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How Elite Occasions and new arrivals helped me beat the beachwear shopping blues

Every year it’s the same. Here comes Summer, here come the blue skies and the hot sun and here comes my annual bout of neuroses about finding beachwear that will make me look good and, more importantly, feel good. It isn’t just wearing the stuff that makes me feel paranoid; it’s the buying of it. Is it the same for you?

If you’re like me you start worrying well in advance – around Christmas or New Year’s Day. Then everyday life takes over and I forget about that new diet and those trips to the gym. Suddenly the nights are getting lighter, the holiday is booked and it’s time to seriously think about buying swimwear. Do I go for a bikini? Dare I go for a bikini? Maybe a sleek one piece is the way to go. After all, I’m not getting any younger and there are so many skinny young women around – mutton dressed as lamb doesn’t sound too good. What about Beach Coverups? I need some new ones. Maybe a tunic top as well? And what about something for nonswimming or sunbathing occasions? A maxi dress would be comfortable but I’ll have to get one that fits properly and doesn’t make me look like I’m wearing a tent.

I usually enjoy myself when I actually get on the beach, though. It’s the shopping process that I have always found really awful up until this year. A beach is one thing, a shop is another, especially a shop where I’m going to have to reveal almost all. They’re always either too full (of those very skinny girls I was talking about earlier) or they’re too empty and I’m getting too much attention from a bored shop assistant. I’ve tried all the methods that are supposed to make you feel better about buying beachwear. You know the ones: that weird protein and starch diet that’s supposed to make you look less puffy; the self-tanning lotion the day before to hide the things I don’t anyone to see. I’ve tried going straight after the gym, when I feel toned and straight after a lunch with several glasses of fermented grape self-confidence medicine. But I always hate it. I know, in my mind, that I look okay. I know that all the other women there, even the skinny girls, are going through similar agonies of self-consciousness. I know all this, and it doesn’t help.

(Incidentally, the shopping after wine idea is a really bad one. If there’s ever a time you need to keep a firm control over both your self-perception and ur credit card, it’s when you are buying clothes. The self-tanning helped, but I’m not sure why.) So I was gearing up for my usual bout of shopping purgatory when a friend told me about Elite Occasions, the online fashion store. At first I was wary. I have had a few bad online experiences, but my friend convinced me. Elite Occasions’ buyers don’t get the stuff in by the ton; they go for exclusive items and pride themselves on providing things that are often not available at other stores.

It sounded too good to be true. If my friend was right then I could buy really good stuff, buy everything I needed in fact, from the comfort of my own home, have it delivered speedily to my door and then try it on . If something doesn’t work out or its the wrong size, then it’s not the end of the world. You just post it back and get another.

I tried it out and what can I say? It isn’t too good to be true, it’s just true. Elite Occasions and their new arrivals page had a brilliant range of exactly what I wanted. Fashionable, stylish trendy swimwear (in the end I went for a bikini and a one piece) excellent Beach Cover-ups and tunic tops and a couple of maxi dresses that couldn’t have been less like tents. I selected it and ordered it on my laptop, tried the items on before the mirror in my bedroom (my own beady eyes were quite enough of an audience, thank you). I was struck by the quality of the material. In the past I would have had to haunt small, exclusive shops and boutiques to find things so well made.

So thanks to Elite Occasions my pre-holiday shopping experience was relaxed, unstressed and successful. Of course I enjoyed the holiday, too, especially the beach part. In fact I enjoyed it even more than usual, because I knew that looked good. That’s the secret of self-confidence.
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