For years I have ‘made do’ with past bikinis, a bit baggy, not great support, colour faded – great image I know. But this year I really wanted one that I felt good in. Buying on-line is tricky as you have to look past the perfect body models and think, how would this really work on me? I love the look and simplicity of a simple triangle bikini top and tie bottoms, but I have reached that stage when ‘side boob’ coverage is essential to offer a better shape and to get the right proportion of fabric and flesh!

I have tried a few expensive, £100 plus and yes, loved the quality and fabric but didn’t like them enough on me. So I have done the slog of trying on lots from the high street and on-line and my favourites by far are from La Redoute and Next (who I never normally find anything).

La Redoute have a great selection of classic stripes and spots but also grown up prints that I love. A lot (there are heaps to chooses from) of the bikinis come in separate size fittings so you can buy different tops and bottoms and they also offer style options in the same range so you can really choose your favourite combination. Size wise, I found the tops fitted like my bra sizing but I needed to go up a size on bottoms so they didn’t dig in and on the one size bikini sets, I went for my larger dress size and all fitted pretty well. Prices are good and some sale prices now are too good!

I was really surprised with what Next had to offer. There are far more options on-line than in store, and easy to order and pick up from your local and return if needed. They also offer various style options on one theme, so simple to find the shapes you like best. I would have ordered more to try, but a few styles had a waiting time, so check this when you order.

For a cover up, I love the look of floaty kaftans on others, but sometimes they can feel bit over dramatic for me. I love the simplicity of a button through over sized shirt and I found one in Zara, perfect for holidays.

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My over sized shirt – beach cover up. Similar Zara shirt here.

With fair skin, I found the darker prints too heavy for me, even though the fit was good but I really like the nautical and prints. So from not having any great bikini options, I now have three!

Don’t put it off any longer, I have found it wasn’t as painful as I thought.

Kx