Recently I packed for a family holiday in Majorca. As a rule I am excellent at organizing these things, and indeed three of the cases were packed beautifully. My own however was sadly lacking in beachwear.
Standing in front of the full length mirror I surveyed my decidedly un-sylphlike figure. What was needed here was an objective analysis…easier said than done, but really just a matter of perspective.
Bracing myself, I considered such things as the balance between my bust and hips, how much if any of a waist I had and the length of my body compared to the length of my legs.
This done I was able to stop procrastinating and set about finding the most flattering beachwear available. As always, my first point of call was Google.
Eagerly I typed in ‘beachwear for the fuller figure’ and waited expectantly. Well, the next three hours are still a blur. There was so much contradictory information I thought my head was going to explode.
It’s Time To Call For Back Up
Realizing the error of my ways, I decided to call for back up- my two best friends, both of them with equally curvaceous but very differently proportioned figures, and one of them with a lifetime’s experience in fashion. We set about our mission to come up with a definitive list of beach fashion that really rocks.
Like something out of Sex in the City, the three of us hit the High Street, the shopping malls and the markets, leaving bikinis and bathing suits quaking in our wake.
Taking notes along the way, and photographs if we thought we could get away with it, we studied our combined research over a light supper and a large glass of wine. The next morning, unable to face any more shops, I went back on line and ordered exactly what I needed for my holiday.
Considering the amount of effort my friends and I put into the research, we felt we should share it with the world. Here then, are our vital statistics and details of the most flattering styles for each of us.
Georgie has a large bust and a waist that goes straight down into her hips. She went for powder blue bathing costumes in halter neck style, under-wired for support but non-padded. This took emphasis away from the bust and gave her the appearance of a longer body. She preferred the costumes with ruching over the abdomen which kept the focus off the chest even more.
A pair of strappy heels (which would have to come off before actually getting on the beach), had the effect of making her legs look longer and gave her “an entirely elegant feel”.
A large brimmed straw hat, accessorized with a powder blue scarf trim pulled the whole look together.
Taz is a plus size pear shape. She is five foot six with narrow shoulders, average bust, a hint of a waist and ‘childbearing’ hips. (Oh, how she loves those childbearing hips!)
We emphasized the bust by choosing a two piece with molded and padded cups up top, and sarong style bottoms in bright fuchsia. (Paler colours were less flattering as she did not have much of a tan).
Finishing off the ensemble with a plunging neckline white Kaftan, a pair of fuchsia strapped wedges and a bold fuchsia and white striped beach bag, the effect was stunning.
Me: My body is ‘frumpy’, and frumpy is ok for work, or taking the children to school, but on holiday it just won’t do…I want to be SEXY.
I had determined that my best features were my waist and shoulders, whilst my worst were my belly and legs.
I chose a steel blue, bandeau under-wired tankini, loose fitting around the middle but emphasizing the bust and fully displaying those shoulders. A small floral design on the top stopped the focus being drawn to any one area. The full briefs were comfortable, and for added modesty I complemented the tankini with a pair of optional harem pants.
Finally, we all agreed that the essential holiday fashion accessory was a tan, so off to the pharmacy I went for a bottle of the good stuff…case fully packed.
Happy holidays everyone!
If you have any plus size holiday packing tips please share them in the comments.
Author of The POISE Archive fantasy series and ghost writer of various self-help books, Jacqueline works full time as a counsellor and lifestyle advisor. She is married with four children.
Image by Alaskan Dude