The issue of whether or not to wear a bikini on holiday, is one that has been circulating in my mind for a couple of years now. Whenever we go away, out comes the trusty old costume (usually black or navy) and more often than not with stomach control, to help hold everything in.
I've always stated on this blog, that I'm no stick insect and am quite a large build, but fairly happy at that. I range from a UK size 16 to 20 (US size 12 to 16,) dependent upon which brand I'm wearing and whether it is a top/skirt/trousers/dress, but due to going to the gym regularly, I'm not super excessively flabby. As a consequence, I've sometimes thought that maybe I could get away with wearing a bikini, providing I choose the right kind.
Last year, on our holiday to Italy, I noticed how Italian women appear to be quite happy to wear bikinis regardless of their size and have no qualms about showing their midriff on the beach. I really quite envied their body self-confidence and remember thinking to myself that maybe I should throw caution to the wind and actually invest in a bikini myself.
I put it to the back of my mind and then bought myself a new swimming costume this year, again with tummy control and in navy blue (with white spots) and didn't think any more about it until, that is, I watched a video on YouTube about how to Wear a Bikini and Look Good. The video in question was posted by a young YouTuber I admit, but one who isn't stick thin, but who is beautifully voluptuous and curvaceous and wasn't afraid to post a picture of herself wearing a bikini, albeit with a high waisted bottom.
The video itself was interesting. She talked about making sure that you find a bikini that actually fits and is comfortable to wear, even if it means buying different sizes for top and bottom. In addition, she gave various other tips for sizing your bikini, which were useful.
Inspired by her video, I decided to take a look on ASOS and see if I could find a bikini to fit the bill. The site lists bottoms and tops separately, to enable you to mix and match and also stocks some tops in large bra sizes for the heavier bust and has also some plus sizes in some of their ranges.
To be honest, a lot of the more interesting bikinis had already been picked over and were out of stock, but there were still some options, mainly in black, which was no bad thing for a first foray into the bikini market in a decade. Prices were very reasonable too. I created an order, ordering far more than I intended to actually buy, so that I could consider a few options (4 tops and 3 bottoms) and waited for it to arrive. It was very exciting.
As soon as the parcel arrived, I was upstairs and trying them on. One of the tops didn't fit, but it wasn't one that was sold in a specific bra size, so I didn't really expect it to. I'd ordered it to match some bottoms I was ordering. That one was a definite no.
The matching bottoms, however, were great and fitted perfectly. Although they didn't match the other tops exactly, being black and white spotted and the tops being plain black. I couldn't see why they couldn't be mixed and matched print wise too though and definitely decided to keep these as they were just £8.
Of the remaining 3 tops, all fitted okay, but two of the designs were less flattering for one reason or another, than the one I decided to keep. Again it is halterneck, and like one of my swimming costumes, it is quite plunging, but not altogether unflattering. When paired with one pair of the plain black bottoms (the other pair were too large - only the larger sizes were left), it looked okay. I was very surprised. (Even OH nodded his approval in passing!)
It's quite hard to post a picture, as there is absolutely no way I'm posting a photo of me in a bikini, but here's a picture of the top and bottoms laid out on the bed. The plain black bikini was priced at £14 for the top and £16 for the bottoms, which I think was very reasonable.
So, I have now taken the first step towards wearing a bikini, for the first time in many years, probably since having Little Bird in fact and I'm quite looking forward to the prospect. Thinking about it, there are a few obvious advantages, i.e. being able to wear a bikini top with shorts, not having to take the whole costume off to go to the toilet, getting a bit of sun to my very white abdomen, etc. etc. It will mean using a little more sun cream, but I think I can live with that.
And yes, I know I 'm supposed to be avoiding any extra expenditure this month, but if I didn't order these items while they were still in stock, I might never have been able to get my hands on them. That's my excuse anyway.
Are you a swimming costume or bikini wearer? Or is that question too personal? I'd be interested to hear your views.