I believe it was 10 or 11 year ago since I last bought myself a new bathing suit. That is how traumatic I find the whole business of shopping for a bikini.
Yesterday was further proof that I hate shopping for bathing suits. Two excruciating hours of visiting multiple stores that specialize in bikinis looking for something that I could wear without worrying about a "wardrobe malfunction" was, to say the least, demoralizing.
I know I don't have the body of a 20 year old model but it shouldn't be that tough.
I can buy underwear that fits me just fine. Why can't I find a bathing suit just as easily? In fact, why can't I buy a bathing suit using my bra measurements? (None of the stores I visited had that option. Please share if you know of a good shop that offers that possibility. I really could have used that!)
Instead I had to try on at least 25 suits in six different stores that amplified all of my very worst flaws accented by florescent lighting that made me look a sickly white/green. I know I'm pale…but I'm not green!
I have a special problem because I can't wear anything that goes around my neck due to Fibromyalgia. Any kind of halter top or pressure on my neck makes me want to throw up, literally, it makes me physically ill. Trying to find a decent bikini that doesn't tie around the neck but still has support for my chesticles is quasi impossible.
There were 2 types of tops, ones with very small triangles that were the size of very small nacho chips with barely enough fabric to cover my areola and the other that squished and flattened my chest into a monoboob under a tankini making it difficult to breathe.
The bottoms were another challenge. When I found a decent one no top would match it. Some were so small they gave me the wonderful much sought after "plumber's butt".
I thought boy shorts would be cute. The "boy" part should have been my first hint…unless you have hips like a boy these aren't-so-cute and will squish any hip fat into two lovely muffin tops. I like to stay away from any comparisons between my body and pastry if at all possible.
What about those bandeau tops? If you have a smaller rack that is perfectly pert I would suggest this for you along with some double sided tape just to be sure. Anyone that is a size C cup or larger is a walking wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.
Hours later, exhausted, disgusted and thoroughly depressed, I had given up. I was going to wear my 11 year old bikini again.
Then, on the way out of the shopping center, out of the corner of my eye, a mannequin in a bikini caught my eye.
I convinced myself I'd give it one last try…
My husband was a trooper and put up with one last store.
to my amazement…
A cute bikini with elephants on it that isn't like a game of body twister,
squishing or pulling my boobs, butt and belly in strange ways.
I even think it should stay in place while snorkeling.
What a relief.
So folks…it can be done. Don't give up!
Here are some tips I'd like to pass on from my bikini buying experience…
– Go with a good friend or significant other, you need an opinion from someone other than the sales clerks (seriously this is too much info to be sharing with a complete stranger who is more worried about meeting their sales quota for the month).
– Go early in the morning when you have more energy. This is a draining shopping experience.
– Wear clothes that are easy to slip out of.
– Wear a thong or very small panties so you can truly see what the suit will look like.
– Don't think it is all your fault if the suits don't look good on you. Keep looking until you find one that fits you right and makes you feel good about yourself.
-Try out a new store. I had never heard of the store The Boathouse, and that is where I found my bikini.
– Don't go if you are PMSing. (Just sayin')
– Don't go if you are already in a bad mood. (obviously)
– Remember to focus on your attributes.
– Once you find one (and you will! keep the faith) reward yourself in the end for a job well done.
My reward was a cover up and hat. Yes, this is a statement hat that needs its own area code, but saving my skin is more important to me than getting a tan. Besides…tans come in a bottle now.
Now just a pair of flip-flops and I'll be set.
Do you have any great tips for bikini shopping?
It is all very cute. I find swimsuit shopping really annoying too, so I’ve had the same one for a few years. Of course,that is also because I don’t use mine very often, but…
Elephants are too cute on these!
Patti @ NotDeadYet Style says
Success! So cute, and the hat is truly awesome. I haven’t bought one in a decade (board shorts and a skin for me) and I am making it last *one* more year. xo
sandra @ Peaches Mcginty says
You survived swimsuit/bikini shopping! and got an amazing bikini too, result! I’m hoping for a skirted all in one at some point, my last expedition for a swimsuit was woeful! x x x
Yeah – my tip is, DON’T! Ha, not really, but I hear you, it’s not my favourite pastime… The small nacho chips for a bra made me laugh!
The one you found is gorgeous though, so it was worth persevering. Fabulous hat and cover-up/sarong too. You’ll be the belle of the beach, Suzanne! xxx
two birds says
yay!!1 i’m glad you found one, and it’s so cute, too! boy shorts and a bandeau would be the most unflattering thing ever on my curvy body! sometimes i wish i could just wear a bra and underwear to the beach…more comfy! (i would never, fyi!)
What a cute print and I love that hat!
My bikini shopping isn’t stressful at all.
1. Wear the thing till it falls apart (the last one I bought from a proper retail shop was 6 years ago), the rest were donated by lovely blog pals.
2. Trawl eBay for a replacement. My bikini of choice was from Thailand and as Asian sizes are way smaller than their European equivalent I sized up.
3. Unwrap it, try it on in broad daylight in front of a full length mirror with no make up on and dirty unwashed hair. Imagine it with a tan. Pack it.
Me, I love a bandeau top or a triangle halter neck and always tie-sided knickers. As long as it covers the essentials and doesn’t get me arrested!
I hate swim suit shopping
The sizing is weird, my skin is white and the lighting in awful
I don’t really shop for swimsuits, I just make them last. Though, honestly, recently my strategy has been to go the sporty style, because the thought of a wardrobe malfunction terrifies me. I don’t wear swimsuits much, but when I am, I’m either going down slides at a waterpark or actually swimming–so I’ve recently taken the strategy of tight running shorts and an “athletic style” tankini top–I like that there’s more coverage so I won’t get burned!
Love the print, and the way you come up with a cover up and this pretty amazing hat! Happy vacation, Suzanne! You’ll forget all your stress once you step out of the plane, if not earlier. 🙂 “Tan comes in a bottle” – I love that! I don’t get any sun tan myself, but I dreeeeeaaaaam about mild warm days on our beach down the street. 🙂
No Fear of Fashion says
This was a very funny story which I enjoyed thoroughly. Glad you finally found a nice bikini. And indeed with an added plus (hat, skirt). You will look lovely.
If you want to have a laugh as well, click on this link to a post on my blog with a hilarious story similar to yours. With illustrations by Anja:
Oh, I ve been there, Suzanne! And I hate it too.
You ended up with a great find though; wow, what a gorgeous bikini, wrap and hat. Congrats. Really nice
I just read Greetje’s post and now yours!
You are so right about everything you wrote and I love “Don’t go if you are already in a bad mood!” *g*
I will have to take on this challenge soon.
Annette | Lady of Style