Fashion: Put off by skimpy swimwear? Here are some fabulous alternatives

M&Co Plain Black Tummy Control Stripe Swimsuit, £30

AS WE creep ever closer to holiday season (yay!), you may have noticed – in the shops or on social media – that swimwear seems to be shrinking.

Swimsuits come with deep V-fronts and ludicrously high-cut legs, while bikinis are becoming even itsy-bitsier and teeny-weenier than ever.

That’s all well and good if you’re a tanned and toned celeb or a leggy model but what if you don’t want to flash your bum or side-boob or tan lines when you head off on hols?

The good news is, among this year’s swim collections, there are actually a lot of amazing options for those of us who need more a few inches of Lycra and strings or straps to keep our bits in place.

You can find a lot of great options online, and save money on your purchase with the use of a Shein discount code.

From sleek swimsuits to flattering bikinis, these stylish pieces will make you look and feel amazing this summer.


We all know black clothes are super-slimming, and the same applies to swimwear, especially if you opt for a swimsuit that comes in a suck-it-all-in fabric. Black mesh is also great for giving the illusion of a bikini but with more support.

:: M&Co Plain Black Tummy Control Stripe Swimsuit, £30

:: Bluebella Aegean Swimsuit, £32

:: Fat Face Phantom Textured Swimsuit, £38


There’s a reason high-waisted bikinis are so popular with plus-size fashion bloggers – they’re fantastic for emphasising your waist and skimming over that lower midriff area that so many of us are keen to keep under wraps. Floral patterns and cute ruffle details make these two-pieces even prettier.

:: Simply Yours Halterneck Bikini Top, £26, and matching Strappy Bikini Brief, £16, Simply Be

:: Boux Avenue Adelaide Sling Bikini Top, £30, and matching High-waisted Bikini Briefs, £18

:: Junarose Ruffle Detail Halterneck Bikini Top, £28, and matching Bikini Bottoms, £24, Navabi


Blessed in the breast department? You’re probably going to want to steer clear of soft-cup triangle bikinis. Instead, look for bra-like tops with padded cups, underwiring and thick straps for ultimate support (and sexiness).

:: (Left) Curvy Kate Blue Stripe ‘Ahoy’ Halterneck Bikini Top £36, and matching Fold Over Bikini Briefs, £20; (Right) Curvy Kate Blue Stripe ‘Ahoy’ Balcony Bikini Top, £36, and matching Tie Side Bikini Briefs, £20, Swimwear365

:: Figleaves Riptide Underwired Twist Plunge Bikini Top, £28, and matching Riptide Twist Brief, £18

:: Lipsy Alice Bikini Top, £32, and matching Briefs, £20, Next


Combining candy colours and simple silhouettes, these bright swimsuits will help you channel modern pin-up glamour. Look for wrap and drape detailing that skims and slims.

:: Simply Yours Plait Bandeau Swimsuit, £35, JD Williams

:: Seaspray Lagoon Ombre Draped Strapsuit, £78

:: Matalan Stripe Tie Front Swimsuit, £16


Fans Are Angry That the New Captain Marvel Shoes Don’t Come in Most Men’s Sizes

Vans' Marvel shoe collection

Many of us were excited when the latest line of Vans’ Marvel-branded shoes popped up online. The shoes are comic-book colorful and cool, and I dream of having them all on my feet. Unfortunately for a significant portion of Marvel fans, the Captain Marvel shoes stop at Men’s size 10. This did not go over well, nor should it.

The new Vans feature kicks inspired by the likes of Black Panther, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, and more. The most buzz was reserved for the most recent addition to the MCU in the form of Carol Danvers, and the shoes made in her “image.” Carol is particularly on our minds following the debut of her symbol in Infinity War‘s chaotic post-credits scene.

On June 1st, Matthew Mueller over at gave us a first look at the Carol-based shoes, which had leaked to the Internet prior to Vans’ official announcement. Mueller described the excellent Captain Marvel high tops:

[T]hey feature a full Captain Marvel color scheme of red, blue, and gold. The outsole of the shoe is all white, while the tongue and toe box are red with white eyelets. The Upper features a gold wavy stripe across a mostly blue backdrop, while the heel features gold trim and a big splash of red with Captain Marvel’s Hala Star logo in gold right in the middle.

Red laces complete the stylish package, and we simply can’t wait to get our hands on them.

Cool as hell, right? Mueller certainly thought so, and he was hardly alone. Carol Danvers already has a lot of fans, and that’s going to grow exponentially after Captain Marvel hits theaters next March and also when she saves the world in Avengers 4.

But on June 8th, following the shoes’ official release to sale, Mueller was back with a follow-up. Those Captain Marvel shoes he couldn’t wait to score are only available up to Men’s size 10. “Some shoes only come in certain sizes, we get that, but the male characters didn’t have the same problem, as those go all the way up to 13,” he wrote.

There’s the rub. These were clearly produced with the expectation that they would be purchased primarily by women, and that is incredibly short-sighted—not to mention the fact that there are many women, both trans and cis, and people of every identification who would also appreciate a higher range of size.

And this doesn’t appear to be a mistake or an oversight on Vans’ part at all: it was an intentional decision. Mueller explained:

So, it comes down to that Captain Marvel is a female character, right? It looks like it, as I wasn’t the only person utterly bummed that I can’t rock some slick Carol Danvers kicks, as Vans has received several responses to the news, asking if they were going to offer bigger sizes at a later time.

Concerned fans received responses like this:

There are bad and outdated gender dynamics baked into the clothing industry and particularly in geek merch (we won’t even get started on toys). While things have gotten better as more companies cater to the diversity of fans ready to spend hard-earned cash to display their fandom love, officially branded merchandise is often the most lacking.

At my local Forbidden Planet store, the Black Widow shirt—the only shirt that featured her—only came in “girl’s cut,” a style I dislike wearing, and its largest size was laughable. One of my best friends was angry that he couldn’t find a Wonder Woman shirt that would fit him before the movie came out. And sizing, in general, is an issue on its own divorced from gender, with many brands still not carrying sizes to accommodate the range of bodies that would like to wear them.

I think the case of the Captain Marvel shoes was a narrow-minded decision where a company did not take into account that many men (and people of many gender identifications) will proudly rock merchandise based on an “AWESOME women’s character.” What makes this all the more ridiculous is that the shoes at hand are visibly unisex: there’s nothing about a red, blue, gold and white shoe that screams “girl” or “boy.” They’re just cool shoes that should be available to everyone.

Yet the fact of the matter remains that we still see a concerted lack of female representation in superhero branded stuff, and so much of this is based on an antiquated idea that the fans spending money on this sort of thing are primarily male and that men are only interested in male characters. Both of these notions are patently untrue.

It’s like I’m writing this from twenty years ago, and it feels exhausting. When merchandise featuring men comes in every size—”male” and “female”—but something bearing a woman’s name is only sized for “women,” that is, these days, frankly unacceptable. Let there be sizing for all.

The only good that I see emerging from this kerfluffle is that hopefully Vans and Marvel will take notice of the feedback, and not do this again—and also, it is wonderful to see men rallying to wear female characters on their sleeve (or feet, as the case may be).

This feels like an antithesis of the recent Star Wars fandom toxicity, and the response made me as happy as the sizing made me mad. To everyone asking to rock some Captain Marvel, I see you, and thank you.


Equity MFs are at record level. What is driving the growth?

Equity MFs are at record level. What is driving the growth?

Equity mutual funds received a staggering Rs20,000 crore in the month of August. While foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have been pulling out from the Indian stock market, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) have provided strong support to markets. What is driving this growth in mutual funds? Are investors really understanding the risk attached with equities or the growth is  driven by herd-mentality.

One reason for the rise in equities is low return given by other asset classes. While fixed deposit have been giving abysmal low return of  6-7%, property market has also been in slump for many years. In such a situation mutual funds have caught the fancy of many people who have been looking for other avenues to earn higher returns. Over the last one year equity diversified and small cap funds have given returns as high as 30 and 40 percent, respectively in last one year.

What make mutual funds hugely popular recently is the growth in systematic investment plans (SIPs). Today, there is an inflow of Rs4000 crore every month through SIP. What worries, however, is when you  see people investing in mutual funds without understanding the risk of the product. I have heard and seen several people selling balanced mutual funds as an alternative to fixed deposits. Go to any nearby bank and chances are high they will pitch you balanced fund as an alternative to fixed deposit. The person at the desk might not care to tell you that unlike fixed deposit a balanced fund is a mix of debt and equity. Their return is not guaranteed and are subject to stock and debt market risks. I am not opposing the idea of investing in mutual funds but the point is you should understand the risk before investing in any product. One cannot deny that balanced funds have given very high return over the last few years and they are tax-efficient also. But one should also understand the risk attached with these schemes. Unlike fixed deposits the return over here is not guaranteed.

Another area of concern is when you don’t link your investments with your goals. When you do not link the two you do not know for how long you want to stay invested. When you don’t know the time horizon chances are high that you will not invest in the right product. There are many people around who have invested in mutual funds without a clue about their goals. Identify it whether it is for your education, marriage or retirement. Do not invest in equities just because your  family members and colleagues are doing it. Doing so you contradict the golden rule of investing which says that you should invest in equities for at least 3 to 5 years.

With expense ratio of just 2- 3% mutual funds are certainly one of the cost-effective ways of investing in equities. They can give you inflation beating return when all other asset classes are not performing well. But before investing do understand their risk and most importantly stay invested for long term.


Top performing mutual funds: 5 flexi cap funds that are highly rewarding

Top performing mutual funds: 5 flexi cap funds that are highly rewarding

Investing in a mixed set of funds (Large, medium and small cap) allows an investor to stay on the safer side of risk and minimize volatility.
Flexi-cap funds, essentially, have no restrictions on the market capitalisation of the stocks they can invest into. While large cap funds mainly invest into blue-chip company stocks , and the same follows for mid cap funds and small cap funds , flexi cap funds can alter their asset allocation strategies by switching between the three market caps as they deem fit.

ALSO READ: New kid on the block: Can Infosys and Vladimir Putin backed Ethereum take over Bitcoin?

In that respect, they enjoy a wider range of stocks to choose from. “Flexi cap funds’ flexible mandates allow them to rapidly adapt their portfolios to changing market dynamics, thereby allowing them to potentially capitalise on short term trends,” says Mayank Bhatnagar, COO, FinEdge.

So how does the Flexi cap fund work?

“Typically, flexi cap funds follow a research driven, bottom up strategy which involves more of stock picking based on merit, and less on following rigid rules for sectoral diversification,” says Bhatnagar adding that its market capitalisation is only a secondary consideration when investors go in for selection.

This allows flexi cap funds the advantage of diverting money where they see maximum advantage.

Well managed, high pedigree flexi cap funds are projected to give decent returns over a period of 5-7 years, with a risk of higher volatility. On the other hand – wrong calls made by a less capable fund management team may potentially lead to a drag on returns in the short to medium term.

Bhatnagar analyses that when it comes to flexi cap funds, ‘time in the market’ is more important than ‘timing the market’.

As Indian equity markets have been a strong bull run in the past several weeks, despite weak earnings growth, this scenario broadly be attributed as a ‘stock picker’s market’ that witnesses individual outperformers

“In such times, it certainly makes sense to allocate a portion of your equity investments to flexi cap funds with a 5-7 year time horizon. Be prepared for volatility, though,” he adds.

According to Morningstar here is the list of 5 top performing flexi cap funds along with their returns over different periods of time:

This Viral Tweet Explains Why Pockets Are the Unicorns Of Women’s Fashion

If you’ve ever reached down to put something in your pocket only to realize that whatever you’re wearing doesn’t actually have pockets, then consider yourself in the majority. It’s a frustrating situation to be in, especially if you’ve only got a few things to carry and don’t feel like lugging around a bag or purse.

Twitter user Delilah Dawson recently shared some thoughts about this dilemma, proving that the struggle is so real when it comes to the lack of pockets in women’s clothing. In her tweet, she wrote a fake exchange between “women” and an “exec” where the women are trying to ask for pockets and the “exec” keeps suggesting other funny additions to clothing like “Clothes with pre-made holes in delicate fabrics” and “Shapes that require new bras!”

Responses to the tweet were hilarious and completely relatable, with people saying that dresseswith pockets are basically the unicorns of fashion.

One person said that she learned to sew just so that she could take care of this problem herself. Now that’s some serious dedication right there.
Others pointed out that even the clothes that do come with pockets can be, well, problematic. Inquiring minds want to know: What’s up with jeans that are so tight that you can’t actually put anything into the pockets? I mean, why even bother?

While a viral tweet probably won’t be enough to sway an entire industry to reconsider its stance on pockets in womenswear, it can at least bring us all together in a brief moment of fashion solidarity. And maybe, just maybe, one day we’ll get the clothing-with-pockets that we all want and deserve.


Here’s how online shopping websites are planning to deal with frauds

Related image

-commerce companies are focusing on artificial intelligence and virtual reality with a view to cut logistics costs and identify fraudulent orders, said a report by global auditing and consulting firm PwC.

With an emerging middle-class population of more than 500 million and approximately 65 per cent of the population aged 35 or below, India represents a highly aspirational consumer market for retailers across the globe, said the PwC TechWorld report.

“E-commerce players are revamping their technology strategies to maintain their competitive edge. Most e-commerce platforms are upping their investments in areas such as conversational commerce, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) and analytics technologies,” it said.

It observed that to identify fraudulent orders, reduce return rate and also cut down on logistics cost, e-commerce companies are investing in robotics and AI heavily.

“AI-based voice-based shopping in vernacular language enables deeper customer engagement and smoothens the transition from offline to online by overcoming the language barrier,” it added.

Then there is advanced analytics that allows for better optimisation of stock management as well as customisation of content based on data-driven understanding of consumers’ online behaviour and preferences.

Also, there are blockchain technologies that improve fraud detection and enable companies to offer a secure and transparent online medium as it helps in determining authenticity in multi-party transactions and expedite payment settlement, PwC said.

“Almost all customer interaction for online retailers occurs via phone or email and involves banking information or personal data, e-commerce sites are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

“Given the recent episodes of data breaches and alleged misuse of customer information, the need for adopting appropriate security measures has escalated significantly,” said Sandeep Ladda, PwC India Partner

The report further highlighted that frauds or data thefts cause not just financial loss but also reputation damage and consequently loss of business, which is detrimental in today’s global digital economy.
According to research from the Ponemon Institute, in 2017, India recorded the largest average number of breached records at 33,167 (global average = 24,089).