Bathing beauties

It’s bathing suit season, and if you haven’t already heard, it’s time to go out and flaunt that body in the hot sun, have fun, play volleyball, eat some ice cream, lounge, do all that summery stuff. Unfortunately if you’re like me, feeling comfortable enough to do any of that stuff in a bathing suit is incredibly hard. I’ve already posted on how I feel at the beach, and how I try to move past it, so this is really about finding that perfect suit.

Making up the holy triad of painful clothing to shop for, we have jeans, bras, and bathing suits. It’s debatable which of the three is worst, but since bathing suits require you to wear the least amount of clothing that isn’t considered an undergarment, I think they’re pretty bad. Once Fall comes around I’ll go back to dreading jeans shopping, but for summer, it’s the bathing suit that has me stressed. I actually haven’t bought a new bathing suit in years, first off they’re really expensive, secondly you don’t really wear them all that much, (especially if you cover them up with shorts, t-shirts, or sun dresses) and thirdly it’s so hard to find one that will look good and stay current for at least a few years.

I like to think that summer wouldn’t be as stressful if I looked like this:

If I had that body I wouldn’t choose that bathing suit, but I would certainly rock a bikini, probably all the time. Sadly for me, I have nowhere near the ideal tan, thin, bikini wield-able body. I used to buy bathing suits purely on the patterns and didn’t really care about the cut since no one ever saw them under all those layers anyway.

Now, I live a block from the beach, I spend a fair amount of time there during the summer, and I’ve gotten really sick of being hot and uncomfortable in my protective layers, and also dealing with sand-covered cotton shorts or other clothing that was not meant to be worn in the ocean is a total pain. So, how to choose a new bathing suit?

I haven’t worn a bikini since I was a very small child, I’m still learning to love my stomach, it’s a constant battle, and I’m not ready to unleash it on the world just yet.

A lot of women, myself included, have the extra trouble of finding a suit with support in the chest area, especially without looking really athletic which always seems impossible.

Why are bathing suits always so high cut? What if I don’t feel like/can’t afford to get bikini waxes constantly?

Since it’s figure flattering, my first instinct is to go for black. This one from j.crew seems nice and timeless.

Tulle underwire tank from $125.00

But, I know j.crew suits are always lacking in both boob and butt coverage, so that’s a no. Also, I’m kind of bored by black, I like some color in the summer!

This one from Marc Jacobs is super cute!

Marc by Marc Jacobs Little Blaze One Piece Swimsuit from $173.00

I don’t think it will stand the test of time though, and I know I would get confused by those wrap around ties too.

A tankini perhaps?

Push-up tankini top $44.50 & scoop bottoms $28.50 from

I’ve found that tankinis ride up, but I haven’t tried one in a while, this one is cute. Again, not so sure about the coverage here.

Wait, stop the press—I’ve finally I found a bathing suit with some real coverage that still looks sexy!

Bathing Beauty One Piece in Violet (and the name matches the title of my post—it’s a sign.) $89.99 from

I think I might have found it, this suit gets tons of great reviews, and comes in a bunch of other colors and patterns too!

Also comes in plus sizes. HOT!

Gosh darn, they are out of stock in my size in the purple, I will either have to choose another color or wait it out. Does anyone have other suggestions of good places to look for suits? Or have you found your perfect suit for summer? How do you deal with waxing, support, and any other swim suit issues that tend to arise?

Here are some of my family photos from the early 50’s. Family members having fun, strutting their stuff and enjoying the sun and sand! I hope to be as care free as they all seem in these photos!

Great Uncle, Grandmother, Grandfather.

Aw, Grandma and Great Grandma.

A cousin wearing an adorable beach get-up.

Great Aunt and Uncle, I love this pic!



Filed under shopping

4 responses to “Bathing beauties

  1. Megan

    Love the family photos – such great beach inspiration. My biggest problem with bathing suits is that I actually like to – gasp! – swim. So I need something that will actually stay on my body while I frolick in none too gentle waters. This takes out any suit with a skimpy bottom or a top without secure straps. There are surprisingly few bathing suits that are actually made for swimming that aren’t Speedos, but I’m keeping my eye out.

  2. haren

    Wow you found some cute fifties-style suits. But why does something with so little fabric cost so much money?

  3. alison

    Justine, I actually own the VS tankini you have featured above, I have it in black and wear it with a patterned bottom I got from Roxy. It doesnt ride up and provides great suppport for swimming and seaside treasure hunting.

    I have a few other one piece suits that i usually wear, I got them at Filenes both under $50, I have a black Tommy Hilfiger one, and a brown strapless by Anne Cole.

    Lets go surfin now, everybody’s learning how….

  4. Pingback: The Mythological “Perfect Bra” « beauty dart

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