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Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

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Wednesday 23 November 2016

Get ahead with your summer swimwear

"What? Swimwear in November?"I hear you cry. But it makes good sense. Some of the 2017 collections have just landed - and the best items sell out fast - plus you can find some great sale bargains.

I like to add one "good" kaftan a year to my collection from Melissa Odabash or Vix. They last for years and the quality is superb. I also buy cheaper kaftans and cover-ups from Seafolly, Phax and Moontide. I don't like them too short (mutton alert) or indeed, too long, and don't like them being see through.
On the debate of bikinis for the over 50s: too mutton?, I am in the "go ahead and wear what you like" camp. Every year I agonise about being bikini body ready, yet when I get to the beach, I see women of all shapes and sizes enjoying the sun in bikinis and not giving a hoot. I bought some swimming costumes one year but they definitely have an older and more matronly vibe. The more daring varieties with cut outs are best left to Elle McPherson (and she is over 50). 

With bikinis, it's more flattering to wear cup sized tops, and bottoms which are not too big. Don't make the mistake of buying a size up in the hope it will be more forgiving. If you've bought a cheaper bikini, the bottoms will stretch very quickly and your backside will look the size of a small country. 

Most brands produce several types of bottom so you can choose the most flattering. Some, from the likes of Fantasie, have fold down waists so you can adjust how big your pants are. Side ties are also flattering because they don't cut into the flesh. 

My favourite brands for bikinis are Freya, Bravissimo and Fantasie. I like bandeau styles which liberate your shoulders from tan lines. Both the brands I mention excel in underwired bikini tops which allow the larger busted to wear bandeaus and look great. 

Sometimes, when I really love a particular bikini, I buy it again at a reduced price from the wonderful Belle Lingerie, or I choose a different bottom. 

Beach Kaftans and Cover Ups

Seafolly Bandwave Memphis kaftan in magenta
Kaftan by Seafolly

These Seafolly kaftans appear in different colours every year and they're so easy to wear. One size, £53 from Cocobay.

Elizabeth Hurley Beach kaftan in aqua
Indira kaftan by Elizabeth Hurley Beach
Here's an example of how you can get some good reductions buying now. This kaftan with flattering drawstring waist is reduced by 30% and now costs £175.70 from Elizabeth Hurley Beach.  Still quite pricey, but something to add to your Christmas list? Also in apricot.

Bikinis and Swimsuits

The stylish Freya Tootsie bandeau bikini and shorts (sold individually) are at knock down prices at Belle Lingerie: the top is now £14.40 and the shorts £9.60. Other items including a tankini top and a swimsuit are available, as are other colours.

If you can't find the matching bottoms that you want, my tip is to try eBay. 

Fantasie and Freya both produce a few co-ordinating kaftans but they're not always my first choice: the Fantasie ones are a bit too floaty and remind me of Abigail's Party.

Freya Under the Sea bikini top and bottoms
Freya Under The Sea 
This Under the Sea bikini from Freya was one I bought this year and I absolutely love it. Still available, with two choices of bottoms, from Bravissimo.

Seafolly Blue Coast retro bikini from Figleaves
Seafolly Blue Coast 
Seafolly's new Blue Coast Ruched Side Retro bikini separates are reduced for Black Friday at Fig Leaves. The bottoms are £29.25 instead of £39, and the bandeau is £45 instead of £60.

Latest swimsuits 

If it's a swimsuit you're after, Figleaves has some new styles which are on offer. This Stella McCartney Iconic Print One Piece Strapless Swimsuit is 25% off at £116.25. 

Stella Mccartney iconic print one piece swimsuit
Stella McCartney Iconic print swimsuit 
A figure flattering one piece in black or navy always looks elegant. This Gaby padded costume by Huit in evening blue is on offer at Figleaves, £45 instead of £60.

Huit Gaby one piece
A key part of the look is of course the accessories:  beach bag (with charm!), towel, sunglasses, flip flops, sun hat.  I tend to buy these nearer to the holiday take-off date, so more on these later. 

Linking to Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb, and the #SaturdayShareLinkUp


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