Beachwear {Non Skimpy Please}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I don’t know how I’ll feel about wearing a bikini when I’m actually on holiday (less than 4 weeks….Yay!) but for now I feel ok about it, I’ve worked hard over the last year to improve my fitness and regain some body confidence since having Mabel. I’ve invested in some styles that I think (hope!) are pretty and flattering. However, I’ve also purchased a couple of swimsuits should I feel that actually, I would simply feel more comfortable covering up that little bit more.

Regardless of post pregnancy physique issues I’ve never been a fan of my bum cheeks being on public display, gone are the days when I’d put up with some stringy type bottoms never staying in the right place and that continual fear of getting up off your lounger only to expose almost everything to almost everyone. And I always want some kind of cover up to get from A to B poolside – I am a big advocate of the Kimono.

Seafolly Pineapple Print “Crush” Swimsuit £95.00

Ok let’s start with the most expensive. Seafolly is my favourite swimwear brand, I make an investment purchase every summer. The fit is amazing, they wash like new and the pieces look luxe. I’ve got bikinis from 6 years ago that I would still wear now. I like the fact this has such a sexy back design whilst remaining supportive and cleavage enhancing. Plus I’ve never owned yellow swimwear before. And I like pineapples.

I bought mine from ASOS.

Next Paisley Print Bikini Top £15 & Roll Top Briefs £12 & Tummy Control Swimsuit £25

I’ve never bought anything from Next before except clothes for Mabel. No reason in particular – I just never shop there. Recently they’ve opened a huge store in a retail park near by and I’ve been in for a nose a few times. I was mostly impressed by their vast choice of beachwear, there are quite a few items I would have made the effort to try on had I had time.

The Paisley print bikini top is a great fit – I prefer styles you can buy in a “bra size” as it were, plus they do a huge range of sizes too. You can mix and match the brief design but I chose the roll top version as they are very comfortable, cover your backside properly and there is no risk of exposing my C-section scar.*

The shape enhancing swimsuit is possibly the most flattering item in my beachwear repertoire – I probably would have felt good wearing this even some months ago. The ruching does wonders for flattening your tummy and it’s full coverage at the back. Is it the sexiest item I own? No, it isn’t. But the cut and design isn’t frumpy or typically Mumsy either. And it looks lush with a sarong or maxi skirt over the top.

New Look Tropical Longline Kimono £14.99 and Crochet Border Kimono £19.99

As I was saying, I do love a kimono. And New Look have THE BEST (and some of the cheapest!) designs this year in my humble opinion. The tropical print is bright and summery and very lightweight – it’ll roll up to barely nothing in your suitcase. The crochet number is just gorgeous, too nice to wear on the beach and get covered in sand to be honest. Would look lovely over a vest and shorts or as an evening cover up to a cute bohemian dress and flip flops. They don’t have many sizes left on the actual New Look site unfortunately but there is a wider choice on ASOS.

New Look Topical Push Up Bikini Top £17.99 and Tropical Twist Bikini Briefs £9.99

As well as New Look providing the greatest kimonos this is also James’s now favourite bikini – the hues work really well against fair skin. It’s apparently a “super push up” (!) which I don’t really understand, there is more than your average amount of padding but the fit is good and even though your bust is admittedly somewhat um…lifted, it in a flattering feminine way, not up by your chin or anything. (Having said this I don’t have enough boobage to ever be chin level, extra padding or not.)

The co-ordinating briefs are not full coverage but near enough, and I would highly recommend taking a size larger than normal, I found that they come up really quite small.

Do let me know about any pieces you have bought recently or would recommend I check out – and please feel free to ask any questions about fit and whatnot that I’ve failed to include about the items recommended in this feature.

*My C section scar doesn’t bother me, I just feel more comfortable not risking having it on display.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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22 thoughts on “Beachwear {Non Skimpy Please}

  1. Nice picks!

    I’m off on my jolly’s in two weeks and have purchased the Next swimsuit in black, I’ll be 14 weeks post c-section and although I’m smaller than I was pre pregnancy, I still don’t feel bikini confident just yet!

    Will be donning some massive sunnies and channeling Jackie O 😉

    1. Hi Lynsey! LOVING the Jackie O – do let me know what sunglasses you’ve purchased as I need some! My waist is actually randomly smaller, I wonder if that’s because I am less muscular though? The NEXT swimsuit is aces x

      1. Could very well be! I think my change in shape is mainly due to me lugging the pram / base / car seat / bubba up and down two flights of stairs at least twice a day!

        The husband bought me some Chanel cat eye sunglasses for Valentines Day, they are beaut. Will tag you in them on Instagram x

  2. Love this! Although being a tall girl.i literally cannot find anything remotely attractive in a swimsuit that actually fits ie no camel toe

    1. Gemma try the NEXT suit – it is really quite long in the body (I am short but longer in the body/stumpy legs!) x

  3. The other factor for motherhood swimwear is obviously you will be bending over a lot more than you ever thought and little hands love to grab and pull swimwear so that is well worth bearing in mind! I am investing in a surf style rash vest for practical purposes!

  4. I have a next bikini from years ago, washes really well and very flattering. Would recommend their swimwear x

  5. Crap, I LOVE the pineapple one and the new look tropical bikini! Decisions, decisions…

    We’re having a pool party the day after our wedding in July in Italy and I found some lovely holiday stuff in Debenhams. The range is called Mantaray, they’re all gorgeous summer dresses made of cotton and super stretchy and comfy. Plus they come with matching bikinis! The bikinis I tried on were quite high waisted too. I bought this dress ( and the matching bikini ( I also got dresses for my four bridesmaids to wear too (they don’t HAVE to wear them though, I’m not being an ultimate bridezilla!).

    1. A pool party you say? Wow, sounds amazing! I actually love this bikini Kate, and I’m sure that label do kids clothes too – oh dear, I can see a long stint spent on Debenhams coming on……x

  6. Well I’m currently in Barbados road testing my swimsuit purchases for the year. I’m 15 weeks post c section birth and I can categorically say I am 100% NOT beach confident. I used to be a size 8, I am now a size 12 with bloomin massive size 32G bazoomas on a five foot 2 frame! And to top it off I have lots of still angry looking stretch marks and I’m breastfeeding – so finding anything that I feel remotely comfortable in (and be able to feed my baby in) was a nightmare. In the end I found Freya best for cup sized swimsuits and bought this cute one in a lovely watermelon colour:
    I would really recommend this brand for cup sized swim wear.

  7. Ooo Georgina, thanks for that recommendation, I’m a large cup size and have been looking for another Freya swimsuit for my hols in 2 weeks. That’s lovely. I’m also 13 weeks post baby, I never had any baby weight, miraculously I weighed a stone less after the birth than I did before I got pregnant. I’m pretty sure I’ve put half a stone back on though! I stopped wearing bikinis a couple of years ago, And I’m so glad now as my stretch marks are still glowing!! Would have been so expensive to have to buy all new swimwear this year.
    By the way when I made the decision to move to costumes, I sold all of my bikinis on eBay, a lot of them were from next and they pretty much kept their value! Not sure why! X

  8. I’ve never been bikini confident, even when I was at my thinnest size 8/10 I always felt too exposed in a bikini. I owned and wore one on a holiday to Turkey and used a beach type dress over it the whole time, and then got changed into a more modest tankini for swimming!

    I favour a one piece (although at the moment even the thought of wearing one of those is making feel all inadequate) and the nicest ones I’ve had are from Accessorise/Monsoon. However, I found Accessorise did come up quite small so I had a buy a size larger.

    I love the Sea Folly ones, but am actually quite glad we aren’t venturing on holiday anywhere that requires swimwear this year!

  9. Charlotte I have that Next swimsuit but in a stripe… it so flattering. Perfect for boob lift and tummy hiding x

  10. Love the pinapple print swimsuit, i too have been swayed towards swimsuits over bikinis but alas, they always seem too short in the body, and kind of end up pulling my boobs down in a rather unflattering saggy looking fashion- i dont even have a long body and consider myself quite a short arse so i dont know where i am going wrong.

    I am going on a beach holiday in 3 weeks, first one on 6 years, woop! And i have dug out my old trusted kelly brook for new look bikinis, having a decent amount of boobage, they always were designed with this in mind, and hoist them up in a way which i feel might detract attention away from my wobbly stomach area (not post pregnancy, just post easter eggs and excess birthday cake) I really want to treat myself to something new also and have been eying up this asos number:

    Again, maximum push up and shove together of boobage is the aim here, also, i am loving this one, though think it may be veering on slutty, though i’m not sure i care:

    Roll on summer holidays!

    1. Rachel, I’m not sure you should care either – if you can’t wear it on a beach then where can you? That polka dot number is so cute – love it x

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