There comes a point in every bikini-wearing woman’s life when she must have the bikini reckoning.
Oddly, the moment of reckoning has nothing much to do with the shape you are in.
You could be slimmer and more toned than you were in your only-wear-a-bikini years. You might be in the same shape as you were last year, when you lived in a striped bikini for two weeks — the only difference is now you feel…underdressed. Overexposed.
In my experience, the same thing happens with knickers; you’re firmly in the bikini club until all of a sudden they strike you as being just too low and skimpy for comfort, and that’s where boy pants come in, or those mid-rise bigger bikinis.
Because when it comes down to it, the bikini crisis is really about degree of coverage, pure and simple.
If you are a long-time bikini wearer, providing you are reasonably comfortable with your body, the only thing standing in the way of you wearing a bikini well into your Helen Mirren prime is skimpy bottoms — God forbid ones string-tied at the sides — and insubstantial, unsupportive, flimsy bra tops.
Time’s also up for glossy, shimmery fabrics, lace-up fronts, and leopard or snake prints. This bikini needs to be more elegant and less cheeky.
Then again, you don’t want to look like you are wearing a bikini specially adapted for women who aren’t in the market for the itsy-bitsy sort.
Which is where we have got lucky this summer. A short survey of celebrities (Hollywood actor Liam Hemsworth’s girlfriend Gabriella Brooks to name one) shows that even the young and fit are opting for more sporty, less brief styles. You don’t have to be a midlife woman to want a bit more of a cover-up.
Still, there’s no point pretending it’s an easy time to buy swimwear, now that we can’t try on six at a time. Two women who wear the same dress size may well not suit the same bikini.
The solution is to go with a brand that has worked for you in the past and, where possible, give yourself some room for manoeuvre.
In my experience you’re firmly in the bikini club until all of a sudden they strike you as being just too low and skimpy for comfort, and that’s where boy pants come in, or those mid-rise bigger bikinis.
BIG BIKINIS : THE NEW RULES
- Go for bottoms that finish mid-hip or higher.
- Mix black bottoms and a print top.
- Balance bigger pants with wide straps.
- Wrapover or twisted styles give more options.