Let’s talk swimsuits

image source // layout by me

Girls, I waited until today to chat about this because I know none of you want to start off your Mondays thinking about swimwear. Am I right?  Because unless your name is Gisele Bundchen, shopping for swimwear is about as much fun as shopping for a doctor to do your colonoscopy.

Or at least, that’s what I think.

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? ::tapping microphone::

I myself am a one-piece swimsuit kind of girl. But can I be honest? I really wish I was in a 2-piece. One-pieces can so so so easily sneak into the frumpy zone, can they not? So, why am I not wearing a 2-piece, you ask? A few reasons: my childbirthing size-12 hips and thighs, for one. My deeply-ingrained ideas of modesty, for another (I blame my uber-conservative high school dresscode). And finally, the rest of the fear stems from exposing the serious scars on my tummy from my two ulcerative colitis surgeries. Oh, and that c-section. Oh, and my uneven lumpy tummy that I’ve had since birth. So there. Oh, okay, and my thighs. ……   Sooooo, clearly there are a lot of body issues going on here.  In the end, it’s never a bad idea to cover up, is it? But at the same time, I don’t want to look like a nun either. So! I’m learning to love myself in my one-piece swimsuit, and I’m going to show you how to do it too.


Here’s what I keep in mind when I’m swimsuit shopping:

1. Step away from the boring black one-piece. Sure, we all love a little black dress, but the ubiquitous one-piece black swimsuit doesn’t have enough personality for me on its own. In short, it’s boring.  I want something with a little color to set me apart from a sea of little black onepieces.   Here are my top picks for colorful swimsuits.

A // B // C  // D // E // F // G // H // I // J // K // L

2. I personally don’t want something sporty; I want something glamorous.  No to the Speedo swimsuit; rather, think Grace Kelly in the Cote d’Azur. Think Aqualillies – do you know who the Aqualilies are? These girls are amazing – they’re the hottest new act in LA and they are making synchronized swimming cool again. They are the epitome of vintage seaside glamour without having all their goodies on display.

I keep these images above and more (there’s that mood board again!) in mind when I’m swimsuit shopping to help me stay on course.  Finally, just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I have to choose function over form. I shouldn’t have to be frumpy mom in the  one-piece swimsuit equivalent of yoga pants just because I’m chasing Jude the Dude from diving board to slide.

3. Accessorize! Finish off your look with amazing accessories. This is especially great if you don’t want to be perpetually exposed at all times. Again, channel your inner Brigitte Bardot and reach for that glamorous straw hat and prettily patterned sarong. Choose interesting sunglasses and footwear.  Don’t wrap up in your beach towel; reach for a sarong or a button-down shirt in linen to toss on over your suit.

4. Make your hair work for you. Do something fun with your hair. Scarves, headbands, topknots, etc. are all awesome ways to complete your look for hot weather. I’m particularly interested in using scarves as headbands this year.

5. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money. But don’t be afraid to shop around, either. Maybe you love all the swimsuits at, for example, J.Crew. Order several online to try on at home – less stress & better lighting –  and then mail back the ones you don’t like. Or, send them all back and then do some hunting on eBay for the same suit. I got a new and unworn J.Crew swimsuit (that I wore here) for over 50% off; it’s in last year’s colorways, but I absolutely adore it. I knew what size worked for me in J.Crew swimwear so I was able to shop around and get a deal. This also works with practically any other brand on eBay or shopping sites such as Gilt, etc.

Finally, as I was laying on a chaise longe in Las Vegas, surveying all the bodies in near-states-of-undress around me, I realized that it is highly probable that we are all in the same boat. I can almost guarantee you that there is not one woman out by the pool who isn’t thinking, “I am such a faker out here right now compared to all these other beach babes.” But the fact is, thick or thin, tall or short, we all have our body issues. And frankly, nobody else at the pool or beach cares about your problem areas because each one of them is thinking about their own problem areas. So why don’t we all heave a collective sigh and just stop worrying about it? Let’s make a pact this summer that we are going to stop focusing on what we perceive is wrong with our bodies, and START focusing on the fun that we’re having in our swimsuit.

But first, I’m going to go apply some self-tanner, ok? Ok.

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