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With my holiday looming nearer and nearer I'd made all the usual preparations. I'd religiously buffed, scrubbed and fake tanned, I'd been dieting so my thighs wouldn't look Godzilla like in this summer's ra ra skirts, I'd tested out all the waterproof mascara's I could find, and there was one more hurdle to go - the bikini.

Always a fearful subject (how many times does anyone see you prance around in your knickers?) it was made so much harder by the dreaded twins, also known as my bust.

Yes, for every girl who waved her arms around chanting 'I must, I must increase my bust' I was the one standing at the back of the room, with my arms definitely folded, there was no way I needed these babies to get any larger. Bras were already expensive and rather ugly (no cutesy Topshop styles for me). So beach season was upon us once more, and I was at a loss for bikinis. I didn't want any boulder holders and I still wanted to look reasonably stylish on the beach, so what was I to do with my 34 E's?

Well thankfully there was one resource I'd overlooked, the fabulous Bravissimo, the store for girls where bigger is beautiful

They stock all sizes form a D upwards to K and cater to back sizes from 28-40. First off I toddled down there for a fitting, which is free as long as you book it, and my lovely consultant Sophie Benjamin measured my cup size. I say measured, but what she actually did was examine me in my current bra, ask its size and make me stretch a little for her. Then she brought me a selection of bras to try on and we discovered that actually I was a 30FF! Yes, seriously. Apparently a common mistake many women make is wearing their back size to loose, as the bra naturally stretches over time, and the band should be equal all the way round. In fact the band should be more supportive than the straps - they're meant to support, not hoist after all.

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Next step was to find a bikini that I liked, and Sophie talked me through a couple of styles. they were all very pretty and delicate and not a hint of matron amongst them. Sophie recommended that for my size I opt for a style with more coverage, though they did have triangle bikinis ranging upwards to a size F cup, and a J for underwired! I opted for a flattering neon style with a little skirt, and was equally tempted by an all in one retro style polka dot suit.

I tried on numerous bikinis, agonizing over the style, the colour, and even how low cut the matching briefs were. Apparently summer is the time that all big boobed women get into a frenzy of swimwear madness, so it's a good idea to order your size the minute it's released or it may sell out immediately. Since you can return it free of charge if it doesn't suit that's a pretty savvy idea. I also love the way that they use all sizes of models to try on their swimwear as you can really imagine what it would look like on you when it's worn by a size 14 as well as a size 8.

Finally I was happy, and I chose the lovely bikini on the left, and was somehow talked into buying another bra and another bikini set (OK, I talked myself into it, it looked so good). So, my boobs may thank me, but my bank balance wont, but considering the quality of these bikinis (and how often you wear them) I expect to have it with me for years to come. Watch out beach, here I come!


Check out Bravissmo for a range of styles and shapes, or call 01926 459 859 for more info.