Are you ready for this one? Let’s get today’s virtual cocktail served up straight away, shall we? Because I think we all need to down a Cosmo and toast to the sisterhood.
We need to drink that Cosmo in the spirit of the Sex and the City girls. We need to take on the beach or the pool this summer just like Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte took on New York.
Without fear of judgement.
Because you know who does most of the judging, don’t you?
We do. Of ourselves.
When was the last time you stood naked in front of the mirror, checked yourself up and down and said, gee I’m doing ok? My legs get me where I need to get. My arms help me create stuff. My tummy produced three fabulous kids.
If that was you this morning, congratulations. You go to the top of the Resort Week class and can collect another cocktail for good body self-acceptance behaviour.
The rest of you, (insert school teacher voice here) don’t you dare click away. If I can get just one of you to feel minutely better about your body today, then my job is done.
Notice how I’ve titled this post, how to FEEL good in a swimsuit? Originally I’d planned to update and revisit last year’s swimsuit post, How to choose a swimsuit, but then I posted on the Styling You Facebook page last week, announcing this week’s Resort Week posts and these were a few of the comments I received:
Upper inner thigh. That is all.
I have stretch marks across the top of my thighs that could scare small children.
How do I work with what I’ve got when I’ve got to swim in public?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again, and again.
We need to drop this notion that our bodies have to be perfect before we dare to sit beside a pool or sit on the beach with a swimsuit on. The whole problem with this notion is that perfect is such a subjective concept.
It’s not a size thing. It’s a mindset thing.
My friend and new blogger Alison Asher wrote about her bikini-buying experience last week. I was reminded of the subjective nature of perfection once again.
See, Alison, in my eyes, is tiny. If her bod was photoshopped to my head this summer, I’d be strutting around on the beach like nobody’s business. But in Alison’s eyes, she fears the swimsuit shop and admits to wanting bits of her bod contained and supported.
It rammed home to me that it is a very rare woman indeed who is completely happy with her body.
With age does comes a certain level of acceptance. It helps in my case that my body has NEVER been what the gloss mags like to call “bikini ready”.
I think age also brings more perspective. Many of us have now been whacked with the giant stick they call life. When bigger things impact your life – loved ones dying, kids getting sick – you realise that it’s time drop the small things.
It’s time to live life.
And if part of your life is spending time swimming because you love it, then DO it. Find a swimsuit that fits you well, keeps your girls contained and makes you feel good.
Let go of the fact that you’re not good enough to have your thighs or your tummy seen in public.
Here endeth the Oprah episode and on to some swimwear suggestions and tips for the season ahead.
I love that one-pieces have had a resurgence in recent years. I love them for their ability to hold everything in; to stay up in the surf when battling the summer breakers; and for their sometimes retro styling. The only downside is one of practicality when it comes to going to the Ladies and if your top and bottom halves are not the same size. If this is the case and you still want a one-piece, I’d advise on going for the size that gives you support in the area you most want supported. Or opt instead for a tankini.
Praise the swimsuit designer gods for inventing the tankini – a tank top and a bikini. These swimsuits give the illusion of a one-piece but allow you to not only go to the toilet easily but also make it possible to buy different sized tops and bottoms. For many, it’s really difficult to get a one-piece that fits well around the boosies but also around the hips. Separates in swimwear solves this. Choose a top that offers any support or enhancement you require. Strapless is generally good for small busted women, although I usually throw the “rules” out the window and opt for strapless to avoid any strap marks. Halter is great for working a C or D cup. Anything beyond that, I suggest going into a swimsuit that offers bra-like support.
Blogger Kim-Marie Williams from Kimba Likes will be blogging her case for the bikini tomorrow on Styling You. Mr SY has a less is more theory when it comes to swimwear. I agree with him to a point – that point does not go to the lesser ends that my blogging friend Laura goes to at This Island Life. If the itsy bitsy bikini is your thing, then Laura is your girl. Me, I do wear a bikini from time to time. When we lived in a house with a pool, that’s all I wore. Next week one of the three swimsuits coming with me to Bali is a bikini I designed through Kini Swimwear. I opted for the retro-style high-waist pant with ruching. More about that on the blog next week.
I don’t personally wear a rash vest. I wear a swimsuit cover up and sit under an umbrella except while I’m swimming. Yes, I’m just relying on sunscreen but I’m not out there for hours on end. Many of you do like to wear a rash vest. Finding one that sits well and looks vaguely fashionable is a challenge but I’ve found these at Bombshell Bay and I think I’d almost be convinced to wear them.
Belinda posted on Facebook that she was after some flattering board shorts. Belinda, you’re not going to like what I have to say. Unless you’re doing something like water-skiing and getting in and out of a boat, please ditch the boardies this summer. I was a boardie-wearing girl until Mr SY and I started dating and he kindly suggested that if I were wearing them to make my butt and thighs look smaller then they were failing in the execution. I looked at them in new light and never wore them again. He was right. If you’re unconvinced, do the mirror test, it’s true. This is part of his less is more theory and he’s on the money. And if you’re tempted to go with a swimsuit that has a skirt attached. Please think again. Just get those thighs out there, instead.
1. If black makes you feel more confident in a swimsuit – or any piece of clothing – then wear it.
2. Consider enlisting the help of a patterned swimsuit for all kinds of optical illusion tricks – and a lot of fun.
3. Want to create an optical illusion around the tummy? Ruching is a your friend.
4. If your bust is a C cup and over then do hunt down a swimsuit with support. Just having the girls up where they belong will help with the confidence factor.
5. Do consider what you’ll actually be doing in your swimsuit. The needs of someone who regularly body surfs or wrangles small children will be vastly different from those who consider raising a cocktail glass to their lips sufficient exercise for the day.
6. Don’t be afraid of shopping online. It really does take away the whole changeroom angst because you get to use your own mirror at home and control the lighting. Sequins?
7. Don’t be afraid to seek out help from a bricks and mortar swimsuit special retailer, either. On the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, I can’t recommend Sundaze Swimwear highly enough. Staff in these stores are trained – much like a trained bra fitter – to get you into a swimsuit you’re happy with.
8. I understand that everyone’s budget to spend on swimwear is different. What I do suggest is that you spend the most your budget can allow if you have your own pool, live at the beach or spend a lot of time beachside over summer. Quality swimwear is made from fabrics that withstand heavier use.
Q: Any tips for big busted Mummas – I’d love a one piece. I gave birth in April and can’t find a size 10 to fit 10gg boobs. Shari
Q: Any cut-away one-piece suits that cover up a mummy tummy, but have a bikini look at the back? Good coverage on the front is mandatory, but I’d love to have something that doesn’t look like a Nana swimsuit at the back! Carol
A: How about this one from Seafolly?
Q: Best one-piece swimsuits for big hipped women? Nyree
A: The tricky part here is what I mentioned above – when our hips don’t match the size of our bust, a one-piece get fit well in one place but not the other. Avoid boyleg styles as this makes the hips and thighs look larger and opt for something like this where the stripes are working in your favour.
Q: Would love some advice on cosie look for new mum body (squishy tummy and tooshy) trying to look fashionable, remain sun safe while ensuring my toddler (or an unsuspecting wave) can’t rip my top off exposing me to the whole beach! Sarah
A: I’d opt for something like this one-piece – the halter straps are fixed so should keep things in place and the ruching will do its thing in regards to the squishy tummy. If you really want to strap the tummy in then opt for the fabulous Capriosca or Miraclesuit one-pieces above.
Q: I’d like a one-piece for a long body. Lisa
A: Most models you see in swimwear images have long bodies so use this as a guide when trying to get a visual on a one-piece that would suit. Adjustable straps may be helpful too. Something like this.
I’d like to end this post with an AMEN to SY reader Shelley …
Girls, I hear you. The thought that goes through my head is: “I am never going to see these people on the beach again so I don’t really care!”.
So, are you with me? Ready to embrace the swimsuit this summer? Ready to at least think like Shelley thinks?