Mama Spree | Tried & Tested Black Swimsuits

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Photos: Cass Bird for Porter magazine

I can think of few activities I loathe more than buying swimwear. In fact, I actually loathe the process of buying it more than actually being seen in public wearing it (and that’s saying something!!). I can literally count on one hand the amount of swimsuits (we’ll get to bikinis in a minute) I’ve owned that I actually liked and fitted. I always feel there’s a compromise somewhere, and usually it’s a toss-up between style and content.
So this year (with my holiday looming ever closer), I decided to do things differently. I was still searching for ‘the one’ (aren’t we all?), but I was happy to settle for one that ‘did the job’. So I went online (as you do) and ordered a ton of swimsuits (plus a couple of bikinis for good measure (in for a penny, in for a pound – if I was going to go through the painful process of trying tons of swimsuits on, why not chuck a few bikinis into the mix?), and waited for them to arrive. As with everything in my life, time was limited. So forget all the tips you’ve read about shopping for swimwear: getting a fake tan first, having a full Brazilian bikini wax (although some kind of hair removal is never a bad idea) and flattering lighting – this time, I just tried them on, one by one, making piles of yes, nos and maybes. I just went for all black, as it’s just the easiest option if you’re time-poor and not a size 6. And black is always a chic option. I am a size 12 (a 10 on a particularly good day, generally about one week every leap year) with big boobs, small waist and hips (as in, I have hips, not small hips, obviously). So these are my favourites that I have kept and will be wearing this Summer in Italy: Boden ruffle bandeau (personally, I prefer it minus the straps), Next shape enhancing, Next plain (love that they both have thin, adjustable straps), and my favourite? This scallop swimsuit from Boden. Such a flattering shape, non-wired but still supportive, and I love the low back (so few seem to have them these days). Love it. But size-up, it comes up small. I also went for this Boden bikini top (again, nice thin straps) with these Mint Velvet bikini bottoms (this is my favourite style of bikini bottoms) for those non-focaccia days. And Nicky has already bought this gorgeous scalloped bikini top and bottoms. All in black.
Now if you really want to invest in a black swimsuit, I’ve only ever heard amazing things about Eres swimwear (French women swear by it!). The prices are pretty eye-watering (there goes the rest of my holiday capsule wardrobe…), but if you’re in the market for a big splurge/investment, you should seriously consider one of these.
Happy holidays!

Sarah xx

ps: and in case you’re wondering, this post is not a sponsored one. I just felt I wanted to share, what I have to admit were, surprising results.

pps: you will be relieved to hear that I will not be posting any pictures on Intagram of me on holiday wearing any of my swimsuits.