July 1, 2023

Best swimwear for 2023

Head to the beach with confidence this summer with some of the best swimwear for 2023

I've been trying and testing out some new swimwear on my recent trip to the Maldives so I thought it would be good to share some of my favourites with you.It's a tough job but someone's got to do it!

Rachel Peru is sitting but the sea wearing a black bikini and black straw hat swimwear

I used to dread planning my swimwear for summer holidays, worrying about losing weight and looking for swimsuits that held me in and covered me up in all the right places. I get it, for some Summer is a time you may feel more uncomfortable in our bodies. Feeling the pressure to diet and lose weight for those two weeks away at the beach. I’ve been there and wasted far too many summers worrying about what i looked like instead of really enjoying being in the moment.

Let’s face it, it doesn’t help that most of the swimwear images you see are so unrelatable; full of younger women in their twenties so at 50 you feel like you don't stand a chance!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll already know I share a lot of images of me wearing swimwear, I love the freedom good supportive swimwear brings you so here’s some of my favourite swimwear  for 2023.

Bridie & Bert Swimwear

I’ve recently discovered an independent brand called Bridie and Bert and I’m already a big fan. The brand was founded in 2021 and remains predominantly a towelling brand, their soft hipster towelling shorts and cosy robes are fabulous quality too. The brand describes its self as being “simple and uncomplicated but one that I hope you will enjoy for many years to come” and after wearing their swimwear I can imagine it will remain a firm favourite in my beach wardrobe.

I felt like a 1950’s beach babe in the Melissa strappy swimsuit. The cut is super flattering with the added versatility of adjustable straps from straight to cross over, whichever you prefer.

As I am bigger busted (34G) I rarely wear anything with extra padding, but I liked the shape it gave me so kept the removable padding in.

Available up to a size 18

If you prefer a two piece, then you’ll love the high waisted ditsy floral Mary Bikini. I used to shy away from wearing low bikini tops, but I’ve got over that now and I felt confident wearing this set. Like the swimsuit is has adjustable straps from straight to cross over and the cut of the leg is just right, not too high, or low.

Available up to a size 20. I’m wearing a size and in future I’d probably size up as I just about stayed in the top all day!

Both the swimsuit and bikini are available in Apple & White and Rose & White.

Whilst they might both seem a little pricey at £79.95, I really do feel like you’re buying a quality swimsuit that would last you for plenty of summers to come.




Rachel Peru is wearing a red ditsy print bikini on the beach swimwearRachel Peru is lying down in a hammock wearing a blue ditsy floral print Bridie and Bert swimwear


Curvy Kate Wrapsody

https://bridieandbert.com/products/melissa-swimsuit-ditsy-floral-strappy-swimsuitIf you’re looking for something that’s versatile this summer, then I can’t recommend the Curvy Kate wrapsody collection. I think this is the most versatile swimwear I’ve tried and there’s so many ways you can wear it, including creating looks that take you from the beach to the bar. The Luxe strapless bra leaves you feeling well supported too. I have the wrapsody red swimsuit and the black bikini and love them.





River Island #wishlist

Lady lying down on the beach laughing, wearing a River Island Black and Gold bikini

I keep seeing images of this River Island Black Plunge bikini set and I absolutely love it. I haven’t managed to try it yet as its currently out of stock in a size 16 but it’s giving me serious Ursula Andress vibes and the gold band and buckle detail is a winner. Available in Green and Gold and goes up to a size 18. The material is scuba so that’s a good indication that it will hold things in place too.

Reasonably priced. The top is £32 and bottoms £22.

River Island Womens Black Plunge Buckle Bikini Top


Supermarket Swimwear with F&F

Don't dismiss the supermarket clothing brands this summer. F&F have some great pieces at reasonable prices. I particularly like the Tummy control swimsuit with an overall black and white print. It has adjustable straps with a flattering deep v shape. This swimsuit also comes in lime green, blue striped and red.

Available at Next https://www.next.co.uk/g764000s1/955891#955891

Bravissimo Bikini

Last but not least if you’re looking to add a bit of bold colour to your beach wear how about this fabulous bright orange Cancun bikini from Bravissimo. I’m obsessed by this fun set, the colour and cut is super flattering and it’s underwireed too, so extra supportive for those larger busts like me.
I teamed the crop bikini top with wide legged trousers for an easy beach to bar look too.

Available up to a J cup too.

Bikini top £42.00

I’m wearing the Cancun swim bottoms £24 but there’s also a high waisted bottom available £26.


We Are We Wear

There's lots of reasons why I love this swimwear brand. We Are We Wear is an independent, black-owned business, created in 2019.

The founders, Natalie and Chelsea, quit their jobs to and set out on a mission to challenge the culture of unrealistic body standards we face today. Using their combined experience working for one of Britain’s biggest online retailers, they turned their vision into a reality with their inclusive, eco-friendly brand. Representation matters and they are passionate about showing up for all women and it's they carry this though, it's not just tokenism!

Another big tick is their use of regenerated industrial plastics, marine waste and fabric scraps to create the fabrics across our swimwear collections

I wore this Paper print Tilly crop top bikini set and sarong on our recent trip along the North Yorkshire coast and it was the perfect colour combination to brighten up some typical British summer weather!

Paper print Tilly crop top £28.00 - https://wearewewear.com/products/paper-print-tilly-crop-bikini-top

Mid rise Paper print Sonia bikini bottoms £22.00 - https://wearewewear.com/products/paper-print-sonia-mid-rise-bikini-bottoms

Maria sarong £22.00- https://wearewewear.com/collections/all-swimwear-01/products/paper-print-tilly-crop-bikini-top

Ditch the rules!

When it comes to choosing swimwear, all I can tell you is to ditch the rules and wear what makes YOU feel good and to hell with what anyone else thinks. If you're a swimsuit woman that's great, if you prefer to wear a two piece that's fabulous too, there is no right way, whatever makes you have the most body confidence. I've heard so many women share opinions on both and it's time we stopped judging one another. I love wearing bikinis because they make me feel free, but I totally understand other women feel better in a one piece.

There are so many different styles out there that accommodate all shapes and sizes. Think of your swimwear like your lingerie, it’s all about the fit so take the time to try them on properly; shopping from home has never been easier, which takes away the pressure of shop changing rooms

Whatever you wear, enjoy your Summer, and hold your head up high.

Repeat after me...


Keep being fabulous.

Rachel x


May 31, 2023

Let’s Get Naked! #bodyconfidence

Let's get naked and learn to embrace our bodies. #bodyconfidence

For many of us, the idea of getting naked can be a bit daunting.

We have been conditioned by society to be ashamed of our bodies, to keep covered up and to feel like we are not good enough.

But what if we could shift our perspective and see getting naked as something that is positive and empowering?

Those that have followed me for a while will already know how passionate I am about women of all ages feeling comfortable in their own skin. I spent so many years worrying about my body which held me back and really knocked my self-esteem and body confidence. Since turning 40 I’ve been on a mission to change my mindset which has been liberating.

The Midlife Body Confidence Report

In 2022 I carried out a midlife body confidence survey where I asked 200 women how often they looked at themselves in the mirror naked?

10% Never - that makes me sad!

47% Occasionally - lots of room for improvement

24% Often - Great news

18% Everyday - YES!!

As part of my own body confidence journey, I have pushed myself to become comfortable with seeing my body naked without wanting to crawl under a cover and cry. What I’ve learnt to realise is all our bodies are so different, that none of us are perfect, and nobody really cares about the negative parts you get so focussed on.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

I’ve now done several nude shoots, the latest one with Helen Booth at Masque photography was one of the most authentic and raw shoots I’ve ever done. There’s nowhere to hide, but it's my body and that’s fine with me. Being interviewed naked for the Naked Podcast was one of the most honest and heartfelt interviews I’ve ever given. All these experiences have been empowering and liberating, there’s no need for any pretence anymore which is freeing.

'Let's Get Naked' shoot with Rachel Peru and Masque Photography

How I challenge my body confidence

I like to challenge myself every year and in 2022, I agreed to be a nude model for a life drawing class. I really had no idea what to expect. When I walked in and saw a room full of 34 people all poised ready to draw, part of me wanted to run out of the door, but I’m so glad I didn’t. The class was 2 hours long and I was asked to create lots of different poses with different angles. I soon became so fixed on making sure they saw interesting shapes that I completely forgot I was sitting there naked.

Walking around the room seeing all the different artwork and speaking with the artists was so refreshing. The class was of mixed ages and sexes, and all were there to get lost in their artwork for a couple of hours. I got so much positive feedback telling me how much they enjoyed drawing me. It was another reminder that our bodies are ok, flaws and all, and we must stop fearing our ageing bodies. I’d recommend life modelling if you’re curious about it and I’d certainly do it again.

Yorkshire Life Drawing

This year's challenge is to perform a live solo burlesque routine so “Lady Liberté” will be on stage at this years Womanifest on Saturday 15th July, eek!!! Lots more to come on this subject soon. #watchthisspace

Whilst I appreciate the things I’ve done may seem too extreme for some, here are some things to consider if you are thinking about getting naked and embracing your body.

The Sexualisation of Women's Bodies

One of the main reasons why many women are afraid to get naked is because they worry about being sexualised. We live in a world where women's bodies are constantly being sexualised and objectified, so it is no wonder that we are afraid to show our own bodies. But we should not let the sexualisation of women's bodies keep us from embracing our own bodies. Every one of us is beautiful, no matter what our size or shape. We should feel confident and proud to show our bodies, regardless of whether someone else finds them attractive. Remember that as you head to the beach in your swimwear this Summer.

Lifting the Fear of Being Naked

Another reason why many of us are afraid to get naked is because we fear judgement. We worry that people will see our flaws and judge us for them. But the truth is that everyone has flaws, and no one is perfect. Why should we let the fear of being judged keep us from being comfortable in our own skin? If we can accept ourselves for who we are, flaws and all, we can start to feel more confident about getting naked. And when we feel more comfortable about getting naked, we can start to enjoy all the benefits that come along with it.

The Benefits of Getting Naked

There are many benefits to getting naked, including feeling more comfortable in your own skin. Feeling more connected to your body. Tapping into your natural sexiness and confidence, and appreciating your body for all it is worth, flaws included!   Remember that you are beautiful just as you are!

It's also a great way to keep an eye on any changes happening with our bodies. Noticing any changes quickly can make a big difference to spotting any potential underlying medical issues.

Now, don't get me wrong—I'm not saying that we should all walk around naked all the time!

How can you challenge yourself?

How about seeing yourself naked when you’re getting dressed in the morning. Stop avoiding looking in the mirror. Learning to love and appreciate our bodies is an important step in learning to love and appreciate ourselves as whole human beings.

One of my favourite actresses is Emma Thomson and if you haven't seen Good Luck to You, Leo Grande then I recommend you do. There's a powerful scene which sees Emma strip off in front of the mirror and she described it as one of the hardest things she's had to do.

"If I stand in front of a mirror, I’m always sort of pulling something, or I’ll turn to the side, I’ll do something. I can’t just stand there. Why would I do that, it’s horrifying. “But that’s the problem, isn’t it, that women have been brainwashed all lives to hate our bodies. That’s just the fact. And everything that surrounds us reminds us how imperfect we are, and everything is wrong with us.” •

Whilst Emma still continues to have her own body insecurities she did report feeling more accepting of her body.  I think that's a much more realistic goal.

“It’s easier for people to feel neutral about their body than it is for them to go, "I love my body." That, I think, is really helpful. And it’s something that you can sort of practise on your own."

So, if you're struggling with body image issues, try this little experiment: next time you're in front of a mirror in the morning take off your clothes and say these three things to yourself:

"I love you,"

"You are beautiful," 

"Thank you."

It sounds simple, but it just might change your life!

For more body confidence inspiration check out the rest of my body confidence blogs

Keep being fabulous

Rachel x


November 6, 2022

Giving the “Perfect” Body the Finger

When you think of the ideal female body shape, what comes to mind?

Chances are the image that popped into your head was influenced by the fashion industry, media, and advertising. Throughout history, these industries have dictated what is considered fashionable and what is not. The result? A never-ending cycle of women dieting and going to extreme lengths to achieve an "unattainable" body type.

I’m a size 34G bust and as a teenager with a developing body I became hugely self-conscious of my growing breasts. By the time I was 16, I was a DD and with that came unwanted attention from boys, which left me feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed, and negative about my body. I desperately wanted to be able to wear a backless dress and remember feeling left out that I couldn’t. Aged 30, after having my three children I booked to have a breast reduction. I had seen the consultant, set the date for the operation and a couple of weeks before this was due, I changed my mind. Up until this point I had convinced myself that if I had smaller boobs my body would look better, and I would feel more confident. I don’t know what changed my mind but I’m very glad didn’t go through with it.

I spoke to a friend of mine recently who is much smaller chested, and she shared how that had also knocked her confidence over the years and often left her feeling less of a woman.

When it comes to the size of our boobs and body sizes, women have been pitted against for decades by the fashion industry, as they dictate what body shape is "in" and what's not.

It's time we reclaimed our bodies!

Let’s start with the super curves of the 1950’s when women strived to have an hourglass figure like Marilyn Monroe, then came a sudden shift in the 1960’s with Twiggy’s flatter chested much thinner look ruling the fashion industry. Only to be told that curvy bodies were back in favour influenced by the super models of the 80’s, followed by Kate Moss’s super slim, waif like physique shifting the ‘perfect’ body barometer once again.

Do you see a pattern emerging as each decade sees a sharp shift of body shapes developing?

Just when you might have thought we’d made real progress and started to see a diverse representation of women’s bodies shapes the worrying article “Bye bye booty; Heroin chic is back” emerged in the New York Times this week. There are so many reasons why this latest ‘trend’ is so alarming

  1. Women’s bodies are not trends
  2. Women who are naturally slim shouldn’t be labelled in such a derogatory way
  3. The last time we saw this trend in the 90’s it coincided with an increase in eating disorders as young girls strived to ‘fit in’ to society

Women of all shapes and sizes are made to feel inadequate by these unrealistic standards. Well, I say screw that! It's time for us to turn our backs on society's idea of the "perfect" body and love ourselves for who we are. Here's why...

Women's Bodies Are Not Fashion Trends!

The first reason we should reject society's view of the "perfect" body is because women's bodies are not fashion trends. Fashion is about what you wear on the outside, but our bodies are so much more than that. Our bodies are the vessels that carry us each day.

They give us the ability to see, to hear, to feel. To think, to love, to laugh. Our bodies are amazing! And they deserve to be treated with respect and love, not judged against some arbitrary standard set by the fashion industry.

We Should Be Turning Our Backs on So-Called "Perfection"

Secondly, we should be turning our backs on so-called "perfection" because it's an unattainable goal. There is no such thing as a perfect body, no matter what society tells us. We are all uniquely beautiful creatures, each with our own individual quirks and imperfections. Embracing those imperfections is what makes us perfectly human. I don’t recall men being told what shape their bodies should be to be “in” either.

So, let's start loving ourselves for who we are, not who the fashion industry, media and advertising says we should be! Let's spread the word to protect the younger generation so they don't feel the need pressure to conform.

It's time for us to break free from society's unrealistic standards and learn to love ourselves for who we are!

Repeat after me-

Our bodies are not fashion trends, and "perfection" is an unattainable goal.

So, let's start celebrating our unique beauty today!

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