck in horrified shock with open jaw, when Professor Umbridge pulled the curtain back and bustled into the dressing room and began yanking at the arm straps and spinning me round (obviously a ploy to make me feel dizzy and just agree with her), all the while telling me how flattering the swimsuit was (obviously the purple spectacles were just a fashion statement rather than prescription!) By this time the beer headache had kicked in, I’d seriously fallen out with myself and no amount of desperate vows to diet and fleeting thoughts of liposuction could make me feel better. I sulkily told Professor Umbridge I didn’t think the flamingos were quite my style and whisked the curtain shut, crossed my arms and attempted to pull the top over my head, where it got lodged inside-out with my arms crossed in the air, even more immobile than what occurred on the way down.
At that moment my phone started to buzz – I saw the Other Half’s name pop up and I couldn’t even answer the phone with a May Day plea .. I was stuck with my arms above my head like diver poised on the diving board!
Without boring you further, I will say that the humiliation to this day of having to beg Professor Umbridge to help free me is etched in my soul for ever ……… the effort she had to put into tugging me out of that blasted top dislodged her glasses and left her bouffant in disarray, something I’m sure she’ll never forget nor forgive!
Which brings me to the point of my ramblings … swimsuit buying need never be a disaster again – we are so lucky to be able use our staff discount and peruse Swimwear 365 at our leisure, order what we like and try it on in the privacy and comfort of our homes and to further help, Swimwear365’s Emily Oldfield offers some much appreciated advice.
Written By Sally Hutchinson
STYLING YOUR SHAPE WITH SWIMWEAR 365
It’s not always easy shopping for swimwear, with so many pretty prints, colours and cuts to choose from, how can you pick just one? Catering to your shape as well as your style, we’ve a few quick tips and tricks to leave you beach confident this summer.
The first step is deciding your shape. Are you a pear, hourglass, apple or rectangle? For a little help, check out our shape calculator where you can find out which figure type you are and get styling.
Here are some quick swimwear solutions to the most common body shapes…
If you have an hourglass figure, you’re one lucky lady! With your beyonce-esque figure it’s just a case of finding swimwear that maintains proportions and accentuates your slim waist. The only faux-pas this figure type can make is losing that hourglass shape. Our advice: keep style simple and understated.
This LASCANA Black Ruched Swimsuit is perfect for an hourglass. It’s simple but stylish, making the most of your gorgeous figure. Forget about busy prints, all you need is a classic cut and colour.
For apples, the key is to find swimwear that has definition. A common problem for ladies with an apple figure is the tummy – many carrying more weight on the stomach and bust, so the best thing to do is to find swimwear with control features.
Highlight your best features through the use of in-built shaping fabric and choice of colour. This Tankini by LASCANA ideal for apples, with a low V-neck cut, padded cups and underwiring, it creates a stunning silhouette.
If you’re a pear, you’ll probably find that you carry more weight on your bum, hips and thighs and that you have a smaller bust. This means that, similar to hourglass figures, balance and proportion are essential.
Look for items that create cleavage, or draw attention to the top half of your body like this Classic Gingham Swimsuit by LASCANA (also try embellishment, ruching at the top of your swimsuit or a simply a padded bikini top).
Top Tip: try pairing plain bikini bottoms with a patterned top to balance out your shape!
Think you’ve got a rectangle shape? You’ll have a fairly straight body shape from your shoulders all the way down to your hips. You can create a voluptuous illusion with the right swimwear. And remember, many models have this figure, so you’ve scored lucky. Look for triangle bikinis with a halterneck tie, or try a striped pattern to create the illusion of a wider shape like our Pink Striped Bikini by Buffalo. Top Tip: Try ruching detailing around your waist to add shape too.
Written by Emily Oldfield