This is a picture post. It features many pictures of me wearing a variety of clothes that have featured on my epic holiday to Marbella (because I'm a gangsta don't you know. Living the G life and that, sipping on gin and juice etc etc etc). At the end of the many pictures, I will summarise some things that I have learnt this holiday. There will also be some shizzle about self esteem and maybe crisps, which have featured heavily on this holiday, to my obvious delight.
I bought this dress thinking that it was a top. Quite possibly in "the real world" it will be. It's from H&M, was cheap as chips, is very floaty and has an under slip which I know a lot of people like. My only issue with it is that the slip is cut on the bias (as they are prone to be) so it wiggles around a bit and then I have to hoik. I hate hoiking.
I wore this outfit to go out for a meal, the shoes are my M&S wedges and I fell off my leg on this particular occasion.
This New Look dress is WELL out of my comfort zone in that it's short and sleeveless. Despite this, the pattern and crochet(ed?) hem sold it to me and it's been an absolute hit on the days/evenings that we've stayed local.
This is the same H&M dress in two colourways. I bought the palm tree print first and thought how nice it would be in black. Lo and behold, they had it in black - HURRAH. It has a racer back, is light, airy and features the holy grail of long limbed women **Pockets** (stops you having to work out what to do with your hands). I wore the black one for a night out and meal and the palm tree one was perfect for a day walking around old town, I just swapped the shoes for flipflops.
The shoes in the first pic are the M&S wedges again and the necklace is a little beauty from New look. The sandals in the second pic are New Look and I take no pleasure in saying that they're a bit of a disaster - Size 9 wide allegedly, but they're not, they're REALLY not. They're too narrow for my not actually that wide feet and the ankle strap feels like cheese wire. Mean, bitey, painful cheese wire. More fool me for not trying them on prior to the holiday I suppose.
I want to snog this outfit, River Island trousers, Asda cami and the killer shoes again. This was another walking around outfit and I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find a pair of trousers that are light and comfortable enough to wear in extreme (for me) heat.
This New Look jumpsuit is an absolute diamond. I've worn this twice on nights out and have felt so glam without being overdressed. M&S shoes again here.
This maxi dress is entirely bloody brilliant. I originally bought it as a going out dress but due to the ease of wear (and the neckline being somewhat NSFW) it has become the thing I sling on over my bikini for when I want to go to the bar and get a glass of water/wine/rum/sangria/pizza/solero/crisps. It's from Oh My love of London, which was/is a Topshop concession and is the longest thing I own. It trails on the floor and I LOVE it. I could do with another one really (in black if you please?) I've not seen one to date but the hunt is ongoing.
This is one of my two bikinis. Despite this year's Salt'n'Pepa "none of your bizzness" stance on my body and how it looks in swimwear (which I will go into further shortly) I still feel a bit awkwaaaard posting this picture BUT the bikini is the best I've ever had, from George at Asda. It has a halter neck neckline which can be undone and then tied round the back if you don't want the worlds craziest tan lines. I sized up with this, I can't be doing with mega tight BUT this does mean that diving/handstands/lilo competitions can get a bit x-rated...
Every good holiday should involve some good pyjamas. These particular pyjamas are from Primark, they feature Winnie the Pooh which isn't my usual thang but it's a non Disney Winnie the Pooh and they're made of what I can only assume is angels wings because they are indescribably light and comfortable.
So this is what I've worn, now a bit about how this holiday has been a revelation for me:
I go on holiday quite a lot, usually on city breaks (my favourite place on earth is Seville). This means that I need to dress for the heat but don't really need to flash too much flesh. My standard holiday "uniform" consists of midi skirts, leggings, short dresses with sleeves and coverups a-plenty.
For the past couple of years I've also gone away on bikini-requiring holidays with people other than my husband, meaning that conversations leading up to the holiday have consisted of:
"Oooooh I'd better shift this extra tyre by then!",
"I hope there aren't to many slim babes around the pool",
"Do they even MAKE bikinis in size Smyth?!?"
I body shamed myself into a hysterical mess which would see me apologetically creeping around the pool swathed in sarongs, long shorts and revolting oversized tshirts. This was further enhanced by comments that I won't go into and generally being made to feel like a over sexualised leper akin to the sexy time statue below.
This year, things got off to much better start in that I am a much more "together" person - I like myself an awful lot more. I've also gone away with people who couldn't give a shit how I look, I could have boobs sprouting from my cheeks and a bottom that looks like 15 snakes in a book bag and they really well and truly wouldn't give it a second thought. This has meant that I've not given it a second thought.
Something else that's made a difference is the gorgeous place I'm staying. The men who work here are phenomenal, there's been no letching, no comments, no casual misogyny at all. The lovely lifeguard is actually there to guard life, not shout TITS at the top of his voice every ten minutes, the fabulous waiter hasn't tried one single big pepper grinder innuendo. They've been friendly, kind and total and utter dudes throughout.
I've frolicked around the pool in a variety of bikinis, I've gone out without a bra on (HORRIFYING), I've even forgotten about (so called) waterproof mascara (albeit after a panda eyes incident on day one). PEOPLE - HOLIDAYS CAN BE BLOODY BRILLIANT.
I'll leave you with some holiday rules I have set myself (not you, you can do whatever the flipping heck you like because you are your own boss YOU GET ME!!!?!!!)
1) Sun tan lotion ALWAYS. My skin is one of my favourite things about myself and I ain't messing that up for nothing. This year, I did something I've never done before and had a spray tan before I came away. I'm so so so glad I did because the little boost has made me even less inclined to frazzle.
2) Hydrate. I'm usually basically a raisin because I always forget to drink water on holiday. This year I've been a big juicy plump grape and as such have had minimal hangovers and headache.
3) If you want to sleep - sleep. It's a holiday for Pete's sake.
4) Bug spray is the best - I've had one bite this year thanks to my deet but thankfully no allergic reactions like last year when my foot became a giant lump of shiny flesh.
5) Kindles are good - I love books with a passion and have avoided getting a kindle because I was under the impression it wouldn't be the same. Then I packed my case and there was NO ROOM FOR BOOKS. So I've kindled it up and am a total convert.
So that's my holiday in a spray tanned nutshell. If you're going away this year, I hope you have a glorious time and enjoy every marvelous minute of it!