Style by Claire Lopez

Do you dare to bare?

It is very apt that on the hottest day of the year this post is all about swimwear. It is a very British thing to constantly bemoan our weather but today has just been too hot. The only place to be was in the paddling pool or sitting in the fridge. So what to wear? Well not specifically what you wear while splashing around in the paddling pool in the garden because bra and pants will suffice  – more for when you are on holiday this summer.

At the start of June I did a chart to count me down to going on holiday with the idea that it would scare me into doing some serious exercise and to eating more healthily. Suffice to say I don’t have a huge amount of willpower and that the booze has been my downfall, definitely negating any positive effect that my carb reduction has had. In fact I have a glass of white wine as I am writing this – despite promising myself a clean week before an impending boozy weekend. Hey ho. So this year, more than ever, I feel drawn to swimming costumes.

I have historically always bought my swimwear from Accessorize, mainly because I used to work there and got a very good employee discount but I do find that their sizes are not the most generous which is not ideal unless perhaps you are in Brazil, where the more dental floss-like the apparel, the better, even if you are an OAP! I have purchased their navy blue Crochet Swimsuit £29 which I really like – sorry no selfies for this blog I am afraid!


I do also really love their Scalloped Retro Moulded Cup £35 which has the benefit of under-wiring. Don’t under-estimate the power of under-wiring: I wouldn’t dream of wearing a bra without under-wiring so why would I buy a bikini or swimsuit without it? A very 50s feel to this which I love. Sorry this is also navy blue but following on from my last post, I do love the sophistication of the colour. Oh  and they also have this as a bikini style too.


On the bikini front they have  cottoned on to the fact that a one size fits all approach to swimwear doesn’t work Their website has fuller bust bikini tops which are much more sensible if you are blessed with boobs.  If you are looking to channel a more boho vibe then this Ibiza Wave Triangle Bikini Top £15 also comes in a fuller bust option. Irritating that you have to pay £2 more for the privilege though. String brief is £14 but they also have a tie side option too. There is also a wrap style bikini top as well. Slimmer and athletic builds were made for bikinis so have fun with print, colour and detailing.


I have to be honest, I haven’t been very impressed by their selection in store this season but on-line it is a different matter. They have a large selection of bikinis to choose from – bandeau to moulded cup, string and underwired. Bright colour, embellished, floral prints, crochet – the bikini world is your oyster. Plus some great styles are in the sale. So do check out their selection.

As with clothing, ruching details over the stomach can be extremely flattering. M&S has a Secret Slimming Pleated Front Swimsuit £39.50 which comes in black, navy and orange. Tummy control swimsuits are great for Apple-shaped ladies or anyone feeling a bit self-conscious about their middle.


Their secret slimming technology isn’t limited to plain styles, there are also prints available too like this Geometric print swimsuit £35. This also comes as a bikini and tankini option.


For the beach stripes are always a good bet, add in some secret slimming powers and it must be a winner. Their Bow front striped ruched plunge swimsuit £32.50 ticks those boxes.


Sale time is upon us so now is a good time to bag a bargain on the swimsuit front – particularly given their short life, buying in the sale is a sensible choice. Boden has 20% off most of its swimwear. This knot front bikini top £23.20 is lovely with matching bottoms. There is also a tankini top if you prefer.


If you are looking to bag a designer swimwear bargain then you may need to hold on. Net-a-porter has a lot of styles on sale but, without naming and shaming, it is perhaps easy to see why some of these are in the sale (think Borat mankini mixed in with some leopard print and lots of cut-outs  – don’t do it unless you are Rhianna!) However, designer swimwear brands at full price are much more appealing and there are some lovely styles such as this Heidi Klein Bordeaux Ruched Swimsuit £210. Amazing colour.


Melissa Odabash is another great high end swimwear brand and the Zanzibar halter neck swimsuit £195 is a flattering style thanks to the moulded cups and knot detailing. It also comes in an orange. Selfridges stocks this in a light blue too. the white is out of stock online.


Jets by Jessika Allen is another good bet and is stocked by Selfridges. Their Journey halterneck swimsuit £145 is a great option and probably the right side of £150. Halternecks are the right style for a pear shaped body as they give the illusion of broader shoulders and so balance out your lower half.


Seafolly has some beautiful coloured bikini options. Their Goddess halterneck bikini top £63 comes in this gorgeous turquoise colour (Seychelles on the website) as well as pink, navy and yellow. Would definitely provide the support needed in the bust area. Matching briefs are £39.Picture1

Figleaves has a substantial selection of swimsuits and bikinis which come in different cup sizes so you can get the perfect fit for bust and bum – particularly ideal if you are a pear shape, large busted or find your top and bottom measurements don’t correspond to one size. They do a whole host of tummy control swimsuits in various colour ways and at great prices such as this Tuscany spot halter tummy control £35. There are multiple colour options in this style. They also have edited their swimwear selection to your body shape – perfect if you are not sure what styles will work for you.


I think Figleaves has got the right approach to swimwear, offering flexible sizing across a whole range of styles and at great prices. So based on this I think maybe I will have another glass of wine and not worry about it, because there is definitely a swimsuit out there to hide those guilty pleasures. After all – life is for living.



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