As you can imagine, with my weight losscame a new found confidence for my holiday; I could go shopping and literally pick anything I liked off the shelves because I knew there'd be a size to fit. Bikini shopping used to be really quite tiresome for me, I never thought I looked nice in anything so even the prettiest styles were wasted on me. However, no matter what size I've been I've always liked Boux Avenue lingerie and swimwear.
Luckily for me, there's a store pretty local to me in Meadowhall and I've always found the service in there second to none. I've had bra fittings in department stores etc. but they just don't match up to what you get in Boux Avenue. Everything in store is luxury, the layout, the smell, the fitting rooms and the service you receive, my husband came with me when I bought the bikini I'm featuring today and even he said it was the nicest shop he'd ever walked in (and he usually hates shopping!).
No matter how many times I buy from Boux Avenue I always try things before I buy, not only because I want to know they fit but also because I love their fitting rooms. They're so beautifully decorated and the lovely Boux Avenue ladies are always on hand at the push of a button to come and help with any fitting questions or general advice... and I won't lie I do like the fact that you can change the lighting in your own individual fitting room.
Regular fitting rooms and stores in general are known for having awful fluorescent lighting, however Boux Avenue give you 3 lighting options when you're trying on their gorgeous pieces: day, dusk and night because let's be honest you're very rarely in the cold light of day when you've just got your smalls on so you want to see how someone else (ie. your significant other) sees you. Because on this particular occasion I was trying on a bikini, I used the day setting but usually I use the dusk lighting which is much more forgiving and for me shows what I have in the best light possible.
Anyway... onto what I bought, I took in pretty much the whole of their DD+ collection of bikinis into the changing room because I just couldn't narrow it down. I'm a 36F so the theory that 'all big bikinis/lingerie are ugly' is blown totally out of the water because the choice in Boux Avenue really is big, meaning that there's something for everyone.
After spending at least 20 minutes trying on and deciding, I eventually settled on a beautiful red and white polka dot bikini with a halter neck and short style bottoms. It reminded me of Minnie Mouse, and seeing as I was going to the land of the mouse, how could I not choose this one?!
It was packaged beautifully which just adds to the total luxury that you get when shopping with Boux Avenue (you also get this gorgeous packaging if you order online) and it has their signature scent which you can smell when you take it out of the bag when you get home.
I personally much prefer shorts to bikini briefs because I just find them more comfortable, I also think that halter necks are most flattering on me because they give me the support I need without thick straps. The design of the Santa Barbara bikini reminds me of a retro pin-up style; something that Marilyn Monroe would wear. It's both comfortable and flattering whilst giving me full support and even a bit of a cleavage boost (not that I need much of one with my sizable chest!).
Before I lost weight I would always air on the bigger side of things when buying any kind of clothing, swimwear or lingerie, but after having a proper fitting at Boux Avenue I actually found out that I was wearing a cup size smaller than I should have been but a back size bigger than I thought I was! So I was thinking I was a 38E when really I was a 36F, when I tried this on it fit so much better than any other bikini I had. It fit flush to my body in all areas so I could tell that it was a good fit, it also made my boobs look pretty good (even though I say so myself) because they were properly supported and not in a bra that was far too big!
Although this bikini was £44 altogether it was totally worth it, if there's one thing I think you shouldn't scrimp on its good fitting bras and bikinis. Wearing bras/bikinis which don't fit properly can be uncomfortable and potentially damaging to your body so if you haven't been measured for a while (or at all) Boux Avenue would be a great place to start, I can't praise their service enough especially in their Meadowhall store.
Boux Avenue cater for a wide range of sizes; from 30A up to a 40G in some styles and their knickers go up to a size 20. They also do shapewear, nightwear, hosiery and bridal bits... gah! I could honestly spend a fortune on their pieces, I love their Tori bras and I have my eye on their Fleure Floral Longline bra... so beautiful!