Be a sun goddess

Navy swimsuit at www.laredoute.co.uk
Navy swimsuit at www.laredoute.co.uk
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We simply cannot afford to ruin a good holiday with worries about beach wear. Stephanie Smith has advice.

As liberating as it can be to see French and Spanish women, of all ages, sizes and shapes, lying on their holiday beaches topless and in very tiny pants, many of us Brits find it hard to follow suit (that is, without our bathing suits).

And yet, for many British women, even the thought of trying on a new swimsuit is terrifying, a bikini even more so, therefore it’s often easier not to bother, to cower in a faded but trusty old thing.

Get your swimwear and accompanying cover-ups and accessories right, however, and you will be able to hog those sun loungers with the best of all nations.

First, your swimsuit or bikini – you have to try some on to find out what styles, shapes and patterns suit you (you can always order online later).

There are a number of myths concerning body-slimming swimwear tricks – for example, the notion that high-leg swimsuits and bikini bottoms elongate your legs, presumably on the basis that showing more flesh continuing above the leg and up towards your midriff creates the visual impression that you have pins that go all the way up to your neck. It’s nonsense. All high-cut legs do is create a most unattractive look that draws attention to the fattest part of your thighs. Avoid.

Meanwhile, swimsuits that claim to make wearers look as if they have lost 5lb (big whoop) or 10lbs should be viewed with a degree of cynicism. For a start, they can be very tight, difficult to get on and pretty much impossible to take off again, especially when wet. It’s tempting to go up a size, but then the slimming benefits are lost, although at least you can breathe.

Having said that, firm, tailored support is essential for anyone over 35 or over a C cup, so make sure your bikini top or swimsuit fits properly and lifts appropriately. A well-fitted bikini top teamed with bottoms that cover the tummy area makes a flattering combination. Try in white, black or bronze (buy two or three sets and mix and match).

Find a beautiful bright kaftan, perhaps a long swishy beach skirt, a gold trilby or wide-brimmed hat, a linen shirt, gorgeous beach sandals, glamorous sunnies, and you’re so good to go. Don’t forget your sun cream.

Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ