Deborah Ross: 'It's time to get your bikini body orders in'

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If you ask me, now that newspapers and magazines are giving tips on "how to get a bikini body in 14 days", it is time you put in your order, which may take 14 days but does not have to. If you pay extra, most companies will send out a bikini body by special delivery, and some even offer a next-day service.

Boden, I believe, offers a next-day service, but if you are going to order a bikini body from Boden do think carefully about it first, and ask yourself the following question: do I really want the sort of bikini body that looks as if it's married to a man called Jeremy who, for his part, leans against fireplaces in country pubs, wears his sweater around his neck, and possesses something called a "Weekend Holdall"? Your bikini body will almost certainly be sassy and flirty and polka-dotted, in a self-satisfied way but, seriously, could you live with a man like that? No, I thought not.

Do beware the opposite end of the market, though. Primark and Matalan and New Look all do bikini bodies at rock-bottom prices, but they are, I'm afraid, poorly made and may not last the season. As one woman told me: "There is nothing worse than having to watch your bikini body disintegrate before your eyes. It is heartbreaking. And once it's gone it's gone. There seems to be no getting it back."

You could knit your own, but again, do exercise caution, as wool absorbs water like billy-o and you don't want to emerge from the sea with your crotch swinging between your ankles. As another woman told me: "I knitted my own bikini body, came out of the sea, and actually tripped over my own crotch. I was the laughing stock of Magaluf, and probably still am."

And lastly, if you have given up on ever having a bikini body – or aren't in when it arrives; or it's shipped to the wrong address – you can, instead, go for one of those skirted swimsuits, although I do feel I have to tell you this: it's not fooling anybody. We all still know you are fat under there. As one woman told me: "Listen, will you stop making me up? I've got better things to do than being made up by you..." Fair enough. Sorry.

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