Many women find wearing swimwear in public tricky. They’re not confident enough to show their shapes, and certainly not comfortable revealing their flesh in a skimpy two-piece.
And whilst I sort of understand why a lumpy bumpy middle aged mum might be less than enthusiastic at showing her soft beautiful curves to the world (I think she’s mad, but I do sort of get it) what makes me even sadder is seeing teenage girls echoing an older woman’s trepidation, not quite comfortable to expose themselves to the ridicule of the beach.
Whilst there’s no immediate cure for that lack of body confidence – like so many things, it just takes time – there’s lots we as parents can do to help our teens. The first and biggest is help them find swimwear they’re comfy in. And by comfy I don’t just mean ‘in the right size’. I mean comfortable and happy.
Take them shopping and find out what they like – just because they’re 13, that doesn’t mean they’ll be happy with a swimsuit in age 13 from H&M. I mean, they might – but they might prefer a tankini. Or a Bikini. Or a black one-piece from John Lewis.
My own almost-teen suddenly decided last summer that she didn’t need shorts and rash shirts any more (her chosen swimwear since toddlerdom) – now she’s happy in a sporty one-piece in bright tropical colours.
She’s still cautious about a bikini, but with her rapidly-developing body I’m not making any pre-judgements on where her taste will lie this year.
At the same time it’s down to you, the grown up, to moderate any tastes and ensure that the swimwear is not only age-appropriate but will provide coverage, structure and support in the water.
Oh yes – I spy a shopping afternoon coming on!
Here’s our current favourite pick of the swimwear for young teen girls this summer:
Even though I usually hate teens being put in the same clothing as toddlers (lazy design, and want teen wants that?) I’m actually loving this Ombre set – it’s actually a three piece from Next, with a really practical long-sleeved rash shirt for sun (and sand) protection, along with a nice cropped bikini top too. The fabric has a UPF of 50+ – and the colours are just fabulous!
Ombre Three Piece Sunsafe suit from Next is from £23 in age 3 to 16.
So cute! Loving this Seafolly tankini found on Simply Beach – retro fun, and perfect for the beach or the poolside.
The classic indigo gingham looks cool and comfortable, and that flattering loose fit will calm any teenage wobbles about body shapes. It has removable straps, so it doesn’t have to be strapless if you’re keen on some active swimming, and there’s side boning and gripper tape for a really secure supportive fit.
The Seafolly Capri Check Trapeze Singlet Tankini is £90.
Simple and perfect – this fully lined patterned bikini from H&M ticks all the right boxes, and at under £10 you can’t go wrong.
Neon Pink & Palm Trees bikini from H&M is £9.99
Cute little bikini by Accessorize; pretty, bright and fun – and finding that tricky balance between minimal amounts of cloth without being entirely age inappropriate.
Jessie bandeau bikini top £22, and the briefs are £18.
simple but stylish one-piece from GAP, with a double spaghetti strap back and a high neck. This one’s for the keen swimmer for sure – UPF 50+ for sun protection, with breathable and lightweight quick dry fabric.
The GapFit high-neck strappy one-piece is currently in the sale reduced from £60 to £36
Actually loving La Redoute’s range; they get the age range right, with styles form 10-16yrs. Not too childish, but not quite adult yet.
They’re sure to love wearing this cute, cool bikini on the beach or in the pool this summer; lace-up effects on the centre-piece and on the sides of the bikini bottoms give it an edgy contemporary touch.
PLUS the La Redoute Printed Bikini is just £19 for the set.