Bikini Time!

The thought of a bikini has always terrified me. I'm extremely self-conscious in even a remotely tight dress, so imagine my state of mind when confronted with a flimsy triangle bikini... I'll just take a swimsuit, thanks.

There was one particular summer, when I was pretty slim, and I went shopping for summer clothes for a trip to Italy. I returned with three beautiful bikinis- one candy striped, one a blossomy print and a simple black one with gold chain detail, as well as an ill-advised cut-out swimsuit from Topshop- the thought of which still makes me shudder. I also bought a black and white, plain swimming cossie. Guess which one I wore most? The bikini's never saw the light of day.

But this year is different, as i'm going on an all-out, shots and sunshine girls holiday to Zante- the thought of which has been carrying me through the dire days of sitting in the school common room waiting for my next class. And an M&S swimming costume will probably look a little out of place in Laganas. This has been my motivation to get myself back in shape- for I refuse to grace the beach in a baggy t-shirt. Point blank.

Out went the Double Deckers and Yum Yums, and in came cereal bars and about 20,000 carrots. The gym suddenly went from a monthly jaunt to a weekly haunt, all in the pursuit of feeling good in a bikini- the things us girls do eh?

So yesterday I went into town to buy some fake tan- because my pasty complexion just is not cutting it in the sunshine that's hitting even Scotland, would you believe! And while there I could not resist popping into Topshop, H&M, Miss Selfridge etc. Naturally, my first stop had to be the newly stocked swimwear sections. It's a bit of a feast for the eyes, all these bikinis and coverups and sandals. All bright colours and connotations of sandy beaches, blue skies and cocktails.... Aah bliss.

Also, I have to suggest looking in the swim section when shopping for summer clothes because there are some gorgeous dresses and playsuits cheaper than mainline versions simply because they are "cover-ups". There's a Topshop kaftan that I am loving, which would look equally good on a beach as it would with heels and jewellery- very Temperley.

But how do you pick a bikini/ swimming costume to suit your style? How do you find the perfect one amidst a sea of tangled stringy straps and muddled patterns?

Well here's my pick of the best bikinis to suit you - girly ones , edgy ones or just simple ones! And the Zante bikini bootcamp starts today... Easter's going to be bleak.

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