Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: Swimwear

Women shop for a bikini with more care than they do for a husband. The rules are the same. Look for something you will feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.
–Erma Bombeck

Finding a swimming suit is always a challenge, even when there are lots of options on the rack. The pickings are pretty slim at this point and finding a suit that fits well, is flattering {or at least doesn't accentuate any negative aspects}, offers decent support and coverage and is cute requires serious shopping time. That's a lot for a bit of synthetic fabric and elastic to live up to.

If I wanted good options, I probably should have bought in February. But who needs a swimming suit in February? Besides, I love a challenge and clearance-rack shopping is the way I like to roll. After an exhaustive, week-long search, I finally handed over my plastic. For a granny suit. It wasn't the first granny suit I tried on and it wasn't my first choice. But I felt like I was running out of options.

Of course, they got a 12 year-old to model my granny suit {probably so I would feel more youthful when I went on-line to find the suit because there is no chance that I will pose for a photo while wearing a swimming suit and then post it on the internet for your enjoyment. Ever.}. Pre-teen model not withstanding, it is a granny suit.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of swimdresses {except the ones that are swimdresses in the front and granny-panties cut in the back. I'm mean, seriously. What's the point? I'm pretty sure if you need a swimdress in the front, you need one in the back too.}. I bought my first swimdress when I was 22. And when someone clever invented the "skirtini," I started buying those. I've never been comfortable exposing my upper thighs and bottom and I like the feminie touch a skirt adds to swimwear. I'm kind of back to swimdresses though. Despite the mix-and-match options and ease a "skirtini" provides in using the restroom while wearing a soaking wet, skin-tight piece of spandex, I prefer a swimdress these days. They kind of smooth out all the extra lumps and bumps in my mid-section. Or at least don't make any new ones.

I really like the cut of this suit. The empire waist works with my hour-and-a-half glass {or hourglass with most of the sand in the bottom} shape, it's got good support, great coverage and it fits. What I don't love about this suit is that it is black. Black isn't bad, and the print is actually a lot cuter in person than it is in the photo. But I've been wearing black suits for like the last 12 years. And I'm ready for a little color in my swimwear.

In the last week, I've been to six different stores, trying on about anything in my size. Most of the stores didn't have much, but I've spent way more time than I would have liked inside a dressing room after having scouring the racks for too long for something that might work. The store I went to today still had lots of suits left and I thought for sure I could find something that met all the criteria of a good piece of swimwear, including the aforementioned color requirement. I spent a good 30 minutes pulling brightly printed swim separates off the racks. Then I spent a full hour in the dressing room trying to make any of the dozen colorful tops work with either a navy or black skirt. I found one top I really loved. It was printed with pretty blues and greens and met the support, coverage and fit requirements. But the skirt wasn't working and I couldn't find a different style/size. I'd brought the granny suit, just in case and in two sizes because I liked it on the rack and wanted to make sure I didn't have to get dressed and make another trip to the racks {bathing suits have little numbers on them, but I'm not sure if they all mean the same thing}. As soon as I pulled the suit on, I knew it looked the best of anything I'd tried on, despite the blasé nature of the print/color. But just to be absolutely certain, I tried it on a total of six times, three times in each size, to make sure the size I went with looked the best.

What I find the most frustrating about the whole experience is that the suit comes in two other prints on-line. Colored prints. Mr. Bug says that the blue one looks the most granny. I kind of like the pink one. But it is hard to guess what they'll look like in person; whether they'll be horrible or super amazing. And I'm too cheap to pay for shipping on something just so I can see what it looks like, especially since there's a huge possibility I'll have to return it. I guess I'm going with the black suit. Again. Mr. Bug says it suits me. {Yes. That was a pun :rofl:.}

Dear Swimming Suit Manufacturers: Women who wear swimdresses are tired of black. We like the pretty prints you use in your other suits. We'd be okay with it if you went a little wild next year.

Dear Swimming Suit Stores: Please carry swimdresses with pretty prints in your stores and not just on-line, even if the manufacturers don't get the above memo and only make swimdresses in a few prints. Color is good.

P.S. to the Swimming Suit Manufacturers: I have a very non-girly pre-teen who would love it if you made swimming suits in non-girly colors like green or blue and left the ruffles and princesses off. Also, could you put more boy/board short bottoms with the tankinis? Thanks.


QuiltNut Creations said...

I have a two-piece skirt swimsuit that I love. except that when I bought it; the bottom was too big and I have been unable to find bottoms to match. And since I've only worn it twice, I refuse to put myself through the torture of trying on more. and spending more money!

yours is cute! I love the pattern.

Deanna said...

Amen to the reality of swimsuit struggles. Daughter is a lovely girl, but doesn't have a traditional shape (for a 12 year old girl, that is). We did finally find a boy short bottom with a LONG enough top, as separates, at ShopKo. Cute, but not too girly and not to mature, either. Good luck! My solution has been to be "too busy" to go to the pool for two years. Yes, I need to get over that issue.

Angie said...

Yeah, I started wearing board shorts and a tank top YEARS ago. The man hates it but there are certain things that should just never see the light of day again.

Mo doesn't like the 'girly' suits either. I found her a good one this year at JCPenny that yes, did have hearts on it but they were yellow and the resit is black. It was modest and still looked good but wasn't too prissy. ;)

Paulette said...

I like it in the B&W print. I looked at the other colors, which are nice, but I think I like this one best. Good choice!

Gads, I haven't bought a swimsuit in years. Tells you how much I need one (basically only for hotel pools or hot tubs on vacation). I use the colorblock one I bought from JCP then and I still love it, but looking at them now on the site, hm, I may have to do a little more looking sometime. Anyway, glad you found one!

whimsyfox said...

I've been doing the granny dresses and tankini with skirts for years. First a big granny dress in black & white polkadots, then plain chocolate brown tankini with skirt bottom. I optimistically bought a pretty one that had an open back on sale @ end of season, a few years ago when I'd lost some weight. Still had a brown bottom but not as bulky as the other and the top was white with paisleys in orange & pink. But by next season I'd gained weight so used the plain brown. Then last year I bought a navy blue with aqua trim but it has a halter top that is cut pretty low and I don't really like those. But it was sexier than the plain brown, did't have open back of pretty print one, so I used it few times. This year I felt even flabbier so wanted more coverage. I got a cute but really covering one this year. Still tankini but great underwire, pretty rouching in all the right spots. I even had to get the bottoms one size too big cuz they were out of my size but it stayed on fine. It WAS a cute white with green petals print top and solid green bottoms. After two uses & immediate washes it faded to yellow. Grrrrr. I pretty much hate most of the prints bathing suits made for proletarian like ne, thyroid apple shape. That paisley I got few years ago was a stretch for me, and the green petals one didn't look floral, just a nice overall pattern, but otherwise I don't like floral prints. I hate all the geometrical prints too. They have cute prints & colors on bikini's, but not on granny suits. :(

whimsyfox said...

Oh, my 9 year old girl inherited my tummy & thighs plus already has underarm hair so has been self consious. I got her a navy blue with white polkadot suit from Land's End area @ Sears. It is a one piece, has a tiny skirt that hangs straight, not frilly, and has a very preppy regata club-like white ribbon at the neck. Not girly, not tomboyish. She LOVES it. She's been swimming so much she has slimmed up the past few months and isn't self concious anymore. :)

Jill said...

The thing that I hate, is you can't really keep a suit for more than a couple years. They start to wear out! Boy's suits last FOREVER. So even if you find one that you like, it's gonna wear out if you use it...and we're back to the searching again.

mom said...

That is a cute granny suit! yea go swimming! Black is more slimming than bright colors so I would go for the black but I can see what you mean about wanting a change of color. I seem to come up with a blue suit most of the time.

Jennifer Lovell said...

My problem is just that I don't like getting in the water anymore. The older I get I guess, I just REALLY dislike the discomfort you have to go through to get used to the water in a pool. Hot tub? Sign me up! Getting in the pool and playing in the snow are two things my kids wish I would do more with them, but it's like pulling teeth for me. Bummer, but it's true.

I love swimdresses, and like the black and white one you've chosen (black and white is a step up from plain black, right?). I really like it!

Shay said...

Swimsuit shopping is right up there with bra shopping for me. Guaranteed to reduce me to tears. I avoid it for as long as I can. (13 years is my record !)

I like the skirt swimsuits and dont think they look granny at all.