Hurrah! School is officially OUT. Or very nearly out anyway. Which means one thing and one thing only…holiday time. Or just more pool time if you happen to live in the tropics. Ahem (sorry!). And whenever the holiday feeling is a-coming I always get the shopping feeling. But there’s always a quandary I can’t get my head around when it comes to summer purchases (specifically holiday related buys, aka swimwear and sunglasses). To spend, or to save? What is an investment and what is money being thrown away?
After nearly a year of permanent summer (really not trying to sound too smug about that), but I feel like I’m finally able to answer my own question.
The 1, 2, 3 of swimwear…
When it comes to swimwear I think there are three options:
- Super cheap and cheerful (think H&M)
- Something up to the $200/£100 mark (I’m a Seafolly girl)
- A lot of money for not a lot of material (i.e. ridiculoso diamond embellished tooth floss for side chicks)
Now look, I’m all for spending a little on what you fancy. Sure. But I find it REALLY hard to justify spending $$$ on swimwear. I don’t know why. And I find it even more difficult since realising how quickly swimmers fade in pool water/sunshine. BUT – and here’s where I’ve had a bikini based epiphany recently – if you aim for a midway price it is money very well spent. Especially (sorry to drop this one in again), if you find yourself going to the pool daily.
Up until very recently I was a cheap and cheerful girl. Wear it, wear it out, chuck it, buy again. But not only is this a false economy, but the quality tends to be as low as the price. The fit of swimwear might not be first and foremost on the list of essentials if you’re super toned / pre-pubescent / totally at ease with your body. But for everyone else (about 99% of the female swimming population*) having swimmers that don’t threaten to slide around and expose the parts of your body you’d rather keep tucked out of sight is pretty much up there with most important life goals. So that’s flimsy triangles threaded on a bit of cord out of the equation then.
*not scientific fact
Shopping for swimwear
I mentioned that I was a Seafolly girl earlier. I’ll be honest, I’ve only JUST become a Seafolly girl. I was persuaded after seeing one of my friends here (who has a 5 year old and 2 year old twins) literally transform from Mum to sex on legs just by putting on a Seafolly one piece. It’s not that she look’s shit usually (she definitely doesn’t) but that cozzie was a real head turner for all the right reasons. That was pretty much the moment I realised smart girls spend a little more on their swimmers than I had been.
(top tip: ASOS and John Lewis currently have a selection of Seafolly bikini’s and cozzie’s in the sale. I just picked up a two piece for about £50. Sizes are limited so be quick!)
(right) Solid & Striped
THE swimsuit brand of choice for T-Swift and the squad. But don’t let that put you off. With two pieces that come with multiple options you don’t have to go quite so supermodel skimpy to pull off the look. Their pants are perfect for when you want to wear a two piece but want to keep everything in place. I mean hey, if they’re good enough for Taylor they’re good enough for me.
I have to be completely honest though, Solid & Striped is a little pricier than the £100 budget if you’re paying full whack. The sale however….the sale is where you can pick up beauties like the cozzie on the right for a slightly more manageable amount (this one is US$110 which is about £85). But as with any great bargains, you have to be super quick to grab them before they’re gone.
So unlike Seafolly, which you can build into your holiday budget, Solid & Striped would be a splurge. But unlike sunglasses you can’t sit on your cozzie by accident and break it. And think of all the holiday snaps of you, quite literally, looking like a supermodel.
Hopefully I’ve inspired you to reconsider your swimwear budget this summer holiday season. But when you think about it, you spend almost all day every day in your swimmers if you’re headed on a beach or pool holiday. And we can EASILY justify a new dress for holidays, even though we’ll only wear it for a few hours in an evening. But your swimmers? Well if you’re feeling comfy and confident in them there’s a good chance the cost per wear will have them paying for themselves (or at least paid off) in no time. And if not, then book another holiday! Simple! Decent quality and tailored swimwear will see you through several holidays if you look after them properly (i.e. rinse after use and follow the washing instructions). Too bad that’s a lesson I’ve only just learned, age 29 and hundreds of cheap throw away bikini’s later.
Happy hols mama’s!
Images on this page are credited to Seafolly Australia and Solid + Striped