Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Excuse these very cheesy, but superbly effective, photos from the Heidi Klein website. I am not about to put myself on my own blog in a bikini, I'd need Mert & Marcus and French Vogue for that. However, these two are my summer 2011 bikinis. My wardrobe for a couple of weeks in the sun, give or take a Club Monaco white T-shirt, TopShop pink shorts and a throw-on cotton dress that I've had aeons.
I haven't needed to update my bikini collection for ages. At the end of summer they go back in the bag for another year.  But when I went to fetch the bag a few weeks ago, the bikinis had aged like an old woman. The elastic had crisped up, and the cheaper bikinis had lost their lustre and gone baggy. That's the thing - cheap bikinis like the fun ones at TopShop, last one summer. Which is absolutely fine when you've got a taut 20-something body and change your style with the wind, but not fine when you need, as I do, to make my boobs appear bigger my butt smaller and to get a shot of beach confidence. Lets face it, it's difficult to look sleek and chic when nearly naked in 30 degree heat, and a good bikini is more than half the battle.

So, onto my choices. The "Capri" in plum and the "Chile" in chili. The Capri's cleverly padded bra gives the impression of more upstairs by filling out the outer planes of the boob area and pushing them together to create a bit of cleavage. The bra doesn't look padded when on the body either, which was the clincher. That and the fact the bikini bottoms are so low-key they do not draw the eye in any way.  Also, the colour is really flattering and very on-trend, (fashion has to come in somewhere), and the high quality fabric can handle a daily sluice of seawater followed later by laundry soap. It comes in a slate colour too, which I would love to have bought but I'd already smashed my budget buying these two.

The Chile bikini, apart from the divine orangey red colour, has four widgets on it - two on the pants, and two on the bikini top. These widgets move, and in moving them you can play with the shape of the bikini, thus making your body proportions appear different too. It is rather miraculous how effective these gilded plastic widgets are. When I'm wearing mine the widgets on the bottom stay pretty much where they are, as shown in the picture above, but I pull them down about three inches on the bikini top, and ta-da, my boobs look a little more pert.

The moral of the tale is this: don't scrimp on your skimpy bikini. 

Photos: Heidi Klein.com