09 July 2010

how-to survive swimsuit season


Swimsuit season is upon us--the time of year, when we venture into cramped dressing rooms with a double stroller, bad fluorescent lighting and about 50 suits just to ruin our day.

This year, I am super-pasty, with an extra twenty pounds of post-baby weight and I'd like to wear sweats to the pool. Since that’s not an option, I told Marta I would write a "how-to" on surviving swimsuit season.

Some of these tips may apply to you. All apply to me.

1. First things first. You have to find a suit. Skip the juniors section. It will only add to your misery. I like
Lands End for cute suits that fit real women. Most of the modest clothing companies also carry great suits. Lime Ricki is one of my favorite websites for cute swimsuits.

2. The top must be supportive. I cannot emphasize this enough. Since gestating and nursing four babies, my bra size now ends in "long." Halter top styles that can be tied around the neck are great for support.

3. If you have any kind of belly, avoid the one-piece style suit like the plague.

4. I’m not against bikinis, but keep in mind--you should have a great body to wear a bikini. You must have a perfect body to wear a string bikini–I will be wearing neither.

5. Tankinis (the mom-jeans of the swimsuit world according to
The Meanest Mom) are going to be the most flattering fit 99% of the time. For me, it is imperative that the top and bottom touch. Otherwise, the inevitable muffin top makes me look like I’m wearing an inter tube around my waste.

6. Buy a cute swim skirt or board shorts to go with every swim suit. You don't have to wear them all the time--but when you need them, they are there–perfect to throw on as you parade across the pool deck to get another diet coke.

7. Along the same lines, I recommend buying a cute cover-up or tank top to wear over your swimsuit to and from the pool. Half the battle is getting to the pool and you want to look cute as you schlep in your huge pool bag, stroller, towels and baby.

8. Make sure you use lots of fake tan cream to cover your veins and stretch marks. My motto is orange fat looks better than white fat. If you really need to look amazing fast, I recommend the mystic spray-on tan (You can get this at most tanning salons.). You will look like you instantly lost 10 pounds.

9. Never under any circumstances should you don stiletto sandals with your swimsuit. Yes, I know super models wear these on shoots. Still, don't do it. (Believe me--I see this happening at the local pool!)

10. Resist the urge to diet for the summer. The word "diet" instantly makes me feel ravenous. Just remember, everyone is worried about themselves. There are no three-way mirrors at the pool so once you are there, you can just relax and have a great time.

Good luck!! See you at the pool this summer!


p.s. if you're not reading brooke's weekly Bachelorette recaps, you are so missing out. i always find myself laughing my way through her hilarious posts.

add to marta's collection :: i created the how-to series to encourage you to share and celebrate your individual skills and talents; to focus on what we can do rather than what we can't. i am excited to showcase creativity and unique ideas. if you have a specialty (and i know you do), please submit your how-to guest post by emailing me. marta{at}martawrites{dot}com. i will be delighted to feature your how-to. 

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden


Monika Wright | I Love It All said...

My motto is, "There's always someone bigger than me." As a 46-year old Mom to 18-, 6- and 4-year old kids, I still wear a bikini. Why not? I've never had much luck with the tankini, being a tall thing. Sure there's a little muffin top, but if I feel good about myself that's all that matters. And you should feel good, too. You sound gorgeous! BTW-I laughed hysterically at your description of your mammaries...after nursing 3, mine feel like that too.

Kari said...

I hate swimsuit shopping, but this year, with a big trip planed for my best friend and I and our hubbies, I think we finally got it right.
We each order around $800-worth of tankini pieces online from athleta in various sized and shapes. Then we got together and had a very honest and very private fashions show, where we traded and swapped and pointed out the duds and the ones that really didn't look so bad at all. Very supportive.
And then we sent it all back (free return shipping, if you order exchanges, which we did--placed the first order, then called in another to zero in on the fit, then sent it all back in one free shipment.) Each of us kept two great suits for under $100 for both. (The sale section was awesome.)
I'll never go swimsuit shopping in person, again.

Hil said...

I seriously couldn't agree more with this post. I love it! Thanks for sharing Brooke!

Travelin'Oma said...

I've been observing a couple of pudgy-ish granddaughters (they're three) strut their stuff in form fitting summer togs. They're out there and they're proud. It's all about attitude.

Brooke's suggestions combined with a dash of 'tude, and I'm COMING OUT!

Nella Design Studio said...

eek! I've never heard of Lime Ricki before!! Thanks for the link!

kh said...

What about those of us sporting a huge preggo belly? I can't find a cute maternity swimsuit anywhere. Thank goodness there isn't three way mirrors!

This was a great and funny post! Thanks!

SewSara said...

love it!
brooke is so funny and wise :)

Mandee said...

Good move choosing Brooke for the swimsuit edition of the how-to series. Good advice, and she is so so funny! Loved it!

kami @ nobiggie.net said...

"Orange fat looks better than white fat" my favorite line. so funny.

I know Brooke from forever ago. I took dance from her mom or something.

Dansie Family said...

hilarious and oh so true. thank goodness for cute tankinis in halters that accentuate and draw attention to the lactaters (which look better than they ever will again) instead of the post baby belly.

peanut said...

I don't totally understand how a one-piece can look bad when a tankini (without a gap) looks flattering - aren't they basically the same thing?

Thanks for the Lime Ricki link :) Those are the cutest suits ever! (And I now really want to get one even though I will be nowhere near water anytime in the near future.)

brooke said...


I understand how it can be confusing. In a one-piece, the belly has nowhere to hide. At least in a tankini, the top can come down over the bottom and disguise the little jiggly belly. Plus, somehow just having a different pattern on top and a solid on the bottom helps in my opinion. :-)

Destri said...

Best thing I have read all day, bar none.
Why have I never met this Brooke?! Why I ask.

Too funny!

Jill said...

I cover up as best I can (swimsuit, board shorts, swim shirt) then hope for the best. I'm always horrified by the amount of flesh on display at the pool and feel like I'm doing a great service to others by exposing very small amounts of my flesh.

I LOVE Brooke!

Anonymous said...

Found the most absolutely perfect tankini it fit beautifully and made me feel ten pounds slimmer, then I looked at the price tag 200$!!!!


summer said...

i love the reminder that there are no 3-way mirrors at the pool! being able to relax is oh so important. as are the handy little cover-up skirts she mentioned. couldn't agree more!

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