In preparation, while everyone else is thinking about thick coats and scarves, I'm digging out the 10 bikinis I've collected over the summer. This what I'll be taking with me...
I'll start off with my favourite, the Kostium-w-Grochy-gora from Ewa Michalak. I was initially quite wary of ordering from a non-English speaking company (damn my terrible British attitude), but it turned out that the people at Polish company Ewa Michalak got it spot on, coming up with my 'usual' bra size of 30G. Be warned, they have a strange way of getting your measurements, involving you bending over and measuring around your hanging boobs, but it turns out the sizing was spot one, in this bikini at least. I have no idea how much this cost, but it was more than it does now, as it appears to be on offer at the moment. The bottoms I got in a 14 and a 16 to be safe. The 16's fit better, but the 14's aren't unwearable by no means. I adore this style, from the polka dots to the red ruffles, the structure of the cups and the amazing cleavage it gives, but my favourite thing it the back of the bottoms. SO cute!! Another useful design feature is the bra fastener, which is covered up by two lengths of fabric to tie. It has 3 rows of 2 hooks, just like a normal bra. I just LOVE this! Enough of my rambling, here are the photos:
Now for the mother of all big busted brands; Freya! I have 2 Freya bikinis packed, the purple Eclipse and the tattoo-ish print Ritual, both of which are old stock and may be difficult to find, hence no link! I searched for months for the ritual top in my size! So both are unpadded, nicely structured cups that feel supportive and trouble free, which is ideal if you're planning on doing anything more than lying on a sun lounger. The Eclipse has a cute heart detail on the strap and the waistband of the shorts, which is a nice bit of detailing on an otherwise plain bikini. As with most Freya bikinis, the bottoms come in various shapes, shorts, briefs, fold down briefs...Take your pick! The Ritual top is a 30G, bottoms a L, and the Eclipse is a 28GG (I think) and bottoms M. I'd recommend Freya bikinis whole heartedly. The only thing that lets them down a little for me is the patterns, but that's a personal thing. I do, however, LOVE the Ritual! Here we go, Ritual on the right, Eclipse on the left.
And here we come to a 'meh' bikini, by Lepel. I got this from an outlet and haven't seen it online, so it must be pretty old. It's completely the wrong size, but it was very cheap (£7 or something for the set) so I bought it and threw it straight on my 'to be altered' pile. This is a 32G. I don't really have much to say about this one, I just bought it because it was there! It's not great but buying the wrong size rarely works out!
Next up, my favourite for designs, La Senza. I have a love/hate relationship with La Senza in that they make bikinis up to a GG cup but they are seriously hard to find in a 30 back, yet there is an abundance of larger back & larger cup sizes. Logic would suggest they make more of the sizes that sell out the fastest, and less of the ones that end up sat in the sale; eventually ending up in outlet stores on sale for a few pounds. Literally. I was lucky enough to stumble across an outlet/uber discount La Senza store in Birmingham over the summer and picked up the bright pink checked bikini below, in a 30GG! It cost £5 and I managed to find a pair of tie side briefs in a size 12 on Ebay too! The fit on the 30GG is PERFECT, I cannot stress this enough. I really don't like how bright the pink is but I'm willing to waive that minor issue. The other 2 in the photo below are 32G's, 16 bottoms, and have both had to be altered to make the back bands fit better. The tops cost £22 at full price, and the bottoms around £15. Aside from the sizes, my only other issue is their use of halter necks. Why? I'm guessing my neck will be hurting after a few hours of wearing these. Meh, a good excuse for a massage from my other half I think ;) All in all, La Senza do make beautiful bikinis but one thing to remember is that you'll probably need to go up a cup size as their cups run small.
Finally, I was browsing in a local charity shop and came across a rack of bras that looked suspiciously large. On closer inspection, there were bikini tops in my size for £3.49 each! I quickly snapped them up and enlisted the help of fellow curvy girls online to help me identify which brands and styles they were and where to find the matching bottoms. It turned out they were from Bravissimo and made by Faubourg and Miss Mandalay. I luckily managed to find the matching bottoms in the sale, so the total cost for both bikinis came to around £25 . The Faubourg 'Pretty Young Things' bikini was very loose in the band and needed quit a lot of alteration, and the underwires come up quite high in the centre too, kind of cutting into my boobs so the fit isn't ideal for me. The Miss Mandalay Gingham bikini, although very cute, isn't great, and certainly not worth paying full price for. It is effectively a bikini with a gingham overlay that's not been fitted onto the bra/briefs as well as it could have been, creating an excess of fabric in certain parts. Still, for a charity shop find, I can't complain!
So that's it my lovelies! I'll see you all soon xxx
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