As you know I will be 50 this year and I have been feeling over the last few years that I am losing my once slim size 8 figure. I have tried various diets and clean eating and continued to exercise but couldn't quite find the magic formula to shrink the expanding waist line that comes with peri-menopause.
Last summer we went to Corfu and I still wore bikinis but for the first time I doubted my decision and wondered if I should have resorted to an all-in-one. I mentioned this to my 15 year old daughter and she said ‘Oh no way, you will hate wearing a swimsuit, you will be too hot and you will miss having a tan on your tummy, anyway, you look great in your bikini don’t give it up’. I then thought about my own mum who has worn a bikini all her life and at 72 can still rock a bikini and decided I wouldn't give up but I knew I needed to work on my bikini body to get my confidence back.
Then the winter months came and suddenly spring was here, I had a holiday booked in May in Turkey and time was running out. We went away skiing at Easter and I had to buy bigger ski trousers and I just felt so unfit, my skiing was not great! When I came back I decided the time had come to sign up to The Body Coach SSS 90 Day Plan. I've been writing about it on my blog recently – see the first post here and my updates here and here.
I’ve done the first 30 days of the plan and I am seeing results! So I have purchased new bikinis and I have a spray tan booked for the day before we go away. I then read another excellent blog post about bikinis and the 40-something lady and it inspired me to tell you my top tips!
Size up – I always go up one size in swimwear, I hate to see women that are wearing their normal size and the pants are too tight, thus showing off an extra bulge on their hips. Ignore what the label says and go for flattering!
Pick the right style – there are so many styles and shapes to suit everyone now, try lots on and find what works for you. For me it is the tie side bottoms and a triangle halter neck top. I hate the bandeau type, they flatten me and I don’t need a bra style as I am not that well-endowed so I don’t need the support. A good alternative to a bikini is a cut-away swimsuit – I have one from Seafolly which I bought last year in the sale, they have the ability to really flatter the waist (bodycon) but still cover the tummy.
Don’t be afraid of ‘smaller’ briefs – I actually prefer the small ‘side tie’ bikini style bottoms. I find that the tie is loser on the hip and causes less indentation on our slightly more generous areas! And the tie side can be loosened. I did try a lovely bikini from Seaspray who design to suit our curves, the high sides and tummy-flattering shape was lovely but I just felt it was obvious I was trying to hide something.
Ignore the changing room mirror, try on at home – last year I bought a bikini at Victoria’s Secret and the changing rooms were awful – I looked dreadful and really struggled. But the lighting in these places is just so wrong. This year I have ordered online and tried on at home, the natural light at home is so much more flattering and less scary.
Consider a more expensive brand – they last for years and are usually cut better and have better fabric. Seafolly and Boden are good. There is lots of choice on Swimwear365 and ASOS all year round. Coco Bay is another great website with lots of good brands. Swimwear365 have a body shape calculator to try out too, worth a look! Also Swimwear365 do some lovely ‘tankinis’ that are not tight fitting, they have a slight A line shape and I have one that is a good alternative.
Get a spray tan – if you are going bikini shopping get a spray tan (or do one at home), tanned skin looks so much better. And then get a spray tan before you go away, I always do and love to arrive already tanned and ready to put my bikini on. Remember to still use sun cream though!
Be confident – and most importantly ROCK THAT BIKINI, I have learnt that most women are more worried about what they look like than to scrutinise you too much. No one is going to stand and look you up and down and analyse every bulge or curve. Really they don’t and if they do, then you just don’t want them in your life! And anyway, mostly I am lying on my sun lounger or in the pool and when I get up and wander about I put on a pretty beach cover up or sarong. So no I am not going to wear a swimsuit, miss getting my tummy tanned and be too hot, just in case someone, who I probably don’t know, thinks I don’t look 100% perfect. My life, my figure, my bikini!
And anyway, have you ever tried getting a swimsuit down in the toilet when you are wet from the pool and busting for a wee?! A bikini is so much easier!
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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