Finding the Perfect Swimwear for Summer (Guest Post)

As we head rapidly towards the December holidays, many of you may be thinking about buying a new cozzie. This is not often a task that fills us with delight but don’t despair, because my ever fashionable friend and stylist Pippa J has compiled some handy hints and tips. Here she is:

“Can I just start by talking about things people wear over their swimsuit? I see way too many women who wear board shorts. They obviously think that these shorts hide their bums, and that they’re less offensive than a bum in a cozzie. Let me tell you – they’re not. Board shorts are possibly THE most unattractive thing a woman can wear on the beach. They bunch at the wrong places and actually ADD bulk to your bum and thighs. The only time board shorts are attractive is if you’ve got a tiny bum and long legs and you’re wearing the super mini cute ones that don’t cover much.

kaftanIf you don’t want to stand at the edge of the waves baring all, go for a lightweight kaftan or a beach dress – a much more pretty and flattering option.

Now, let’s look at your cozzie choices:

bikiniThe bikini:

I had clients getting into bikinis last summer who never thought their tummies would ever see the light of day again. It’s all about getting the right style and support for your shape. You don’t need to have a perfectly flat stomach for a bikini; I mean how many people over the age of 30 (especially those who have had kids) can claim to have a washboard stomach?

onepieceThe one-piece:

If you’re really not comfortable with your tummy and prefer to have it concealed, then this is obviously the style for you. Plus – this style was trending in a big way last summer, and I think it’s here to stay.

I love one-pieces, they can be so classic, understated and feminine. I’m not talking about your average Speedo that you use at the gym, you get some really pretty one-piece designs from brands like Maaji, Seafolly, and even Woolies or Edgars for the more budget conscious. So even if you’re a skinny malink, a one-piece can be a lovely option and it will be super comfy for body surfing;)

TankiniThe tankini:

The perfect compromise between a bikini and a one-piece. A tankini is also great for post-beach lounging as all you need to do is throw a sarong around your hips and you’re sufficiently ‘covered’. A tankini can also be a great option for post pregnancy tummies that are still a bit bloated and out of sorts.

Some basic guidelines in terms of what swimwear style to get for your body shape:

  1. Broad hips: plain bottoms are better i.e. no ties, bows or ruffles at the hips
  2. Narrow hips: the opposite of the above. Add some interest in the bottom half via colour, print or embellishment.
  3. Flat chest: the bandeau/strapless style works well. Go for a padded top if you want to provide the illusion of some boobs.
  4. Big boobs: halter neck styles with underwire support. These are great because they don’t look like a bra as such, yet they offer the support of a bra.
  5. Big tummy: ruching is a winner, as is a print. Both will provide the perfect amount of distraction and disguise.
  6. Long torso: a one-piece with interest or detail at the tummy can work well for you.

At the end of the day, you need to be comfortable too. My advice is to really try to get the best style for your body shape, and then to just embrace your figure and do what you like to do best when on the beach…be it swimming, playing bat and ball or just lounging. Nobody is really looking at you; they’re all too worried about their own imperfections!

I wish I had been less self-conscious when I was a taut and lean 20-something, I’m now much more carefree and happy with my body and it’s not nearly as good as it was 10 years ago! Enjoy your body for what it is TODAY, because next summer it will be a whole year older:).”

Thanks to Pippa for those fashion pearls of wisdom. I’ve signed up to her blog which is great for finding out about the latest trends and how to wear them. Find out more here.

P.S. Pippa J is running a promotion with a specialist underwear and swimwear store in Joburg called Lingerie & Leisure (in the Bryanston Shopping Centre).  They stock top selling brands such as Seafolly, Banana Moon and Love Water Love. Go into the store and receive a 10% discount on your purchase plus a free sarong when you tell them Pippa J sent you. Happy shopping!

All images from Seafolly

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