The One With The Striped Swimsuit

Summer loving

Summer. We countdown to it every year. We crave the light mornings and long evenings, the sunshine and warmth, the fruity drinks, the beach trips and the promise of BBQs with our loved ones.

I do love all of those things. But for me, summer has a darker, malevolent side: those relentlessly clammy nights with broken, sticky sleep, stifling afternoons, muggy mornings, sunburn, insects, the ritual humiliation of swimwear shopping, and then having to wear said swimwear (even though it’s overpriced and I didn’t really like it anyway so actually I’ll probably not wear it at all).

I’m lucky, as I live just a few miles from the coast. I can pop to the beach at a moment’s notice – a truly joyous thing in the summer, unless it’s the weekend and 10,000 tourists are in town.

But I can’t quite commit to the beach lifestyle – it actually took me ’til last year before I was comfortable enough to wear a swimsuit in public. I’m not sure why, I just felt horrendously self-conscious, awkward and exposed.

There was no magic formula for getting over my discomfort. I just… did it. And once I’d done it, I stopped caring so much. I was just a girl in a swimsuit. No big deal. ‘Why had I been so worried?’ I wondered.

Thinking about it, it did help that I’d found a swimsuit I really rather liked (a first!). It’s just a really simple, classic, no-fuss one-piece from Monki which makes me look like an oversized stick of rock. That’s a winner in my book.

So, when my friend Queenie came to visit (for my annual birthday beach trip), I didn’t think about what I was wearing, how it looked, or what kind of havoc the wind was wreaking with my hair. We just had fun like the silly arses we are. It was so freeing!

And here’s the funniest thing – I put a couple of these pictures on Instagram to embrace my ‘I can wear swimsuit now, guys!’ attitude to life, and Monki reposted them on their site! So, I’ve gone from being Ms Apprehensive to a real-life swimsuit model (yes, I know I’m not really a swimsuit model but please let me have my moment, it’ll never come again).

Swimsuit: Monki | Shorts: DIY (with an old pair of too-big Levi jeans)

I wish you all the confidence you deserve this summer. Whether it’s a swimsuit or a sundress you’re nervous about, just pick a fun design you enjoy and wear it. Because honestly, why waste energy caring beyond that?

I’m raising my imaginary glass to ‘just doing it anyway’ – cheers, my loves! xx

Thanks to Kate for the pictures.

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