SUMMER STYLE // flattering poolside glam for all ages

Flattering swimsuits for women over 40 - flat lay

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It might not officially be spring yet, but there’s a definite change in the air.

The trees are bursting into blossom, the daffodils are waving their golden heads and this morning I actually left the house without a coat – something I couldn’t even have imagined doing even a week ago. That subtle shift – when the grey clouds part and the wind loses its icy edge – sends my thoughts tumbling towards summer.

We joined a gym last year with a lovely outdoor swimming pool, and it pretty much became a second home for the girls and me last summer. I’ll be honest though, it was intimidating to be surrounded by all the honed gym bunnies in their uber-trendy swimsuits, particularly since I was sporting the same old boring one-piece I’d bought after Big Sis was born, 11 years earlier.

I camouflaged myself with a big beach towel and vowed to treat myself to something more stylish this year, so when PROTEST SPORTSWEAR got in touch to ask if I wanted to try something from their SS/20 range, I very gratefully accepted.

This Holland-based company was set up in 1993 to create fashionable and functional sportswear at affordable prices. Originally focused on snowboarding, the range was quickly expanded to included surfboarding, and then general swimwear and beach apparel. They combine quality products with the latest fashion styles, so you can look great AND know your swimwear won’t let you down, whether you’re catching waves or sun rays.

The new range includes women’s bikinis in a huge variety of cuts, styles and printed fabrics. Trends they’re celebrating this season include broderie anglaise (one of my all-time fav summer fabrics), palm prints, neons, smocking and scalloped edges.

The younger me would have been all over their gorgeous cut-out triangle bikinis, while the slightly-older me would have gone for one of their push-up versions, which offer a little bit more coverage and support.

Two kids and many years later, however, my bikini-wearing days are firmly behind me, so I clicked straight through to the tankini page (in my opinion, one of the most flattering swimsuits for women over 40) and found this fab ‘Mitchy’ top, with a subtle diamond dot pattern, double shoulder straps and gentle ruching that you can pull tight to create a sweetheart neckline.

This is part of the mix & match range and the website actually recommends boy shorts, which is a fab look but not the most flattering cut for me and my short midriff. Instead, I opted for the ‘Pavillion’ bottoms, which have a higher cut leg and a thick, soft waistband in the same diamond dot print as the top.

This turned out to be the perfect combination for me – stylish, but with the coverage I needed to feel at ease, plus the relaxed fit made it super comfortable (unlike some ‘tummy control’ swimsuits, that make me feel like my internal organs are being crushed!).

I even found some great boardshorts for OH, including the PVRE series, which is made from polyester that has been created from recycled plastic bottles. How great is that? 

We’re hoping to get away later this year (flu epidemic willing!) so I’ll not just be wearing this by the gym pool, but also relaxing at the lovely Turkish villa we’ve booked with a bunch of old friends.

Chuck in a paperback and a glass of chilled white wine, and I’ll be in heaven. 


• Classy Home Bargains on a Budget – check out my picks from the surprisingly fab SS/20 George range.  

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