I spent a considerable amount of time this afternoon trying to curate a decent article on swimsuit styles this season for our social media feeds. Considering it either is, or soon will be, hot enough to wear one in most of the northern hemisphere, I thought I’d have no problem (here comes the assume thing). All I found were slide shows of teeny bikinis and one-pieces with more cutouts than fabric. The one common factor is that most would require you to become BFFs with a very skilled waxer. I even found an article that classified bathing suits by age.
Oh, FFS1, people.
I know it’s intimidating to go out with half of our body showing – especially when there are others who are very comfortable with most of their body showing (and look lovely doing it!). It has never been easy for me. (swim shorts = best swim invention ever) When I was younger, I worried about the size of my butt and my thighs. Now, it’s gravity. (cruel, cruel gravity!)
It took a lot of re-framing (and the wisdom of age) to change my perspective. Unlike all of these fashion articles, I now treat my swimsuits like a vehicle to fun. If I want to get in the pool to cool off, I need one. If I want to go to the beach to hang with friends and surf the waves, I need one. If I want to go snorkeling and see the pretty fishies, I need one. It’s not about being on display for anyone, it’s about getting to the good times.
I guess putting that in print or on the internet doesn’t make anyone money. Fashion magazine would be out of business if they admitted that we are not the sum of our clothes. Since the “experts’ couldn’t do something that I felt I could pass on to you, here’s my real world bathing suit shopping advice (my expertise: being a woman and shopping for 30+ years):
- Buy something pretty/in a color your like. If not, black works!
- If you truly are having issues with how you look, ruching is a fabulous invention.
- Try to find something that isn’t wedgie-prone (unless, of course, that’s your thing)
- Look for a zipper pocket. My swim shorts have these, I never realized how useful it could be…
- If you aren’t about a bikini, try the tankini – merely for ease during a trip to the bathroom (some stores sell tops in extra-long, so it looks like a one-piece without getting fully naked in a public restroom when nature calls)
- Don’t be afraid to buy separates – even from different stores. Black bottoms go with everything.
- Do not wait! By July, most of the selection is gone.
- If you hate the way that it looks and ruching doesn’t help, try to imagine all of the fun you’ll be having when you’re wearing it. If anyone judges you, isn’t it really on them? Who are they to decide what you get to wear and how you have fun?
- If your straps aren’t adjustable, check out The Strap Saver for a custom fit without sewing.
What are your favorite “real world” swimsuit shopping tips?
Happy warmer weather everyone!
1This is officially the first time I’ve cursed in this blog. It takes fashion sites and swimsuit season to do it!