Are you feeling not-so body confident? Do you focus on your perceived ‘flaws’? Well now is the time to stop! UK blogger, Amanda Start, from The Online Stylist shares her take on body confidence, wearing the right swimwear and not getting “beach body” ready.

I'm a firm believer that you can't have body confidence without first getting to a state of body happiness. Start with one and the other will follow. Who among us is totally 100% body confident? I suspect not many, if any at all. We've all become so good at pointing out our own flaws and agonising over the parts that we wish we could overhaul and change. And all this without remembering to give a shout out to the bits we actually do like! Don't even get me started on comparing ourselves to the intensley perfect images we're presented with... usually captioned with the phrase "beach body ready." Urgh! I don't need to get my body "ready" to go the beach. The fact that I spend much of my time there all year round means I'm more than qualified to be beside the sea without entertaining thoughts of juice cleanses and clean eating.

So when Figleaves got in touch and asked if I would like to partner on a blog post for their amazing Icons Collection, I decided to start my own journey to body happiness by challenging my own perceptions. I'll be honest with you - the thought of actually doing any kind of swimwear shoot instantly gave me an attack of the "Oh my god NO! I cannot do this" jitters. Queue all the agonising over my own flaws whilst carrying out a mental Instagram scroll scroll of all the perfect bods in social media world. And then that "Relatable" word that I kept banging on about earlier this year popped back into my head. Most women I know would feel this way about being photographed in their swimsuit and then sharing the results online... so I decided to draw on my other favourite phrase - "Feel the fear and do it anyway." Time for camera, action... and getting over myself! Just like the right underwear, really good swimwear that fits makes such a difference and is always worth the investment.

The Figleaves Icons Collection is simple in essence and brilliant at delivering on it's promises. Simple, well made swimwear in black (Er... you had me at Hello), that smooths and gently sculpts your shape. All these crucial elements can be found across the range of styles - my only conundrum was choosing which one to wear! I loved the fact that all the designs have that invaluable tummy control factor - even before giving birth I was never in possession of those wash board abs so any help in this department is gratefully accepted!

Also being able to choose from soft bra cup styles or those sized up to a G cup gives scope for that extra bit of uplift for your top half if you want it. The combination of the two made me feel instantly leaner and more streamlined whilst wearing the Icon Mesh Swimsuit. Plus the simple but sleek styling made it just a little bit Bond Girl which I loved! I took it on holiday to Cornwall and loved wearing it both at the beach and to the indoor pool where we stayed. The fit was secure but comfortable and instead of doing the normal dash from the water to grab a towel and envelop myself as quickly as possible, I found myself walking head held high whilst poolside. First comes body happiness, then the confidence.


Jessica Flexton


With a love for lingerie, an obsession with the beach and an eye for style, Figleaves Editor, Jessica Flexton, talks everything from the latest trends to new collections and exclusive features.