Swimsuit Sunday

Okay, nothing strikes fear in the heart of the fat girl like swimsuit season. And nothing strikes fear in the heart of a recovering fat girl like swimsuit season. As I see it, my options are to just stay in my apartment out of the sight of other people, go to pools and beaches dressed more or less in a burka, or suck it up and shop for a swimsuit. And you know, then subsequently wear it in public.

photo-3My new fancy apartment building has a teeny tiny swimming pool on the roof so naturally when the weather was nice I decided to head up, sit on a lounge chair, and read. In regular clothing because I had no intention of swimming so who needed a swimsuit?

As it turns out, swimming pools on the roofs of buildings inhabited by undergraduates and people in their 20s are not meant for “swimming.” They’re an excuse to wear a bikini, sit on a lounge chair, tan, and flirt with the men who live in the building. Pools are strictly ornamental and a one piece, much less a one piece with a skirt, are not even dreamed about.  So when I showed up in a skirt and t-shirt I had one of those moments where you realize that everyone else went with an evening gown and your outfit selection criteria was “clean…ish.”

Bathing suit shopping at Kohls.

Bathing suit shopping at Kohls.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to find a bathing suit I like. 10 J.crew swimsuits and a few frustrating hours in Kohl’s fitting rooms later I was still desperately looking.

My requirements, I think, are pretty simple.

  1. Support. Just because I’m not wearing a bra, this does not mean that I want everything sagging and it also doesn’t mean I need a halter that forces my neck to carry a heavy load.
  2. Coverage. I don’t need to show the world that I have cleavage. I know it’s there and that’s enough. I also like to leave something to the imagination so if I’m looking like tied up meat in a string bikini this is probably not going to work.
  3. No wedgies. Self explanatory.

It’s not easy to find something that falls somewhere between the skimpy bikini that’s really just pasties and the old lady miracle suit that’s got more fabric than your regular clothing. And after a lengthy journey with gaining/losing weight there are the stretch marks to take into consideration. On that topic, I fall squarely in the camp of “well, they’re just going to have to deal with it.”

Picture 8Bathing suits are like a kind of social contract for the self-conscious: I shouldn’t be forcing people to look at this train wreck of a body of mine. I don’t necessarily think I have much to apologize for at this point, I attribute it to my advancing age and lack of PMS induced insecurity: f#$k it. I’m not perfect. I’m still chubby, but don’t I have a right to go swimming like skinny girls? To spend time at the beach wearing something I like?

And I finally found something I’m comfortable in–the Some Like It Haute one-piece from Modcloth. It gives me coverage that I can live with while still being completely and totally adorable. It came and I tried it on and I love it and I’m taking it with me to Bermuda. I might even end up wearing it up to the pool on my building’s roof top…

What bathing suits are everyone else wearing?


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