Now this is a bikini I would love to wear…

One of my hopes, once I’ve overhauled my mind and body, is to wear a bikini.

At the moment, my swimwear choices are either a ruched navy one-piece or a bright pink tankini with embroidery. Those choices probably sum me up, wanting secretly to wear the bright colours more often, but sticking to the safe options, acting my age not my shoe size.

When I was a teenager I remember buying a pink leopard print little bikini….those were the days…and then wearing it with a sarong, not wanting to take that final step and throw caution and (my pre-children non-wobbly) bits to the wind.

There was an article in the Daily Mail recently, Jilly Johnston was modelling bikinis for the “mature figure” and, one stood out for me:

These are Jilly’s opinions and words:

VINTAGE
Haiti bikini, £79 for the set, samanthasage.com
My heart sank when I saw this. First of all it’s white – a horribly unforgiving colour that highlights every lump and bump.
Second, the bottoms are so huge even Bridget Jones would have turned her nose up at them.
But as soon as I tried it on I was won over.
Like most women of my age, I am self-conscious about my stomach and love handles, but these pants neatly tucked it all away.
The little belt is a lovely detail and it defines the waist, too.
The top comes with extra padding that can be removed, gives good support and is thick enough not to go see-through in the water.
I can imagine wearing this on holiday with a big, floppy hat and huge sunglasses. Very St Tropez!
Rating: 5/5

Best for: Holding it all in

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I decided to take a look at the website. Jilly starts off so negatively and purely based on her first impressions. I wondered what other colours the Haiti bikini came in.

I wasn’t disappointed, so many different colour ways:

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I particularly like the pink option and the butterflies print, here’s a link to the page. Admittedly the Haiti is an investment piece at £89.00 but it looks flattering and above all comfortable.

Something for me to aim for for next summer!

Disclaimer: I was given permission to feature the Haiti on my blog. I have not received a payment nor a sample. My views are my own.

Royal Bump watch and beyond…

Has there ever been a bump watched as enthusiastically as Kate’s?

Every clothing choice has been scrutinised and the nation (scrub that, the world!) waits for news of the boy or girl destined for that metaphorical silver spoon and much, much more.

Kate has dressed impeccably throughout her pregnancy, it can’t have been easy making decisions, knowing that every hemline will be debated, the “at this stage, she should be…” and it’s easy to forget that she will be a first time mother, with all the usual pregnancy worries but the rest of us do it without the world’s attention.

When you think of Kate’s non-maternity fashion, what do you think of?

For me it’s form-fitting dresses, very body-con, generally neutral colours and very classical, very elegant.

She is synonymous with Reiss and with that in mind, I’ve been taking at look at Reiss at John Lewis website to try and second-guess Kate’s off-duty post-pregnancy wardrobe, focussing on practicality, comfort and style. I doubt there’ll be much jimmie-jammie wear, although she’s perfectly entitled to. Can you imagine the visitor list for the baby after all?

Here’s what I came up with:

These black leggings would be perfect for those first few weeks after the birth, they look very stylish and comfortable too, a tapered fit with lace panelling:

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I loved this top, admittedly it’s not the most practical if the baby will be breast-fed and that sounds like TMI, but the frill neck and ruffles looked very stylish, very Kate:

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And to complete the look, a pair of espadrilles and this hat, perfect for providing sun cover whilst sitting in a Royal garden, the baby snoozing nearby:

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I couldn’t end the post without highlighting one of Reiss’ body-con dresses, an absolutely gorgeous colour and perfect for when Kate returns to duties but, in the meantime, I wish her the very best in the next few weeks as she tries to relax whilst the world watches and waits.

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Disclaimer: Images brought to you by Reiss, words and options are my own.

Remembering fashion through the decades with Simply Be

One thing I’ve been thinking of doing recently is digging out old photographs, seeing how I’ve evolved over the years.

I don’t think my sense of style has changed much from being an 80’s teenager (black, black and more black) but I was definitely more influenced by fashion then.

It was also the “Diana years” and I remember returning to school after a summer holiday break and practically every girl had the flicked-back haircut and the eyeliner. It was either Diana haircuts or Bananarama haircuts, but always lots of eyeliner.

It got me thinking about who my mum and grandma’s influences would have been. I remember going to a birthday party at Harry Secombe’s house (I know, name dropper! I went to primary school with one of his daughters) and my grandma was adamant that she would collect me! She arrived to collect me dressed in her Sunday best – hat and frock coat – and I remember thinking how smart she looked. It’s only now that I think she was probably influenced by the late Queen Mother.

This is why I was so interested to take a look at this feature by Simply Be, celebrating 5 decades of fashion. It’s certainly made me think and wonder just how many of those fashions I wore, would love to know what memories these bring back for people reading this.

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Really interesting isn’t it? Thanks for reading Jx

Simply Be have some great cover-ups

The blossoms are appearing on the trees, the Spring flowers are warily popping through the soil after a wet and cold Winter, better weather is (hopefully) on the way!

With the thought of sunnier weather – whether a summer holiday away or a stayaction is planned – comes the thought “how do I cover my wobbly bits up on the beach/a sun lounger in the back garden?”

Simply Be have some great cover-up suggestions this year. Whether you’re after a convertible sarong (very practical for wrapping around as soon as you’re out of the pool), an elegant kaftan or a stunning sunhat, Simply Be have a great, affordable range online.

I think this Joanna Hope kaftan is stunning (click on the link for more details). A lovely range of colours and would not look out of place worn over a vest top with trousers for sightseeing/eating out as well as covering up by the pool.

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Why not complete the look with some Melissa Odabash accessories too? Perfect for summer days and evenings.

This leopard print tunic by Gemma Collins isn’t in swimwear, but I think this would look great for those summer evenings out too.

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Disclaimer: Brought to you by Simply Be. However views are my own.

A swimwear suggestion for the summer

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At this time of year, thoughts turn to the summer holidays and swim wear, I really like the Marisota range of swimwear and swim dresses in particular – click here for a link to the page.. We always have the big pool in the garden all summer (hose pipe bans permitting) and these would be ideal for jumping in and out of the pool with the children, without flashing too much to the neighbours.

The one is my favourite, it’s the statutory black (perfect for my inner teen goth) but with the added white stripe detail and support built in – click here for the details.

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There’s some really flattering optical illusion dresses on there too and a range designed by Colleen Nolan. Well worth a perusal with the wedding season coming up.

Disclaimer: I received a nominal fee for featuring Marisota on the blog. However my views are my own,