Katy Loves... Travel

Beach Ready – Me!


I know, I know – like lots of women I get cross with the whole “get beach ready” “get bikini ready” concept and I’m fully with the “To get Bikini Ready?  Put on a Bikini!” train of thought.  But I’m talking about the right bikini!  One that you feel good in.  And wow – did I learn that lesson the hard way?!

I once went filming to Florida with a travel programme. If you think that first holiday bikini moment is stressful, imagine 8 million people are scrutinising your body and then imagine the horror that TV adds about a stone to your frame!  Yeah. Every woman’s dream, right?! In my quest to source my ultimate apple-smuggler I literally visited every specialist shop and department store London had to offer at the time.

And then, in the most horrific of ironies, the pressure of flying across the pond was apparently too great for my luggage and it went missing, forcing me into a US shopping mall with 20 measly minutes to buy all the toiletries, cosmetics, outfit and bikini I’d need for filming early the following morning!

I think I aged about 10 years in that dash and the least offensive bikini I could find? White leatherette with gold studded boobs. Sadly not exactly the look I was going for!  Sadly there was never any explanation for the poor viewers, who would have thought the Elvis tribute swimwear was my attire of choice for my BBC-1 flesh-baring moment.


Needless to say, these days my holiday swimwear comes in hand luggage. Which THIS year will mostly be in my gorgeous basket from Marrakech.  And just incase that sounds a bit Ab Fab “Schweetie” – I didn’t even need to get on a plane for it since I bought it on a stall at Ascot earlier in the year.  I adore the extra detail the wonderful Tricia from Butternut Baskets added to customise it.

And for my swimwear?  Step forward Figleaves with their amazing range, all from the comfort of my own sofa whilst catching up on very serious news programmes Housewives of New Jerssey!  No schlepping around London these days.  Be serious – I’ve got full on end-of-term-itis with a blur of sports days, shows, recitals and teachers gifts.  Ordering from my laptop suits me just fine.

The company has saved me on more than one occasion, since I often get asked to go foreign filming in the winter. So whilst everywhere else is swimwear-free, even when there’s snow on the ground, I can rely on Figleaves to deliver the goods!


The site has the most amazing range and with loads of designers to choose from, plus their own ranges, they cater for EVERY BODY (see what they did there!).  They also do wonderful kaftans and accessories so you can channel your inner Ibiza Chick on the walk to the pool or beach.  I’m loving the Pour Moi ranges, especially the Azure with its padded, underwired top.  And when that little purple box arrives at your house and you rifle through tissue paper, it’s does feel like the summer version of Christmas!

BOXESWhen it comes to bikinis you order separates for the perfect fit and I usually get a couple of different sizes to try since returns are so easy. I also love trying swimwear in the comfort of my own home with mirrors I trust, rather than shops with their slimming mirrors which lie to me that I look like Elle Macpherson!

Figleaves also stocks some of my favourite brands from my years living in LA, like the stunning Vix – I’m loving the Solid White and Potira and the quality of the Vix bikinis is amazing.  There are often sales on the website too, making some of the more expensive brands that bit more accessible.


Lastly, Heliocare – the best sun protection I have EVER used on my face. Since learning that 50% of ageing is down to sun damage, I’ve been fastidious about wearing SPF 50 over my moisturiser on a daily basis, 365 days of the year. It’s no exaggeration to say I’m slightly obsessed with the SPF50 Gel which is light and rubs in beautifully.

For holidays I sometimes switch to the SPF 50 Cream which is thicker than the gel and I feel gives me longer protection. Heliocare have recently added a tinted version. Happy days!  I’ve even got the fabulous Caitlin Moran hooked!

Now I just need to sort my beach reading, since I’ve somehow fooled myself I’ll be relaxing on a lounger in the sun, sipping mojitos and losing myself in a novel.  Losing my mind more like, as I attempt to smother lotion on my two “moving targets” whilst likely sporting a not-so-attractive, but thankfully stylish, wedgie!


K x






  • Reply Relaxing in Rhodes - Katy Hills BlogKaty Hills Blog July 30, 2014 at 7:51 am

    […] next morning, and it was time to gear the kids and myself up for some serious sun and hopefully fun in the Kids Club.  We’ve only ever done the “kids […]

  • Reply Michelle Reeves (bodfortea) July 17, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Oh god that feeling when you realised your luggage hadn’t joined you! Eeek!! Makes me come over all sweaty just thinking about it. Love Figleaves – fab swimwear (and undies too) and why don’t all retailers have such fabulous packaging? Unlike a lot of your commenters I WOULD wear a bikini, only it needs to be toddler proof – any advice? x

    • Reply Katy July 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Haha! I spend half my life retrieving my bottoms (!) so I need the advice! Just enjoy! And be sure to double knot! 😉 x

  • Reply Heledd July 17, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Figleaves are great for bikinis! I came across them when I was looking for bikinis to go on my honeymoon. We were going to Thailand, it was January and I was 20weeks pregnant. Making finding the perfect bikini even more of a challenge. None of the big shops were stocking beach ware at that time of year and none of my old bikinis fit. After some online searching I came accross Figleaves (who we’re having an amazing sale at the time) and managed to get 4 gorgeous sets.

    • Reply Katy July 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      My kind of woman! A bikini at 20 weeks. Loved showing off the bump x

  • Reply Mari July 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I am currently on Bikini countdown and a diet and all manner of prep is underway however I have a trusty one piece ready to fall back on should my courage fail me.

    I haven’t worn a bikini since the twins arrived 🙁

    • Reply Katy July 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      *chants “Do it, do it”! X

  • Reply Carolin July 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    If I wore a bikini, they’d send Green Peace, so it’s one pieces only for me (not much better, I guess), but I feel a little more covered up and confident and on that note, I love the cover-up. Beautiful colours and very beachy x

    • Reply Katy July 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      There’s the thing! I’m a believer that EVERYONE can and should wear a bikini. They’re so liberating! I can’t bear the feel of a one piece. I’ll be like Helen Mirren – in a bikini even when I’m grey! x

  • Reply Manneskjur July 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Ooooo bikini envy! Ok ok body envy AND bikini envy! Looks like you are going to make the most of Summer – best thing to do 🙂

    • Reply Katy July 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      SO excited for the kids to break up so Summer can REALLY start! Totes gonna make the most – as you say! xx

  • Reply Anonymous July 16, 2014 at 11:04 am

    You need Caitlin’s book for your beach bag, her take on bikinis in the book tour was hysterical

    • Reply Penny A Residence July 16, 2014 at 11:13 am

      That was me leaving the Caitlin book comment, came up anon for some reason Penny x

    • Reply Katy July 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Ooh – I’m SO gonna get a copy to take with me! Thanks for the tip! xx

  • Reply Nikki Thomas July 16, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I haven’t worn a bikini for years but those do look absolutely gorgeous. I love the purple boxes too, I am a sucker for things that come in nice packages. The Heliocare sounds fab too, I will look for the gel as that sounds perfect for daily use.

    • Reply Katy July 16, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Ha! So with you on the boxes! Makes it that bit more exciting. And can’t recommend the gel highly enough. Brilliant xx

  • Reply Aly July 15, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    I love the purple too but I just don’t look right in bikini’s.A 50’s Marilyn Monroe costume would be more down my street if I ever bought anything .

    • Reply Katy July 16, 2014 at 7:47 am

      Ooh – that sounds AMAZING! Love a bit of Marilyn! Xx

  • Reply Penny Carr July 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Love that purple Pour Moi, but think I’ve got a hell of a lot more weight to lose before you catch me in a bikini!

    • Reply Katy July 15, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      They have amazing suits too – if that’s your thing! Some women prefer them. I’m for everyone in bikinis! Xx

  • Reply Alice July 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I LOOOVE the Vix! I’m heading off to Paxos in a week and a half and have had the biggest nightmare trying to find a bikini I like – can’t believe I didn’t know about Figleaves until now! Next time x

    • Reply Katy July 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      LADY! Ah – there’s always the end of season sale for NEXT summer! Have fun! X

  • Reply Pinkoddy July 15, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Enjoy the summer. You will NEVER catch me in a bikini – in fact I get those nice skirt things to cover the top of my legs and my tummy more. Figleaves does sound good and useful mind. Thanks for the heads up on the sun tan lotion – we don’t like our current one.

    • Reply Katy July 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      See – I think everyone looks better in a bikini! If you hide bits you draw more attention! 😉 xx #just-sayin’

  • Reply Jay July 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Trying desperately to find a shot of your finest Elvis tribute but failed miserably. There is a joke in there somewhere along the lines of bikini ready and sideburns. . . .
    Have a fantastic time xx

    • Reply Katy July 15, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Haha! Me too! It wasn’t to be found! Thankfully no sideburn issue here 😉 x

  • Reply School Gate Style July 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I adore the bikini you’ve chosen – such a fabulous colour. Have an amazing holiday and if you do ever find footage of the Elvis tribute bikini, please share – that story gave me a much needed giggle this afternoon. Ax

    • Reply Katy July 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Haha! I almost wish I still had Elvis for posterity! X

  • Reply Boo Roo and Tigger Too July 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I think my days of bikini’s are well and truly behind me but I am loving your choices. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get a glimpse of your bikini disaster 😉

    • Reply Katy July 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Bikini days are NEVER behind you! And I did actually google to find a pic! Sadly it wasn’t to be found! 😉 xx

  • Reply Jennifer July 15, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I hope that you have a great summer! Love that purple bikini. I always imagine that my family summer holiday will be spent reading by the pool…maybe one day!

    • Reply Katy July 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Haha! Glad I’m not the only dreamer around! 😉 x

  • Reply becky July 15, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Lovely swimwear…have fun!

    • Reply Katy July 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      It IS isn’t it! Thanks for stopping by xx

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