If I go on holiday it tends to be of the last minute nature, mainly due to the fact it is almost impossible to predict when my partner and I with sync up schedule wise. Work trips tend to be with little notice too, meaning that any shopping tends to be done in a bit of a frenzied flap.
These rushed shopping trips result in a new summer wardrobe of slightly ill fitting clothes and those items really you’d didn’t think through – either unsuitable to the given occasion, or the current state of my body.
One piece you really want to get bang-on is your swimwear. Essentially, wearing a bikini is you braving your underwear in front of strangers, in a strange land, with the sun shining down and highlighting all the things you’re insecure about.
The fact that I’ve spent the last 15 years just grabbing a bikini off a rail in a high street store, and without trying on, is quite odd considering how unconfident I am about certain parts of my body.
Don’t get me wrong, those afforadble bikini’s have done the job…but that’s just it, they’ve done the job, but nothing more. They’ve not made me feel better about being in the vulnerable position of wearing a bikini, nor have they enhanced my shape or given me much needed lift. That’s why this year I have given more thought to my swimwear and ended up feeling more at ease on the beach and by the pool. You really can’t put a price on confidence.
During a gap in my LFW schedule I found time to get Biondi Couture, having heard many wondrous things about the swimwear from some of my in-the-know fashion friends. I recently saw a papped image of the enviably toned Pippa Middleton sporting the brand while balancing on a paddle board. If a purchase could nudge me a bit closer to emulating that image, I figured it would be foolish not to!
It was a particularly gross day when I headed to Sloane Street, and it felt quite bizarre to stand within the pristine white space of Bioni Couture dripping with rain and adorned in a soggy wool military coat, while gazing at all the colourful and glittering swimwear and holiday accessories. After a few minutes if climatizing, and with some helpful coaxing from owner Claudine, I left the mindset of drizzly London, and got in the zone of sun and the tropics.
To begin the process of finding the right bikini for me, Claudine asked me a few questions, what sort of style I prefer and whether I’d be open to trying a one piece. I was fairly flexible, deciding it was more important I found the most flattering set, rather than rigidly stick to what I believe is best suited to my body shape. After-all, I figured Claudine, with years of working with clients (and working within fashion prior to this role) she would probably be the better judge.
Claudine grabbed a few of the popular styles for me to try, including one bandeau. The first try-on revealed that I would benefit from going up a size in both the top and the bottoms. Although they did fit, she could see that I’d feel more comfortable with a bit more coverage on my tush, some bottoms are rather skimpy these days!
I informed Claudine of my weirdly fluctuating boobs, and how they are currently in their smaller phase (still a D, but less full) so after some trial and error we decided a size L on top would be best – so I don’t have to worry about boobs escaping from the side, or a nip popping out to say hi !
Due to the shape and size of my boobs we decided that the triangle shape was the most flattering and beneficial. Although that bandeau did fit ok, with any sort of movement it would have a high risk factor in terms of spilling out, and lacked the same level of support and lift.
So I went for this bronze number, figuring it wasn’t too showy or out-there, but a bit more interesting than a black one. I felt it was rather glamorous but still classic and sophisticated. Having ties means you can adjust the top and bottom so they fit just right too, which is an added bonus if you suffer from everychanging boobs like me. I loved the gold beading detailing on the end of the ties, which added a subtle luxe element.
The biggest endorsement for my selection was how comfortable it was. At no point was I worrying about an escaped bum cheek, and at no point did I feel any digging. It was almost like I wasn’t wearing anything….
Enough pictures of me….let me show you the beautiful interior of the Chelsea store…
Items like scarves and sarongs are so useful as they can be worn in so many different ways. Tie them round the strap of your bag, round your head like a turban, wrap around your hips, or prtoect your face and neck from the sand storms.
To be honest with you, I’m not someone that considers the addition of jewellery when it come to my beach look, mainly because the probability of me losing it in the sand is too high. However these accessories are great at transforming your beach look into an acceptable lunch/dinner look. Popping a statment necklace over your kaftan is an extremely luxe look. In Greece we saw a Catherine Deneuve on the beach with large gold hinged sunglasses, a chunky gold necklace and some Chanel pumps – she looked just fabulous.
Until Claudine showed me the beautifu bronze Biondi bkini, I was tempted to go for the black set above left, because black is a reliably chic and safe option, and I loved how the gold rings on the strap gave it a little bit more glamour.
The style of the above bikini is really interesting because of the lack of underwire and obvious seam. It is actually fairly good at giving lift and support while remaining extremely comfortable and soft.
They have every taste and level of bling catered for at Biondi. For those that prefer understated or muted looks, there are plenty of monochrome or earthier toned items. For those that like a punchy statement but aren’t into busy prints, there are plenty of bold colour blocks. Even if it is out of your comfort zone, I would definitly encourage you to consider some of their stunning patterned pieces, as well as some of the intricate embellished items.
The shop is the perfect destination for putting together the complete beach ensemble. With kaftans and kimonoes you can also create the perfect beach to lunch looks too.
Who knew shopping for a bikini could be such a relaxing and enjoyable task? I thoroughly reccommend all you ladies invest in getting properly fitted for your swimwear. You will be shocked at the difference it can make to how you feel on holiday. Time away is your chance to relax and escape the stresses of life, so who wants to be fretting about how they look in the bikini?
A big thank you to Claudine for having me.
55B Old Church St, London SW3 5BS, United Kingdom