Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Swimwear: Bikini VS. Swimsuit

Summer has finally decided to arrive and the shops are filling up with swimwear and holiday clothes. I LOVE going holiday shopping; chances are I will spend a small fortune on twenty bikinis, dozens of maxi dresses and shorts, only to find I wear about 30% of it when I'm actually away. We all do it, right? Fill our suitcases to the brim with our 'planned outfits' for the seven days/fortnight, only to find ourselves living in swimwear and kaftans the whole time. Oh well, holiday clothes are fun.

I am a massive fan of bikinis, but it's not always been the case. When you're little it's pretty much a given you live in swimsuits, and I remember as I got older and slightly more confident, I discovered the 'tankini', a two piece with a long top to disguise any unwanted belly. As I got older I lost weight and bikinis became my best friend. Now though, I'm really not so sure which I prefer. 

To be honest, the amount of bikinis you see in shops, you would think that the majority of people vote bikinis for their favourite type of swimwear, however a survey by the Daily Mail suggests otherwise. Apparently, 53% of the 2321 women surveyed would choose a one piece swimsuit over a bikini, which was only said to be a preference by 18% of women.

Lace up swimsuit, Sophina

Why did they choose a one piece over a bikini though? Because they felt it better compliments their shape, which is probably true, although I really think it depends on your choice of swimsuit. I always felt really self-conscious growing up wearing a swimsuit, but would I have felt more so in a bikini? I'm not sure. Choose right and you get a swimsuit that covers every lump and bump and streamlines your shape. Choose wrong and it's like the ultimate bodycon nightmare - without control pants. Not good!

Although the bikini definitely seems to be the more modern choice for women, a one piece reduces the chance of any swimming accidents (trust me, I've had my fair share. Tie-up bikinis are not my friend) and can, if chosen correctly, compliment a body shape rather than expose any wobbly bits!

Underwired bikini, Midnight Grace

However, no matter what your preferences are, you can’t deny that the variety of swimwear available has increased significantly in recent years. Patterns, accessories, cuts and functions can all vary and there are so many amazing designs out there, you end up wanting one for every day of the week. I'm obsessing over high-waisted bikinis at the minute - I think they provide the perfect fit between swimsuit and bikini, and I love the retro vibe they give. To me, swimsuits give off the impression of sophistication, whereas bikinis are more about the fun factor. I think it's great to have a mixture of both in your wardrobe, although I think I'm a bikini girl at heart. 

I love the fact there are so many different swimwear products on the market, even if some of them do give you rather unfortunate tan lines, and it looks like the majority of us do too. Swimwear and underwear retailer Figleaves recently enjoyed turning their first profit in 13 years, partly due to the range of items they have on offer. This just goes to show how the amount of choice we now have in swimwear has made such a difference. It's great that as well as buying a full bikini, you can mix and match to get the look for you. 

I'm hoping on going on holiday later in the year and although the thought of getting bikini-ready scares me slightly, the thought of going swimwear and holiday shopping gets me all excited! Are you going away anywhere this year? Which do you prefer; one piece swimsuits or two piece bikinis?
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