Dear Richard Madeley: My husband made a comment about my bikini – should I still wear it on holiday?

'I am still looking forward to our trip but not so wholeheartedly as I was'
'I am still looking forward to our trip but not so wholeheartedly as I was' - Ron Number

Dear Richard,

I was very much looking forward to our holiday in August and had begun working on my fashion edit. I found a lovely bikini (not particularly daring) and brought it home. My husband was careful not to say anything unflattering but he was quite negative about it, citing the dangers of sunburn and possible wardrobe malfunction while swimming.

I suspected what he meant was that I’m too old and there is too much of me for such a garment, but I challenged him, he denied it and said some nice things, and we’re friends again. But a seed of doubt has been planted. I know in my head that if I like it, it’s nobody else’s business, but it has been a good few years since our last beach holiday, and I know it will niggle if I’m imagining people looking at me with unkind thoughts about mutton and lamb. I am still looking forward to our trip but not so wholeheartedly as I was. How can I get things back on track?

— Amanda, Bristol

Dear Amanda,

The first thing that popped unbidden into my mind as I was read your letter was Brian Hyland’s 1960 hit Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini. I’m sure you know it: ‘She was afraid to come out of the locker,’ and so on.

That was 64 years ago, Amanda. Come out of the locker! To hell with what anyone thinks about you in your bikini! Have faith in yourself. You like it, don’t you? You felt happy in it (until your husband’s unfortunate commentary). So wear it. With pride, with elan, with swagger, with sunscreen – just wear it!

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