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The Ultimate Guide to Summer Beach Confidence

Summer holidays - two words that evoke many different emotions. Warm weather, sandy beaches, al fresco eating, lazy days, balmy evenings and aaaaarrrrggggghhh I’ve got to put my pasty body on show!

For the majority of us, the concept of stripping down to our swimwear on the beach can be quite daunting, and for some it can be positively terrifying! With that in mind, we have come up with a collection of top tips for prepping yourself for beach loveliness, with absolutely no mention of intense cardio sessions or wheatgrass and kale detoxes.

Beach Essentials

Many of us pack away our swimwear at the end of every summer and assume, a year later when holiday time comes around again, that last years’ costume and accessories will have stood the test of time. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case as sun, salt water and chlorine play havoc with fabrics; the colour is likely to have faded and the elastic will most probably have stretched.

You also need to remember that as women our body shapes tend to change just as much as the seasons. Although it is a pain to shop for new swimwear, it is essential for the ultimate beach confidence that your staples are up to scratch.

Swimwear

It’s a fact of life that no one enjoys shopping for swimwear. And why would you, when every lump and bump is on show for all to see? The following guide will hopefully help make this shopping minefield easier:

  • Know your body shape and shop with this in mindFor example, frills and embellishments are flattering for athletic types, whereas ‘apple shapes’ should go for high cut bottoms to emphasise their legs.
  • If you don’t fancy wearing a bikini, tankinis (with a longer, tummy covering top) can be a cooler alternative to a swimming costume.
  • The 1950s shapes, which were designed to flatter curvaceous figures, can be a great way of enhancing womanly curves.
  • If you are buying a bikini, it is worth choosing a set where you can select the top and bottoms individually so that you can team the correct bra size with well-fitting bottoms. One size fits all is generally a joke from shop to shop now and never is this truer than of the bikini.
  • For women with larger breasts, it is advisable to choose an underwired bikini top or swimming costume with wider straps to offer maximum support.
  • Make your decision on what you look like now, rather than what you think you will look like when you have lost a few pounds or have a tan.

Colours and Fabrics

When you are choosing swimwear, colours and fabrics can make a big difference to how the garment will look. When shopping, consider the following tips:

  • Black and vertical stripes are notoriously slimming choices.
  • If you fancy a brighter colour, select the shade to suit your skin tone. If a colour normally ‘washes you out’ in outer-wear, it will be even more draining when you have more skin on show.
  • Metallic fabric can add inches to a frame and draw attention to problem areas.
  • If you don’t want to draw attention to yourself you can’t go wrong with flattering matt shades of popular, classic colours.

Cover-ups

It’s always advisable to take a cover-up to the beach to protect from the mid-day sun, however for many women, kaftans and sarongs are fashion’s answer to hiding any ‘wobbly bits’. These beach essentials provide the perfect cover up for women who don’t feel confident on the beach as they can hide problem areas whilst adding style to any swimsuit or beachwear.

The right cover-up can go from simply being a beach accessory to being a multi tasking holiday must have. Think about the following when shopping for a cover-up:

  • Anything can work as a cover-up, from traditional sarongs and kaftans to maxi-dresses and shirt dresses. Even oversized eighties inspired t-shirts.
  • Cover-ups will undoubtedly be worn on top of hot skin that is covered in sun cream. With this in mind, avoid silks at all costs or fabrics that are likely to mark easily.
  • Whilst they may look pretty, avoid lots of fiddly buttons or tighter fits that can be tricky to take on and off. Convenience is key here.
  • Choose cover ups or sarongs in colours to complement your swim wear, although try to refrain from matching prints as you may risk overkill.
  • Remember that they are likely to get wet and will also spend a lot of time scrunched up in your beach bag, therefore go for lightweight fabrics that don’t crease easily and dry-out quickly.

TOP TIP: To check whether a fabric is prone to creasing, scrunch a handful of the material in your hand and hold tightly for a few seconds. When you release it, the fabric should spring back to its original state (or near enough), if it remains screwed up, don’t buy it!

Distraction and Diversion

Fascinators weren’t given their name for nothing. Whilst we aren’t for one second suggesting wearing a natty little headpiece to the beach, the principle of wearing something bold and eye-catching is a great way of keeping the focus in the right areas. Not only that, some accessories can actually give the illusion of a taller slimmer figure, read on to find out more:

Over-Sized Hats

Over-sized hats are great for many reasons:

  • They offer great protection from the sun.
  • Hats protect the hair from the drying effects of the sun, especially if your hair is colour treated. Go one step further and apply a protective mosturising hair treatment, pull on a hat and no one will know!
  • Beach hairstyling isn’t a consideration, simply hide it under a funky hat for an instant fashion statement.
  • And, incredibly…

  • Oversized hats will instantly shrink a woman’s body as the large proportions of the hat create the optical illusion of a smaller body.

Big Beach Bags

Again, large beach bags have added benefits, along with being great for stashing all of your beach essentials. Following a similar principle to the hat, over-sized beach bags can minimise a woman’s proportions by making their body look smaller. Bright or embellished beach bags can draw people’s eyes away from problem areas such as the waist.

Wedges

An easy, foolproof trick to creating a trimmer silhouette is to simply put on a pair of heels. The added couple of inches has the following benefits:

  • Heels instantly add height and elongate legs.
  • They make women appear taller and leaner.
  • Heels help create better posture, which is instantly slimming.

Clearly, it’s not advisable to stumble across the beach in stilettos so a good alternative is to invest in a pair of wedge sandals. Not only are they on trend, they are also surprisingly comfortable and much more supportive than stilettos. Another added advantage is that they can also be worn away from the beach, making them a great multi-tasking addition to your holiday wardrobe.

Accessorise

Invest in some cheap and cheerful costume jewelry to break up your look, or a flowery hair clip to perk up your ponytail. Light fabric scarves can be extremely useful on holiday, they can be very effective tied as a belt over your kaftan, or even as a striking bandanna.

Don’t forget the ultimate holiday essential accessory, a decent pair of sunglasses. Not only will they protect your eyes from the sun, they will also provide an instant pop of style, especially if you go oversized and glam.

Pre-holiday Pampering

No one needs an excuse to do a bit of pre-holiday pampering, especially when you consider it as an addition to your holiday wardrobe! The following treatments are a great way to get yourself in tip top condition for the beach, and come hand in hand with a super confidence boost!

Mani/pedi:Brightly coloured finger and toe nails add the finishing touch to any outfit, whether it’s beachwear or evening wear. You may want to invest in a gel mani/pedi for long lasting colour and minimal holiday maintenance, many beauty salons claim that the colour will last for up to two weeks. Alternatively, if you prefer the DIY approach, invest in a rainbow of sunshine colours to coordinate with an array of different holiday wardrobes.

Silky Skin:In the weeks running up to your holiday get into the routine of regularly exfoliating and moisturising your skin. This will ensure that it is silky smooth once you hit the beach and it will also ensure that fake tan goes on easier and will last longer.

Fake Tan:The advancement in tanning treatments has made it so much easier for pale skinned beauties to strip off on that first day on the beach. We are no longer restricted to dangerous tanning booths to get a touch of colour, as even DIY treatments are foolproof (well almost!).

Packed, preened and ready to hit the beach

By taking the above tips into consideration, you are well on your way to looking seriously stylish and as a result, feeling much more confident on the beach. And, if you still have your doubts, walk tall, smile and abide by the same rules as you use for your glowing tan – fake it!

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