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Thrifty challenge: Ten swimsuits and bikinis all under €20

Last summer, I went a bit stir-crazy and spent most of my time shopping online for swimwear while I was laid up with a broken ankle.

I bought several swimsuits and bikinis but didn’t even wear all of them on holidays.

For this year’s swimwear post, I thought I’d focus on more thrifty swimwear and see if I could find five swimsuits and five bikinis all under €20.

Asos is always one of my favourite places to buy swimwear as they have really original styles.

My first pick is this stunning palm print swimsuit from Pimkie at Asos. It is on sale and comes in at a very affordable €13.98 if you shop in sterling.

It features a cross back and has removable cups, great for those who wear a larger bra size and need some support.

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Palm swimsuit Pimkie at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

Girls who have larger boobs will know the struggle of trying to find affordable and cute swimsuits that also offer support.

This is something I’ve always struggled with when buying bikinis and swimsuits as I need to take about two sizes up in a bikini top and find myself falling out of some one-pieces!

I was pleasantly surprised to see this pretty pink snakeprint swimsuit available on sale for just €19.36 down from €40 from Asos.

Shop in sterling and you’ll get it for a reasonable €15.66.

It is available in sizes DD to G and has underwire support and a clasp at the back.

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Pink snakeprint swimsuit. Wolf and Whistle at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

And this two-tone beauty from Missguided is currently reduced from €27 to €17.

It is perfect for lazing by the pool or popping a pair of denim shorts over for heading out.

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Black and whiter halterneck swimsuit. Pic: Missguided.com

Tall gals will love this gorgeous Versace style chain print suit from Boohoo.com which flatters long lean figures.

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Chain print swimsuit. Pic: Boohoo.com

It was €24 but with a 20% off promotion, it’s only €19. Boohoo also do a similar style in white for only €11.

Versace style prints are one of the biggest trends in swimwear this year and I absolutely love the look.

Bandeau swimsuits are really flattering on smaller busts and petite figures and this lime green one from PrettyLittleThing is only €6.

If lime green isn’t your thing, it also comes in black with white polka dots.

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Lime green bandeau swimsuit. Pic: PrettyLittleThing.com

Donning a bikini can be daunting for many of us but finding a shape and style that suits your body is one way to feel more confident.

This Versace print gold and black beauty from PrettyLittleThing comes in at an affordable €12. It also comes in white and red variations.

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Gold and black print bikini. Pic: Prettylittlething.com

Last year, I found a gorgeous little green sequin bikini on PrettyLittleThing and fell in love with it.

This year, I’ve spotted very similar sequin bikinis in green and multi-coloured versions in Penneys, €17 for the entire set.

These were launched in April so I’m not sure if they are left in many stores but I did see them in Penneys on O’Connell Street in Dublin.

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Sequin bikini. Pic: Primark.com

Frills and flounces look great on petite girls and this green set from Missguided at Asos is just the ticket if you like detailed bikinis.

It’s €17.98 for the entire set in euro but only €14.55 if you use sterling.

I love the bottoms as there are a lot of super skimpy high cut styles out at the moment but this one offers a little more coverage.

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Green bikini, Missguided at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

For those who require more support than a triangle top can offer (*puts hand up*), Asos have an adorable pink bikini top with black spots in sizes DD to F for only €9.68.

It has thick supportive straps and a clasp on the back. It also comes in a triangle top style.

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Pink and black bikini. Pic: Asos.com

You can match this with either a thong or high-cut tanga bottom, depending on how daring you feel, €5.53 and €6.91 respectively.

Shop in sterling and nab the lot for €13.44 (with tanga bottom) or €12.32 (with thong).

Bandeau bikinis are great if you want to avoid tan lines and polka dots are huge this summer.

This adorable red and white one comes in just under budget at €19.58 from Bershka, reduced from €27.98.

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Red and white polka dot bikini. Pic: Bershka.com

Hope you all enjoyed this post, it was a bit of a challenge to hunt down nice swimsuits and bikinis under €20 but it was also enjoyable.

If you’d like to see more thrifty challenge posts on my blog, leave me a comment and let me know.

The Blog Awards Ireland 2018 are now open for entries so if you enjoy reading my blog, please give me a nomination here.

PS- this is not a sponsored post and there are no affiliate links – all my own choices. For more inspiration, visit my Pinterest swimwear board.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

 

Visiting the Basque Country: Biarritz and San Sebastian

After a rather difficult year, I was badly in need of a break and my holiday in Biarritz and San Sebastian was just that.

We booked this holiday prior to my accident and it gave me something to look forward to.

We’d found reasonably-priced flights to Biarritz and after I read Indie and Lily’s blog post on San Sebastian, we decided to spend two nights there also.

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With the cost of two Airbnb’s and renting a car, it was definitely one of the more expensive holidays I’ve been on.

As we’d booked it a long time in advance, it gave me time to save up spending money, however, I did find myself buying clothes for holidays all summer…

I was worried about how my injury would affect my enjoyment of holidays but I actually walked for at least an hour most days.

The most amazing thing happened during our first evening there. I walked a few steps without my crutches! (I’d been trying to do this for some time but could only lurch rather than walk).

I couldn’t believe it as it had been FOUR MONTHS since I had last walked. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing when I showed my boyfriend and I almost cried with happiness!!

Biarritz is a hilly city so there were lots of inclines for me to navigate.

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Biarritz coast

Our Airbnb host informed us that there was a free shuttle bus (the navette) into the city centre every day and we made use of that on several occasions.

However, the city centre navette only ran till 7.30 pm, which meant we usually went for dinner in the local area.

This wasn’t an issue though because our apartment was only 10 minutes from the bustling Les Halles area, full of restaurants and bars.

Our Biarritz Airbnb was a charming retro apartment with a huge terrace.

We spent most of our time at the apartment on the terrace eating outside or chilling in the sun. It was about a 15-minute walk from the city centre but on crutches it took longer.

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The terrace complemented my dinner outfit.

One thing I immediately noticed was that there seemed to be few chain restaurants and stores.

I didn’t see one MacDonalds or Starbucks which was really refreshing. (That’s not to say they weren’t there but there certainly aren’t as many as at home…)

We stuffed our faces with delicious food, from ice-cream to seafood, burgers and frites, churros, croque madames et monsieurs and croissants.

Biarritz is full of gastronomic delights and my diet went right out the window!

Alcohol was also plentiful and I enjoyed several delicious mojitos!

We didn’t really go shopping in Biarritz apart from a brief trip to Galeries Lafayette but this was just for a browse.

We took two day trips, one to St Jean de Luz, a pretty little Basque town.

We lounged on the beach and enjoyed lunch there. I even managed to get into the sea and swim – yay!

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Basque or Euskara is a bit of linguistic mystery, it has no relation to any other European language.

As we drove out of Biarritz, we saw more signs in Basque and signs featuring the Basque cross.

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Sunday was rainy and we decided to drive up into the Pyrenees to a town named St Jean Pied de Port.

The town is famous for being part of the Camino de Santiago Compostela.

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Streets of St Jean Pied de Port

The hilly town wasn’t the easiest for me to negotiate but we walked right to the top of the town, stopping off for a coffee and a trip to a tiny local museum.

Walking up the steep hilly cobbled street in the rain was no mean feat!

I then took a rest while my boyfriend climbed up the Citadelle, a 17th century fortress sitting on the highest point in town. 

On our last day in Biarritz, we wanted to visit the two main tourist attractions, the Rocher de la Vierge, a statue of the Virgin Mary which resides on a rock formation in the middle of the ocean and Le Phare, the historic lighthouse overlooking Biarritz.

However, my injury presented challenges as the Rock of the Virgin entails a long walk out on a metal footpath and the lighthouse has 258 steps and no lift!

We decided to catch a little tourist train out to the Rock of the Virgin (we thought it would let us off but instead it just stopped on the promenade).

This meant we only saw the rock from the distance but given my limited mobility, it was for the best.

It was €6 for a round trip which dropped us back to the city centre.

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Le Phare lighthouse

We drove to the Le Phare and enjoyed taking some photos of the beautiful scenery outside.

I decided against the climb and enjoyed a coffee instead.

The weather was mid-20’s to low 30’s most days with our final day being the warmest and most humid.

We’d gone to the beach that morning to catch a few rays.

That evening there was a thunderstorm which we enjoyed watching out the terrace doors.

After the storm passed, we went to a hipster burger joint called Bonheur. I wasn’t too hungry so just had fries with parsley and garlic -delicious!

The next day we had to rush as we got a message from our host asking if we’d left – we had forgotten to check what time we had to check out at! Oops!

Luckily, we were pretty much packed and ready to go and we set off for San Sebastian or Donostia as it’s known in Basque.

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The streets of San Sebastian

We were only in San Sebastian for two days but it was a wonderful two days.

Buses were plentiful so we didn’t need to use our car.

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Plaza de la Constitucion San Sebastian.

Our first day was spent strolling through the city streets in search of pinxtos.

We soon found a pinxto bar on a side street called Bardulia.

We sampled a mix of cold pinxtos here but to be honest they were quite underwhelming.

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Pinxtos

I noticed that one street was called 31 Agosto and when I discovered that’s because the city was burned to the ground by invaders on the date, apart from that one street.

We arrived on the 29th and apparently, there’s a commemoration on the 31st every year but we were leaving early that day.

We meandered down as far as La Concha promenade and took in the beautiful spectacle of the shell-shaped beach.

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La Concha Beach San Sebastian
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Views from the promenade.

The promenade is lined with ornate white railings with old-fashioned street lamps at the entrance to the beach.

Beside the promenade was a stunningly beautiful carousel which stood out against the bright blue sky.

That evening we had burgers and one of the best mojitos I had all holidays at a restaurant called Muuk in the main square.

The burgers came with a tiny serving of potato shavings, kind of like mini chipsticks!

The following day we went to the beach where I finally got to wear my new bikini from PLT.

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It turned rainy in the afternoon so we went shopping.

I had my heart set on a Longchamps bag but I hadn’t time to go to the Longchamps store in Biarritz.

However, we tracked down the only store selling Longchamps in the area.

N.B shops in San Sebastian tend to close between 2-4, so be aware of this if you are shopping.

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Frizzy hair don’t care

The store in question, Styl, didn’t have a huge stock of Longchamps bags but I decided to get a navy rucksack.

While Stan Smiths were everywhere in Biarritz, in San Sebastian, everyone seemed to sport a Levis t-shirt. I picked one up in Noa and Judy for €25.

I also bought an Iron Maiden tee in Donostia Rock for €24.

After that I wandered through Stradivarius and Bershka, unfortunately, I didn’t get to Zara or Sephora. *sobs*

On our last evening, we stayed in with pizza and beer and watched some ridiculous Spanish TV.

There were some bizarre sketch shows that made us laugh but seeing bullfighting on one channel was horrible.

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Church San Sebastian

I highly recommend both cities and wish we could’ve had more time to explore San Sebastian. Have you ever been to either? Let me know.

PS I’ve been very busy lately so haven’t had any time to blog but will hopefully have an autumn trends post coming soon. Thanks for reading and check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

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Buying a bikini: How to choose the right style

I have a love/hate affair with bikinis, there were times when I would barely get into one because I felt “fat”/unattractive. Prior to my first ever proper holiday abroad at 19, I went on a drastic diet to try and lose weight.

I definitely wasn’t overweight but my weight fluctuated a LOT when I was younger and I was really uncomfortable with my body for years.

I remember feeling awkward and not remotely confident on that particular holiday but I’ve managed to gain a sliver of confidence since when it comes to donning a bikini.

Cashflow issues and ankle problems aside, these are some bikini trends I am absolutely in love with at the moment and some tips on what style to choose.

Re-worked

I’m obsessed with reworked bikinis and I’m always looking for them on Etsy. These are from one of my favourite Etsy shops Croptopchannel.

At just under €48, they aren’t what you’d call thrifty but bikinis aren’t really something you can pick up in a charity shop..nor would you want to!

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Reworked Adidas bikini. Pic: Croptopchannel
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Reworked camo bikini. Pic: Croptopchannel

I love all things Moschino but you can’t have a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget.

So, a reworked Moschino bikini is about as glam as it gets for me… How cute are these gingham and marble sets?

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Moschino reworked bikini. Pic: Croptopchannel.

 

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Marble reworked bikini. Pic: Croptopchannel

Embellished

This cactus print bikini from Pretty Little Thing is adorable although it kinda looks more like underwear than swimwear.

The bottoms are plain but there’s a matching sarong if you’re a sarong kinda gal.. personally, once I’ve committed to wearing a bikini I’m not going to be half covered up and half not!

The top of this looks quite see-through so it’s probably more suitable for sunbathing than swimming.

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Cactus bikini. Pic: Prettylittlething.com

River Island has gorgeous swimwear and bikinis every year.

Their take on the denim-look trend is this chambray bikini with cactus embroidery and tribal details.

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Cactus print denim look bikini. Pic: RiverIsland.com.

Asos is a good pit stop for an unusual bikini and this 3D floral one is just fabulous. It’s so pretty!

If you’ve ever wanted to recreate this iconic Claudia Schiffer look, then say no more…

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This is quite expensive with the top alone coming in at just under €30 but I always buy in sterling on Asos as it’s significantly cheaper. Check out my online shopping hacks post for more.

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Asos floral bikini. Pic: Asos.com

As the flowers add volume this would suit someone with smaller boobs, rather than large ones.

The high-waisted bottoms are great also if you don’t want your stomach on show.

Sequins & Metallics

I love this super shiny metallic blue bikini from PLT, I never wear bandeau bikinis but I do find halterneck bikinis sometimes give me headaches and neck pain if I’m wearing them for ages so perhaps I should give the bandeau style a shot.

My issue with bandeau bikinis is that they tend to flatter a smaller chest (which is not me ) This would look great on a slight or slim build.

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Metallic blue bikini. Pic: PrettyLittlething.com

If you’re heading to a party spot this year such as Ibiza, this green sequin bikini is the perfect addition to your suitcase.

It would be good for girls who need a larger top half as it offers plenty of coverage and the wraparound style may give some extra support.

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Green sequin bikini. Pic: NewLook.com

Gingham

I’ve never had a high-waisted bikini but they look super-flattering and the blue and white gingham print is really summery. This is also from PLT and comes in pink also.

It also offers plenty of coverage and would suit curvy and slim figures.

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Blue gingham bikini. Pic: PrettyLittlething.com

Gingham is a massive trend this summer and for a cheap little gingham number check out this beauty on sale from New Look.

The top and bottom were €32.98 altogether but now you can get both for €17! #bargain

It has a bra-style fitting so definitely more supportive than a tiny triangle bikini.

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Gingham bikini. Pic: NewLook.com

Hope you all enjoyed this brief post and got some inspiration for your holidays.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you liked this post or the one-piece post better. Check out my Pinterest swimwear board for more inspiration.

I’ve been struggling to blog between my broken ankle, looking for a place to live and working but it’s good to be back!

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

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River Island High Summer Press Day

Last week I had a chance to attend the River Island High Summer event in the Grafton Street store and I was thrilled to go as River Island is one of my favourite shops.

Not only that, but I might be going on a real holiday this year so I needed some inspiration.

I took along my new (well second-hand) Canon camera for the occasion but my photos actually came out brighter on my phone so I obviously need more practice with my camera shutter!

There were five main ladieswear collections, my favourite rail was full of beautiful embellished pieces, such as a beaded skirt and white jeans with pearls on them. The dominant colours on this rail were cream, white, coral and silver.

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Then there was a holiday rail with some bright casual wear, among the pieces which caught my eye were a purple tie-dye jumper and a black mesh skirt with sequin pineapples on it.

There were more holiday pieces mixed in around the room adding to the summery vibe.

Across the room was a rail of gorgeous palm and floral print pieces which I obviously loved.

Remember my last trend post where I said embellished denim jackets were the next big thing?

If you want one that really stands out, then look out for this pale blue denim jacket with pearls and crystals of different sizes and shapes on the back. I am OBSESSED with it.

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Beside this were some bright pink shorts, some lilac colours and skirts covered in sequin discs.

There was also a fabulous pink denim jacket and shorts set pinned to the wall.

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There were also some nice accessories such as a pink floral suitcase, pink floral backpack and my favourite accessory was a white satchel bag with western style buckles.

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The key trends in accessories were pastel colours, fluffy sliders and mules, gingham and floral patterns.

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The bikinis on display were pretty cute also.

We were offered a selection of tasty treats including mini brioches and a refreshing pineapple and cucumber juice with an umbrella- totally summery!

There was also a customisation station where you could pick a pair of sandals to decorate with flowers, ribbon, plastic eyes, whatever you fancied!

The fluffy sliders were a big hit with everyone. Although I probably wouldn’t wear them myself, I do think they add a bit of fun to a holiday wardrobe.

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It was a lot of fun and the girls customising the shoes were really helpful. There were green ferns draped on the walls and a bright pink flamingo adding a touch of colour.

The mannequins were beautifully dressed and the one to the left of the door really caught my eye.

It was wearing a white lacy bardot top with wide sleeves, charcoal grey loose-fitting shorts and a gingham belt. It was a simple but classy outfit, ideal for holidays or festivals.

Beside this mannequin was a rail with gingham, light wash denims, muted colours, light knitwear and some printed and beaded pieces.

I quite liked this collection also, it had a hippie folk vibe, again great for festivals. Just above this collection were beautiful Gucci-esque embroidered loafers.

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The kids’ collection was full of funky sparkly items and sequin disc embellishment.

There was a lot of formal items but my favourite outfit was an adorable girl’s red gingham blouse teamed with black denim shorts on the wall.

The kids’ backpacks and shoes were very cute, I especially liked the white laser-cut boots and bronze rucksack on top of the display.

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I only had a quick glance at the menswear as there was just one rail on show.

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 The only thing I thought the collection lacked was jewellery, River Island has the cutest inexpensive jewellery and I didn’t see any on display. However there were lots of other summer appropriate accessories, hats, sunglasses, espadrilles etc.

I really enjoyed the event and got lots of inspiration for my holiday wardrobe.

Thanks to the River Island team for such a nice day and being very welcoming.

Hope you all enjoyed this brief post and let me know if you like the collections and I’d love to hear your feedback on the photos.

P.S. thanks for the supportive comments on my last post. I was a bit anxious about putting that much personal information about myself on my blog but I’ve received nothing but kind comments. So thanks again guys, your support means the world to me.

Edel

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How to choose the perfect swimsuit/bikini for summer

 

The most important advice I can impart when buying swimwear is..buy early!

Your holiday may not be until August/September but nice swimwear sells out fast and is usually the first casualty of the summer sales.

You don’t want to be rummaging through the sale racks, finding a matching top and bottom that fit on sale is as likely as winning the lotto.

Triangl style bikinis are still really popular,  River Island are continuing one style from last year and Penneys even have cute Triangl style bikinis in lots of colours.

 

Penneys buyers are a bit slow off the mark though, they are only bringing in this bikini and crochet tops this year even though they were huge last year!

This year Triangl have updated their styles with pretty floral prints, visible stitching, and tie-dye.

 

 

 

 

But if they’re out of your budget (the sets start from $79), you can find similar looks at River Island, Asos, Bershka and Pretty Little Thing.

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Img:River Island.com

 

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Img: Asos.com
tie dye swimsuit
Img:Bershka.com

 

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Img:PrettyLittleThing.com

High necked bikini tops are a great option if you are sunburnt or don’t feel confident in the standard triangle top.

This pink crochet River Island top is now on sale for €12 with matching bottoms for €7 and also comes in black.

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Img: RiverIsland.com

Another high neck option is this cute mesh seashell style from Missguided.

Bear in mind, it probably will become transparent in water!

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Img:Missguided.com

 

We can blame/thank/curse Kylie Jenner for the high cut/high leg trend. When she wore this hot pink 80s swimsuit last summer, she set the trend.

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Img:DailyMail.co.uk

But long before Kylie was even born, Claudia Schiffer was killing it.

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Img:Pinterest.com

High cut swimsuits can look amazing…or can make you feel like this.

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Img:Pinterest.com

They are much less forgiving than your average one piece!

This black one from Bershka is so cute. It’s ideal for girls with smaller boobs as the sides are cut away with little support.

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Img:Bershka.com

This wrap-around multi-colour bikini is a fun twist on the standard bandeau but also has full support.

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Img:Bershka.com

Hope you all enjoyed this post, the one from last year still get hits so I put lots of research into this year’s one. 🙂

I’m going to Edinburgh this week so hopefully will have a post on that soon.

Enjoy the beautiful weather and leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.

You can follow @joyofblogs on Instagram and Twitter or see my Facebook page here. Thanks for reading as always.

Edel