WITH our climate, our beautiful beaches and top-notch pool facilities, it is possible to get in the water for most of the year.
Yet so many seniors, especially women, dread wearing a swimsuit and deny themselves the pleasure of the water.
There are signs this is changing as more and more women over 50 climb into a good swimsuit and say goodbye to fears of exposing mature thighs and well-worn arms.
Fortunately, gone are the days when swimsuits went up to size 14 only, size 16 if you were lucky.
Now manufactures realise real women come in all shapes and sizes, and some swimwear ranges go up to a pleasing size 28.
Doris Jablonsky, who represents German swimwear brand Sunflair in Australia, is horrified at the thought of women denying themselves the enjoyment of the beach and pool just because they refuse to be seen in a swimsuit.
"Why do we deprive ourselves of so much fun?" she said. "Men don't."
However, there is one strict rule Doris says we should apply when buying a new swimsuit, no matter our size, shape or age.
"Comfort," she said. "It is the key to everything.
"Go for a good, well-fitted brand and let experienced retail staff fit you.
"There is no reason women over 50 should stick to a once-piece either. If they feel comfortable in a two-piece, even a bikini, then why not?"
(If you think you are too old for a bikini, go online and check out the 90-year-old granny rocking a red polka-dot bikini. Her photo has received mega hits from all around the world.)
Today's swimwear comes in such a variety of styles and colours there is something to suit every shape and taste.
The tankini is a good option for women too timid for the two-piece. It comprises a bikini bottom with a flattering long top that covers the tummy and skims the top of the bikini bottom.
There are also signs the 'skirt' swimsuit is coming back, but with a pretty, modern look.
Many two-piece swimsuits have bottoms that come right up to the waist - very comfortable and flattering for the mature woman.
With beautiful matching tops, fashionable shirts and pretty sarongs to hide a multitude of sins, every woman can look her best on the beach or by the pool. Even more so if you have some bling in the form of a chunky necklace.
"Mixed colours and patterns disguise better than plain black," Doris said, so if you love bright colours, go for it.
"We should never think we are too old to put on a swimsuit. We live in paradise in Australia, we are surrounded by water - wear a swimsuit."
More information at www.sunflair.com.
Shopping for your swimsuit
Have you ever bought a cheap t-shirt that looks great the first time you wear it and then as soon as you wash it the shape is all out of whack?
Buying a cheap swimsuit is probably going to do the same thing. It might look okay for the first couple of wears and then it will start to sag and lose its shape.
Department stores are all about quick turnover and providing clothes that seem great for the price but quality can be lacking.
Turn to a specialist to help fit you for your new swimsuit. There are plenty of boutiques that sell quality swimwear.
Sales staff with experience and expertise will find the correct size and shape that can make all the difference in how good you look in swimwear.
Why do some swimsuits cost so much?
Looking at the price tags of leading swimwear products can leave you wondering why pay so much for this little bit of fabric.
A good quality swimsuit will not only help you feel confident and beautiful when you head to the water but will also last if it is looked after properly.
Interesting facts of what goes into making the best swimwear.
- A quality bikini can have to 70 individual pieces hand sewn to ensure a good fit.
- The best fabrics, sewing threads, lining and cup molds are only used.
- A large amount of fabric goes to waste in the construction of the best swimsuits to ensure the pattern and weave of fabric sits in the correct position of each piece.
- High density stitching to ensure maximums stretching and retraction is time consuming and costly to create.
- Extensive quality checks are performed at each stage of construction. It is labour intensive but vital to ensure only perfectly finished items make it to the store for you.
CarING for your swimsuit
Wash it regularly, even if you haven't worn it in the ocean or pool. Sun lotion can damage the fabric.
Hand wash only - do not throw it in the washing machine with other garments - and dry it in the shade.
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