Gemma Tries It On: 'I'm a little apprehensive about letting it all hang out at the beach'


After getting the bridesmaid-dress saga out of the way, it's time to face the next hurdle of my Oz trip: unzipping my warm, cosy onesie and trying on a new cozzie or 'swimmers', as our Australian counterparts call them. I like that.

My vow to eat sensibly during January hasn't exactly been going well. (Today's food intake is quite impressive: fry-up, chicken Milanese with spaghetti, and finally sausage and mash… I'm hungover, all right?) And my planned exertions have amounted to walking up the stairs to bed every night and one evening dancing to Gary Barlow (I blame him for my hangover), so I'm a little apprehensive about letting it all hang out at the beach.

For the first time in a very long while, I've decided to ditch the bikini and go for a one-piece. Now I'm older and supposedly more sensible, the lure to get all-over brown is further down my list of priorities, and as it's only me that gets to see my belly, the days of a Topshop mix-and-match bikini are well and truly over.

But where to get such skimpy garments when there is snow on the ground? Obviously the internet is the place to shop, and what could be better than trying on swimwear that has a good chance of not fitting in the comfort of your own home?

As well as the usual suspects who do holiday sections on their sites, there are speciality travel websites like You'll find a small selection of good brands here including Zimmermann, Seafolly and designers such as Matthew Williamson and some of Roksanda Ilinic's new colourful collection. has a larger range of Roksanda's bathers if you want to do a bit more window shopping.

Heidi Klein also has a very good online shop, with some styles available in a D-G cup and shapes to flatten the stomach and flatter the fuller figure.

If money were no object, my Louis Vuitton trunk would be full of Eres swimwear. It's understated, yet stylish, but that of course comes at a price. If you do want to try on, then go to the Eres boutique nestled behind Harrods in Knightsbridge; it's the most pleasant changing-room experience that I have had and the lovely sales assistant made me feel quite at ease, despite being half naked.

As I've got no choice but to ditch the adult baby-grow, maybe one of Lisa Marie Fernandez's sexy swimsuits would be a good shout – they're like skimpy wetsuits. This could be the one I'll be zipping myself into – but it's wishful thinking that it will be as comfy as my onesie.

Gemma Hayward is Fashion Editor of 'The Independent'