Why Women of Any Age Can Wear a Bikini – or Cover Up – if They Wish #iwillwearwhatilike

Why Women of Any Age Can Wear a Bikini - or Cover Up - if They Wish

After almost a year of hosting the #iwillwearwhatilike link up the theme is finally swimwear / beachwear – 

here’s to women at every age wearing bikinis, swimsuits or burkinis – in other words, whatever you damn well want to wear when you’re at the pool, on the beach or lounging about on holiday! I’d especially love to see lots of bikinis linked up simply because this is the one item that seems to touch a nerve with (some) journalists who insist that if you’re past the age of being able to have children then you really should put it away.

And if you’ve actually had children, god forbid you even think about getting your body out on the beach at all.

Aaaaargh let the madness stop!!

It’s the flippin’ 21st century and we’re long past being told what to wear – and what not to wear. If you’re even slightly contemplating whether you “should” be wearing a bikini at your age, ponder this:

Over 40 style: Yellow bikini, paisley print wide leg beach jumpsuit, floppy sun hat | Not Dressed As Lamb


The difference between a swimsuit and a bikini is roughly a few inches of fabric – and therefore a few inches more skin on show. If anyone has a problem with one and not the other, they need a serious reality check. And if a 22-year-old woman wants to cover up from head to toe on the beach, then that’s no one’s business but her own. If a 72 year old wants to wear a bikini, the same applies… It’s really that simple in the grand scheme of things. There are far more worse things in the world to worry about.


So now that I’ve got that off my chest πŸ˜‰ I’ll mention my own beachwear outfit!

I bought both the yellow bikini and the paisley beach jumpsuit last year for my holiday to Santorini – neither actually appeared on the blog in the end, but this weekend was so glorious they were put to use at long last once again in the garden. The jumpsuit is definitely a beachwear jumpsuit – it’s unfortunately a little too see-through to wear out and about, otherwise I think I’d be donning it with a t-shirt or tank underneath and rocking it down Sainsbury’s.

I can’t see a time when I’ll no longer be wearing a bikini – but you can rest assured that if and when that time does come it’ll be my decision, and my decision alone…!

Pleeeeeease add ALL your outfits to this week’s link up (not just beachwear!)… as always you may be featured next week if you’ve linked up something in this week’s theme of beachwear, bikinis, swimsuits or swimwear.

Don’t forget only blog posts that include a link back here or my button – or Instagram posts with the #iwillwearwhatilike hashtag – will be considered!


RELATED  Ad | My All-Time Favourite Live TV Memories

Over 40 style: Yellow bikini, paisley print wide leg beach jumpsuit, floppy sun hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Over 40 style: Yellow bikini, paisley print wide leg beach jumpsuit, floppy sun hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Over 40 style: Yellow bikini, paisley print wide leg beach jumpsuit, floppy sun hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Over 40 style: Yellow bikini, paisley print wide leg beach jumpsuit, floppy sun hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
ASOS bikini (love this yellow bikini top and bikini bottoms and this yellow swimsuit) | ASOS jumpsuit (love this patterned wide leg jumpsuit) | Reiss SS13 hat (this striped floppy sun hat is perfect) Marks & Spencer flips flops (love these Havaianas flip flops) | Models Own Navy Blue nail polish (pretty much the same as Chanel ‘Marinière’)

White bikini, wide-brimmed hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Above: My favourite shot from my poolside photo shoot on holiday in Santorini last year… Take me back now!!

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#iwillwearwhatilike | Not Dressed As Lamb
Thank you for joining the #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist’s list of “inappropriate” items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!

The link up goes live every Monday at 3pm UK time and will stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you’re wearing whatever you damn well like!

An InLinkz Link-up

Next week’s theme…

The OPTIONAL theme for next week (22 AUGUST) is SUMMER SANDALS

Linking up etiquette…

CLICK HERE to read the rules of linking up (and to grab the #iwillwearwhatilike button)

Featured favourites

Fashion bloggers wearing embroidery #iwillwearwhatilike

My favourite EMBROIDERY outfits from last week’s link up:

(L-R) Petite Silver Vixen | Anna’s Island Style | What Lizzy Loves | Sheela Writes | Une Femme d’un Certain Age

To get yourself featured next week, link up something following this week’s theme and make sure you’ve included a link back to Not Dressed As Lamb or my button in your post/sidebar!





Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellVisible MondayTurning Heads TuesdayBrilliant Blog Posts, Fun Fashion Friday, Passion for Fashion Friday


  1. 19 April 2017 / 5:17 pm

    It's April, 2017 and I'm just now seeing this. Catherine, you look great in a bikini! I remember when a born-again Christian co-worker sent a You Tube video about why women should not wear bikinis to all of us ladies in the office. I never watched it or said anything to this born-again about it because I thought "We have so many problems in the world, but bikinis are not one of them. There are a lot more serious issues that we need to worry about!"

  2. 22 August 2016 / 8:17 am

    Great jumpsuit, but this post would have been more powerful (and a lot less confusing) if you'd shown your bathing suit, instead of one carefully posed old photo of a completely different swim suit. New reader to your blog and very excited about what your doing! Just disappointed with this post.

    • 22 August 2016 / 10:18 am

      Hi Ebi, thanks for your comment but the point was to show that women can chose to COVER UP as well if they so wish (see the title), hence why I was wearing the beach jumpsuit. So I showed both sides of the argument by then showing the photo of me in my bikini on holiday last year.

      (And to be fair this year's photos are carefully posed too – they are not candid photos!)

      The idea of the Monday link up is about allowing women to show off what they've been wearing – and that is to wear WHATEVER they like – hence the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike. That weekend I fancied wearing a beach jumpsuit because I was in my back garden and to be honest I didn't want to show all the neighbours my bikini, and that was my choice. It was a little different on holiday in Santorini because it's much more the sort of place where wearing a bikini by the pool is more common, and I was more comfortable in that environment to wear it without covering up.

      So there wasn't anything to be confused about – the post is about #iwillwearwhatilike and that was what I wanted to wear that weekend in the garden – so it doesn't get much more real than that I'm afraid!

      Unfortunately you will get more honesty in my posts about what I wear, I won't be setting things up just to prove a point as it seems you want me to do…!

    • 23 August 2016 / 6:03 pm

      I missed the cover up part of the title! So thank you for bringing that to my attention. I did catch the hashtag, but I guess I did miss the point that sometimes swim (summer?) outfits are about covering up. I suppose I see so much of that in certain demographics that it never occurred to me anyone would actually want to do that.

      I almost hesitated in posting my comment but I'm glad I did because it's really cool you took it seriously (as intended). What you are doing with this blog is great, I follow other 40+ fashion bloggers because I like to see fashion happening on all ages and bodies. As mentioned, I am new to your blog, so I'll have to take some time to poke around and get familiar with your style.

  3. 21 August 2016 / 9:23 pm

    Fabulous post, Catherine – I love your beach look and am enjoying the other women's posts as well. We wear what we like! xox


  4. 18 August 2016 / 6:25 pm

    These photos are all SO GORGEOUS! The light, the composition, everything. You look stunning! More to the point, your sentiment is also gorgeous; I wish all women felt empowered to wear whatever they like and sod what anyone else thinks. It is ALL about confidence, isn't it? And you certainly don't have to be perfect to be confident.

    Bravo for your empowering post. And bravo for your bod! xx

  5. 18 August 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Love this Catherine, like you, I hate any kind of limitations on women and men-we can wear what we want and be who we want. You look utterly stunning as always, thanks for championing women and being who you are xx

  6. 18 August 2016 / 9:28 am

    Fabulous! DEFINITELY! Why should we be constrained by rules because of our age! It is all a state of mind and dressing how we want keeps us feeling like ourselves which is the truest value of all! Thank you for this post! #brillblogposts

  7. 18 August 2016 / 9:17 am

    I'm actually going away with my mum in a couple of weeks. She is 64 and has a great figure and has decided to buy some bikinis. At first I was like "mum really? bikinis?" now after reading this I'm like "yay mum good for you!" Thanks for the reminder that we really should be able to wear what we want! #brillblogposts xx

  8. 17 August 2016 / 6:52 am

    Great photo! And I love all the photos I'm seeing so far of the women who have linked up. We wear what we like yes. Too bad I'm not in my swimsuit – bad timing for photos. Thanks for hosting.

  9. 17 August 2016 / 6:10 am

    Abso-freaking-adorable, dearest Catherine!! I'm loving the idea of a gauzy jumpsuit as a coverup for the beach; especially since I totally "heart" the sun…but a tan?? Not so much!! XOXO


  10. 17 August 2016 / 6:01 am

    Catherine, what a lovely surprise to find myself included in your line up this week – thank you! I think you look fabulous in your bikini and agree with you that every woman can and ought to wear what she wants on the beach. I do wear all sorts of beach wear according to my mood and think it's so important to keep being yourself no matter what age. Wishing you a lovely week x

  11. 17 August 2016 / 2:15 am

    YESSSSS! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Women should feel free to wear what they love at the beach, just like everywhere else. Especially in America people can be very conservative and judge mental. Loving your beach look, that jumpsuit is amazing!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

  12. 16 August 2016 / 7:02 pm

    Well I'm a little late linking but what a lovely surprise to see my shot silk embroidered handbag in the Featured Favorites! Thank you so much.
    I would've looked to have linked a bikini shot but sadly being sooooo pale, in all my photos I'm either wearing a rash guard in or near the pool or covered in a kaftan! Darn my sun sensitive skin. As always, Catherine you look gorgeous and I couldn't agree with you more about it's up to us to decide what we wear, bikini or otherwise!


  13. 16 August 2016 / 6:59 pm

    Love this post and the message behind it. You look great in a bikini.

  14. 16 August 2016 / 4:56 pm

    I thought I would be brave and include a bikini photo of 62-year old me. Not such a perfect body as you, or Lizzy, or Michelle, or Nikki. But hey.. you have to give me points for daring.
    PS I am holding my tummy in haha

  15. 16 August 2016 / 1:17 pm

    Thank you. I've yet to blog about swimsuits, for so many reasons. I feel inspired! Thank you. And you look gorgeous.

  16. 16 August 2016 / 12:32 pm

    I still wear a bikini on holiday…I don't see why anyone, regardless of age, should feel compelled to cover up because of some silly rules made up by fashion "journalists". It's sad that we even have to have this debate when there are far more important things to worry about than 40+ midriffs, but such is this mad world of double standards we live in. Rant over. I love your pretty pink jumpsuit and floppy hat. Keep rocking that bikini!

    Emma xxx

  17. 16 August 2016 / 9:21 am

    Totally love that theme and you are rockin that bikini. Love that holiday pic of yours! I have always been wearing bikinis. Just love them πŸ™‚ Just not in today's link-up. Have a great week Catherine and thanks for hosting! xo Sabina

  18. 16 August 2016 / 7:34 am

    I feel a tad overdressed in my linkup this week, LOL! I haven't rocked a bikini since before Neo, and can't see me doing it again.. Sad i know, but i just cant get this tummy out in to the light.I am ok in a swimsuit, i may even venture in to a high waisted bikini this year. But with holidays in this country, there isn't much call for it so i haven't dipped my toe in yet. Inspired as always by yourself, maybe i should just take the plunge πŸ˜‰

  19. 16 August 2016 / 3:02 am

    Such a great topic & so many beauties in their bathing suits – love it!!!

  20. 15 August 2016 / 11:40 pm

    I had just started reading your blog last year when you were on vacation in Santorini. Loved seeing your photos on IG! And I loved your bikini blog post. Yes, everyone should decided what to wear at the beach/pool, and it's no one else's business! I love your cover up! Great color & pattern!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

  21. 15 August 2016 / 10:18 pm

    You can rock a bikini and cover up at any age for sure! Looking confident and beautiful.
    xo Sheree
    IG: @poshclassymom

  22. 15 August 2016 / 9:20 pm

    Love these posts chick, fun how people get so worried about a silly bikini! Love that last shit, like a 50's film star
    livinginaboxx | bloglovin

  23. 15 August 2016 / 6:32 pm

    That shot of you from the back is worthy of cinema time, Catherine, it really is. It's classy and sexy, and so artistic πŸ™‚ I've never worn anything but bikinis so I can't imagine being told it's a no no. Like you rightly said, it's a difference of several inches and scraps of fabric. Thank you, so much, for always reminding us that there is life after any of life's milestones, and that no one ought ever sit in a corner, wilting away. You are much loved for that xoxo

    p/s and THANK YOU for featuring me!!! You've no idea how wide a grin is on my face right this very moment!!!

  24. 15 August 2016 / 6:08 pm

    I love your jumpsuit and the print is fun! I never wore a swim suit before!

  25. 15 August 2016 / 6:04 pm

    I have always been critical of my flaws and never felt comfortable in a bikini. Love your romper as a beach cover up.

    Thank you for hosting and hope you are having a fab week!


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

  26. 15 August 2016 / 3:51 pm

    Catherine, love your hat and pretty jumpsuit too. I loved the bikini I bought this year from ASOS, black with red roses with kind of a vintage vibe. I wear bikinis more now than I did when I was in my 20s. Why not? If one is healthy and is comfortable with themselves πŸ™‚
    Have a great week!
    jess xx

  27. 15 August 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Fabulous! I say if you've got and you want to flaunt it, by all means flaunt it! I was never comfortable in a bikini even in my teens and twenties as a competitive swimmer with a body that I would love to have in my forties! But I suppose even if I had my twenty-something body, I just was never comfortable in a two piece swimsuit. But like you said, that's my choice! Fortunately, there are super adorable one piece swim suits out there!


  28. 15 August 2016 / 3:03 pm

    Great post Catherine! I think so many women get caught up in the idea of "rules" and really miss out on the fun! With my short torso, it is really a challenge to find a good one piece that is even comfortable for me, so it's always been a bikini. Every once in awhile the idea swarms into my head "should this be the year of the one-piece" and despite the fact I have had 2 children, I will be rocking a bikini till I just don't want to any more. I actually feel more confident in a bikini poolside because I am more comfortable. Whichever one chooses to wear – wear it with confidence. That "mommy tummy" of mine produced my two wonderfu children so I figure, why hide it?
    BTW you look FABULOUS in that bikini, and I love the jumpsuit!

  29. 15 August 2016 / 2:35 pm

    I think it's going to take awhile for many older women to realize the whole idea behind #iwillwearwhatilike. Maybe because a lot of them aren't online much. And as my mother says—it's been 70 years of hearing the "rules" over and over—it's hard to change on a dime!
    But I'm campaigning too—I just don't have a swimsuit to show—I stay out of the sun as much as possible now! But you go girl!!

  30. 15 August 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Preach it sister! Another topic I never understood what age has to do with it. Your body is amazing!

  31. 15 August 2016 / 2:22 pm

    I definitely agree, where what make you comfortable. I prefer a one piece, but if I wanted to wear a bikini I would. Love that pretty jumpsuit! πŸ™‚

    • 15 August 2016 / 2:24 pm

      Thank you Laurie – and I'm glad you wearwhatyoulike!! x

  32. 15 August 2016 / 2:06 pm

    And thank you so much for featuring me last week to xxxxxxx

  33. 15 August 2016 / 2:04 pm

    I love this post Catherine. Everything about it but mainly the sentiment. I remember seeing the stunning photo of you on your bikini in the pool on Instagam last year and thinking it was one of the most beautiful pics of you I've ever seen. You look amazing. The jumpsuit is soooo pretty too. Thank you for hosting xxxxx

    • 15 August 2016 / 2:21 pm

      Ohhhhhh Liz you absolute sweetheart – thank you, that's made my day!! Thank YOU for linking up your bikini pictures, you look incredible. So great to see 40+ women still rocking bikinis!! =muah= xx

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