Enough Length for Swimming Lengths

I am really clumsy. I’ve often blamed it on being tall, but then I meet these wonderfully lithe, 6ft1 dancer types and think it might just be me. Today I have already sneezed while holding a bowl of cereal, prompting it to splash all over my sofa, broken the china light pull in the bathroom by flicking it wildly against the wall while doing my hair, and spilt tomato out of a sandwich onto my friend’s newborn baby. My iPhone (smashed the other week when dropped on a garage forecourt and still awaiting repair) tells me that it’s only 4pm and therefore I should expect more mishaps to come.

Pregnancy has forced my clumsiness into overdrive, and unfortunately, this means that I’ve had to give up running and gymming. And anything else that could see me face-planting on a very hard floor. This isn’t necessary for every pregnant woman. In fact all healthcare professionals will encourage you to keep up with your usual fitness regime. But a fall at 6 weeks whilst out on my usual jog has freaked me out enough to seek alternative forms of exercise.

So I’ve given up my gym membership and now spend three hours a week at my local council swimming baths, and go for (semi) regular power walks with the hubby.

When I started swimming regularly (at about 6 weeks), I hadn’t bought a swimming costume in 6 years. And soon, my old faithful black swimsuit, which wasn’t the best fit to start with, started gaping at the seams. I then wore bikinis for a couple of weeks, until I decided that they weren’t great for serious length swimming and were probably a tad inappropriate for aquafit classes.

So I decided I needed a new one.  But as you all know, long-length swimming costumes are an elusive and expensive treasure in themselves. Throw in a bump and suddenly becoming a couch potato seems like a far less stressful option.

The one-piece is super on-trend at the moment and there are so many gorgeous, boho, fluro and 80s inspired styles that are just perfect for shorties. But I couldn’t find anything that worked for me.

So to combat the problem, I got a Long Tall Sally tankini. The vest is longer in the body than most (and the pants have a super high, 50s style cut), so I should still be covered even when I’m full-term.

I actually got one of the last in stock (thank you to LTS’s Alice for tracking it down!), but there are others on the website, and LTS does have a sale on swimwear at the moment. This new arrival (left — £35) looks great if you’re after a sporty but girly number.





I’m interested to know though where you’ve bought your swimming costumes in the past, especially if you’ve bought one recently that works well on a tall frame. Pregnant or not pregnant, it’s a hard task for a tall woman, particularly if you want something trendy and don’t want to pay through the nose.

A few weeks ago I asked (actually on behalf of a reader) for your long-length swimsuit suggestions. Here are a few gems you came up with:


Sharron and Di both recommend this twist front swimsuit (£59) from Boden. It’s on the pricier side, but comes with the usual high quality fabric you can expect with Boden, and Sharron writes, “I’ve bought it in the long-length and it’s a great fit. I’m 6’2 and it’s the first swimsuit I’ve ever owned.”

Middle Ground


Di sings the praises of M&S Longer Length. This blue striped swimsuit (£32.50) is available, and if you see this long-length ruched swimsuit in store anywhere, make sure you snap it up. My 5’9 sister has it and it’s gorgeous with lots of room to spare (but it’s only currently available online in a size 8).


For pregnant women or those in search of a long-line tankini at very reasonable prices, Rachael suggests this tankini top (£14) and matching briefs (£7.50) from Cotton Traders.




Also highly recommended by you for tallies are Lands End, Sea Folly at John Lewis, Laura Ashley, Freya, Simply BeTallgirls.co.uk and even Tesco.

Let me know what works for you. I know bikinis are generally a failsafe bet, and — unexpectedly — I actually feel more confident in a bikini at the moment than I ever have before. But there are always circumstances when only a one-piece will do.

L xx

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21 Responses to Enough Length for Swimming Lengths

  1. I was lucky enough to snap up the M&S black & white polka dot one as you mentioned above! 🙂 I also wanted to share a great tankini I have just bought for my hols next week – it’s a lovely long length in the body. It’s from John Lewis – top is: http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-leopard-tankini-top-animal/p1511135 and matching shorts are: http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-leopard-bikini-shorts-animal/p1511157 Obviously it helps if you like a bit of leopard print! 🙂 x

  2. I asked the same question on your Facebook page a couple of years back and someone was kind enough to recommend Sports Direct. Being a swimmer rather than a runner myself, (due to a clumsy streak of my own) I bought two amazing swimsuits that are still going strong. Would definitely recommend! X

  3. I’m also very clumsy so it’s not just you! I just knocked over a glass of ginger beer much to my husband’s dismay…

    At 6’3 and being a ‘sporty’ swimmer I’ve tried a couple of swimsuits. The one I bought from Tallgirls I’m afraid just wasn’t long enough. I went back to LTS and bought the racerback costume. These I find are comfortable, but don’t last very long sadly. Might try Sports Direct, as they do longer sports tops which are great!

  4. I found a mothercare Marernity swimsuit that fitted perfectly! It was black with about 200 yards of ruching, so plenty of space to accommodate tallness as well as bump (although I’m only 5’10”).

  5. Wow, you look super cute! The polka dots are so fun.

    Hilary, if you can see what the suits are made of, polyester/PBT ones last FOREVER! The fit can be trickier because there is not as much spandex, but they are chlorine and fade resistant. I swam in uni and my favourite practise suit lasted for three years…

    M&S Longer Length work for me – I was surprised (read, nearly had a heart attack) to be able to buy a suit from a “normal” store when I was in London.

  6. I really struggle with swimwear; while there are options for tall girls and options for the fuller busted, I’ve yet to find a tall size swimsuit with enough bust support. It really seems to be an either or sort of situation. I tend to stick with bikinis that I buy in proper bra sizing for the right support but I’d love to find that elusive one-piece that ticks both boxes!

    • Good point Anne-Marie. This is the trouble, “tall” is not a body shape… it’s a label that says diddly squat about what your figure actually looks like. If you’re blessed with beautiful curves it can be tricky to get nice cozzies and tailored clothes. Will keep my ear to the ground for you xx

    • Anne Marie, I just go with the hope that my swimwear is ok and just about holding me in. But I agree the bust support is generally useless or nonexistent. I have recently got into triathlon and trying to find tri wear suitable for a 6’3 woman with curves is very tricky! I ended up getting a two piece suit (that has a rubbish ‘shelf’) and having to swim with my sports bra underneath!

  7. Hi. Just found this blog and soo far very interested. At 6’1 myself it is great to find other recommendations and suggestions. I recently bought the following: http://www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10701_10001_064020200163_-1
    from debehams and have found it one of the best ive had in recent years.

  8. The boden suit is reduced in the sale. Not much off (between £6 to £18 depending on the design), but better than nothing! Doesn’t look like there are many left in long. On the strength of this article I’m going to give one a go, boden is usually good quality, so if it fits as well then that’s great. Thanks x

  9. Hi! Sorry for the late reply but I found this swimsuit in Next the other week and it is really long in the body – I’m 6’1 and it is a really good fit and has adjustable straps too – bonus!


    Keep up the good work with the blog – I can relate to the clumsiness too (in spades!). x

  10. Hurrah! Thank you for the boden tip! I ordered a gorgeous blue one and it fits perfectly!! Now to learn to swim!

  11. Yay! So pleased we could all help Amy… get yourself into a swim class! xx

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