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Bikini vs swimsuit? The Muddy debate

Bikini or swimsuit? Don’t go anywhere near a sun lounger this summer until you’ve read this.

‘Yippee, I can’t wait to strip almost naked and frolic on the beach,’ said no woman ever. Except possibly Helena Christensen. But, like it or not, it’s swimwear season and we here at Muddy HQ are facing it with our heads held high (and our bosoms hoisted upwards). We’re not going to tell you what to buy – you know best what suits your body shape, but we have been having a rather heated office debate about whether to go for a bikini or a swimsuit this summer. What do you think? Bikini botherer Kerry Potter and swimsuit supporter Sarah Taylor duke it out.


Kerry says… I always plump (that being the operative word, ahem) for a bikini mainly because I think my belly looks marginally better tanned than it does pasty-white. I stuck to safe, dull swimsuits in my twenties but these days I care far less what everyone else around the pool thinks, and know that they’re probably too busy worrying about their own bodies to be scrutinising mine. As far as bikinis go, I’m a fan of the kind of riotous prints and vibrant colours I’d never wear at home – life’s too short for boring old black, and brights look so much better in the sunshine. My top tips for bikini buying? Have a positive mental attitude – so don’t go shopping hungover/tired/grumpy; wear something easy to slip on and off; and try on anything/everything in your size (and the adjacent sizes) because you just never know what’ll look best.

Five of the best

(Clockwise from top left) Accessorize pink top, £17, and bottoms, £16; Solid Striped stripy bikini, £142; M&S gold/black bikini, £36.50; COS coral top, £19, and bottoms, £17; Figleaves top, £28 and bottoms, £16.


Sarah says… I think swimsuits are far more glamorous – I mean, could you imagine Joan Collins in a bikini? And these days there’s so much more on offer than those functional Speedo-type ones. I’m a big fan of the sexy one-piece that looks like a bikini from the back, scooping low but then sculpting around the sides and covering the tummy. My body isn’t what it was when I was 20 – let’s face it, whose is? – but put me in a flattering, well-cut swimsuit and I don’t feel self-conscious and I carry myself better – which means no nervous skulking around the edges of the pool.

Five of the best

(Clockwise from left) Accessorize navy swimsuit, £32; H&M pink/navy print, £29.99; Boden black and white polka dot (but available in various prints/colours), £60; Stella McCartney stripes, £155; Next black floral print, £32.

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