I hope you’re enjoying the glorious summer that I ordered for you – it’s causing chaos in the retail world. Back in April when I met up with lots of key retailers they were all making plans to pull their summer sales forward because of the awful spring we were having. They were busy trying to order restocks of warmer clothes whilst anticipating a glut of flimsy summer layers. Of course since then, the situation has completely reversed – they should have listened to the Midlifechic weather forecast. Now they’re madly reconfiguring both sale dates and stock and no-one seems to know what’s going on. I suspect that we’ll start to see some of the main sales launching this Friday but that the content will be mostly heavier clothing. If the weather continues they’ll hold the high summer stock at full margin for as long as they can. Anyway whilst we wait, I’ve pulled together a few things I’ve been meaning to tell you about for ages.

A fantastic bikini

I still love the Fat Face one that I told you about earlier in the season for a sporty look but I think I’m going to award this bikini ‘best cut of the year.’ Obviously it depends on your body shape and if you missed it, I wrote a full post about that here. However, this is incredibly flattering for those of us who still like to dress their midlife bodies in a bikini. So, let’s analyse why it’s so good (it’s available in a few colours by the way, I just went for the khaki because I already have a fab khaki sarong).

  • The top has tie-straps at both the neck and the back so you can adjust it to your own perfect fit
  • The cups are slightly deeper than your average halterneck triangle and so they are more secure – plus they’re lined.
  • The band is deep which helps when you’re hauling yourself up swimming pool steps or playing volleyball – nothing slips underneath if you’re smaller in the chest area.
  • There is no hard elastic to cause midlife flesh (however svelte) to bulge.
  • The bottoms are good for the same reason plus the waistband comes up a little higher without hitting the granny pants mark.
  • The foldover waist does a great job of disguising the ‘badge of motherhood’ bulge that never disappears.
  • The fabric is great quality with a subtle shimmer and the metallic trim is high quality

Other colours include: pewter, black, white, deep red, terracotta and a few different patterns. You can see them all here.

2018's best bikinis

Icon bikini

As an alternative, a couple of readers have been in touch to say that they’ve seen some good styles in Tesco. So in the interests of research, I ordered a few to try. I’ve sent most of them back because they didn’t do me any favours apart from this one and if you’re on a budget I can recommend it. Obviously it doesn’t have the level of fabric finish that the one above has, the metallic hardware is very plasticky (and it has F&F branding on it – why?) but I like the cut and the colour.

2018's best bikinis

Tesco bikini (also available in black, red and patterned)

A body lotion to beat them all (in my opinion)

Whilst we’re on the subject of baring our bodies to the sun, there’s a body lotion that I’ve been meaning to tell you about for ages. I was given a hamper from No7 when I won Blogger of the Year back in December and this was one of the items inside. I have to say that I didn’t realise that No7 did body products and I didn’t expect much from it but I was interested because it’s part of the Protect and Perfect range which I really rate.

I’ve been using it since Christmas and it’s brilliant. It has completely changed the texture of the skin on my arms and all of the little bumps have gone. I was a bit surprised by the price when I went in to repurchase it on Sunday and I admit, I did walk around the shop a few times asking myself if it really was that good. However I came to the conclusion that it is. I’d rather use this than the lovely Valentino lotion that matches my perfume purely because it makes your skin feel so good. And I like the smell too.

2018's best body cream

Protect and Perfect body serum (g – currently on a 3 for 2 offer)

Incidentally I promised to tell you if I repurchased the ColorWow shampoo and conditioner – I just have. My hair has stayed ‘unbrassy’ since I’ve been using it.

French Pharmacy Suncare

Staying on the subject of skin, I was sent some Bioderma suncare to take to Valencia with me for review. Bioderma is a French pharmacy brand so as you’d expect, it’s reasonably priced but serious about skincare. I used the new invisible mist which was really lovely to apply – even the boys didn’t grumble about it. In addition to UVA and UVB protection, it also includes Vitamin E, giving antioxidant protection against ageing.

2018's best suncare


Bioderma Photoderm Bronze (g)

Because it was only a short break I didn’t take the other products that they sent although I will be using them avidly when we go to Turkey. They included a shower gel for irritated skin and a treatment for reddened skin that has had too much sun or developed heat rash.

Sensibio forte redness cream; Atoderm irritated skin shower oil

Sunglasses – the look of 2018

Thanks largely to Instagram, sunglasses styles seem to change faster than ever before and I don’t think anything updates your summer look as quickly as a new pair of shades. I have lovely classic Chanel and Gucci sunglasses from my Selfridges days and I love wearing them sometimes because they retain a certain vintage appeal but you have to have the right outfit. These days I resent paying a fortune for sunglasses knowing that by next summer they will look dated. So, although Prada and Chloe sunglasses are ruling on Instagram, I’m not going to follow suit. Instead I’m going for the next level down – these are the chic styles that I’ve spotted on the streets of London and the beaches of Europe.


Ray-Bans come back every year which is great because somehow they are ageless. Last year was all about hexagonal shapes, this year it’s moved on to this style which is a take on the classic Ja-Jo round lens but a little easier for most face shapes to pull off. As always there are lots of different coloured frames and lenses to choose from, there’s a good selection here and more here.

2018's best sunglasses


Alternatively if you prefer something with more classic elegance, these are being worn by lots of streetstylers, probably because they give your eyes 100% UV protection for an amazing price. They come with a really great padded pouch that has a slot for credit cards and cash – perfect for the beach.

2018's best sunglasses

Tortoiseshell sunglasses

This is what they looked like on me … not on the streets of London but next to the ‘welly wanging’ stall at the village gala on Saturday!


Nude lingerie

I always update my nude lingerie at this time of year ready for light clothes with opacity issues. I was at a lingerie press show a few weeks ago which included lots of high end French brands. After a quick look round, I was (to my alarm) taken into a cubicle to be measured. Now I know it’s a cliché that most women are wearing the wrong sized bra and I actually thought that the ten years since I was last measured wasn’t very long. However it clearly was and my back size was much smaller than I thought whereas my cup size was larger. The fitting specialist was determined to prove it to me so she disappeared off to find what she thought would be the perfect bra. Happily the one she came back with wasn’t one of the expensive ones, it was actually from a range called B.Tempt’d that I have always ignored because with spelling like that, I assumed it was aimed at teens.

This is the bra and I had to agree that it changed my entire shape, pulling things up and making me look slimmer – how on earth that works I don’t know but I’ll go along with it. Needless to say I have now ordered one (although I’m really frustrated that there are no matching pants).

2018's best bra

B.Temptd push up bra

Your moment to shine

The lovely team that I sometimes work with at JD Williams are on the hunt for two new models and they want them to be ordinary women aged 45 plus – any size from 10 – 32. They’ve launched a competition here and the winner will represent the brand in future campaigns, take part in a fashion show in September and receive £1,000 of JD Williams clothes. You just need to send them two photos and tell them a little bit about yourself and your life. So if you’ve always fancied doing something like this, now’s your chance – I can assure you that they’re a really fun bunch of people. You need to submit your entry by 25th July here.

And whilst we’re on the subject of JD Williams they have also launched a range of Coolmax jeans. They’re specially designed to be breathable so that you stay cool but the denim also just happens to be 97% made from recycled plastic bottles. I’ve felt it and it’s just like ordinary denim – you’d never know. So you can do your bit for the environment and wear jeans all summer too.

Coolmax jeans

And that’s it for today – I’m off to enjoy the sunshine because it’s disappearing now for a few days. It’s hard to believe but apparently it’s been hotter at Midlifechic Towers than anywhere else in the UK. In fact our reservoirs are drying up so a bit of rain might be a good thing… just a bit though… I’m really enjoying life al fresco. See you on Friday.

Disclaimer: 2018’s best bikinis, body creams, bras and other bits and bobs is not a sponsored post however it does feature PR samples of suncare

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