The Swimsuit Conundrum

Is there anything more annoying than shopping for swimsuits? Yes, it’s blue jeans, which is why I pretty much don’t wear them, ever. But today we’re talking about swimsuits! What a pain, am I right ladies? You need it to stay on when you move or swim, and you need it to hold up The Girls, and you need it to hide those parts of you that, for whatever reason, you don’t feel like showing to everyone at the pool/beach. Oh, and it should look super good and cute and flattering, and be affordable. TOTALLY not asking too much from a collection of elastic and string! Totally not.

I had some added complications with this year’s shopping, in that I’ve lost some weight and am feeling very confident about myself, so I wanted to go back to wearing a two-piece suit as opposed to a one-piece. Much like a sea lion, I love the feel of cool water on my belly, and while the one-piece I sported the last couple years is super cute, I was ready for something new to show off the results of all the gym time and salads I’ve been putting in. Is buying two pieces of swimsuit really that much harder than buying one? Yes, yes it is. About twice as hard, actually.

So here’s what I’ve learned from this season’s round of swimsuit shopping, which I did almost entirely online, something I hadn’t really done before (does ordering from the Victoria’s Secret catalog in high school count? Probably not).

In preparation for your suit-shopping-palooza, you’re gonna need a couple of things: your measurements, and a budget. Since I’ve been working on losing weight, I have a log of my measurements on my phone. If you’ve never done it before, it’s pretty easy, but you have to do it the right way or your measurements, and therefore clothing sizes, will be off. The ‘for dummies’ link right there, as well as most online clothing stores, will show you how to measure yourself. For the swimsuit, I needed my bra size (go to a good lingerie store and get fitted if you haven’t in a while), and my waist and hip measurements. This is because my big ol’ bewbs require a bra-sized top, or at least a sizing chart that’s based on bra sizes, whereas I just need a standard ‘size large’ for bottoms. To further complicate things, this often means I need a plus-sized top and a standard-sized bottom. Hooray, me.

Don’t get salty about people with big boobs, Fledglings – I can personally attest that they are heavy, sweaty, and make your back hurt. The big boobs, not the people…probably. Big chests make clothing more expensive and more difficult to shop for, and I do not recommend them at all. So when you hear a lady complaining about her boobage and the problems it’s causing, don’t mistake it for a humble-brag – she’s legitimately annoyed at her chest getting in the way of her having a good time.

As for the budget, I planned to shell out around $100 on a suit. This sounds insane, but much like brake jobs, it’s important to pay for quality when buying swimsuits because when you need one, you need it to work properly every time. Having this budget also opened up a lot more options that had better sizing than cheaper brands, and I’m always okay with paying for comfort if it’s necessary.

Speaking of comfort, I’ve found that for my cleavage, a halter swim top is the best support. There are also ones that fit like sports bras (just make sure there’s some separation between The Girls – you want to look like you have two, not one), ones that fit like a full-coverage bra, and ones that fit like tank tops – appropriately called Tankinis. If you’ve got a swimwear store in your town, go window-shopping and try on a few things so you know what cut works best for you, especially if your body shape has changed or you haven’t bought a swimsuit in a while. You might find something right there you can buy, and if you don’t, you’ll know what styles to look for when you shop online.

What did I end up getting? A super-adorable bright-colored bikini from good old Victoria’s Secret. It was within my budget, I got free shipping, and exchanging the top for a bigger cup size (oops) was really easy because I took it back to the VS in my town’s mall and they shipped the not-fitting one back for free and ordered me the right size. I’m sad that it didn’t fit right out of the bag, but it’s a hazard with online shopping. It’s important to check return/exchange policies before you hit ‘submit order.’ I hear that VS won’t be selling swimsuits after this year, so if you want some of their gear, you might want to get on that.

I’m also going to get a one-piece – you know, for more active aquatic pursuits than ‘looking fly while reading a book on the beach’ – probably from Target. It’s where I got my one-piece a couple years ago, and that thing has held up well for a $20-30 suit. Oh yeah, one-piece swimsuits are indeed cheaper and more likely to fit okay than a two-piece, so if you want to save the hassle, there are a TON of adorable one-piece swimsuits out there. But I wanted a two-piece, and I knew I’d have to pony up for a good one or risk a rogue wave taking my top swimming without me. As my bestie would say, ‘choose your life.’ It’s literally up to you how much effort and money you want to put in, because who benefits from your swimsuit besides you? Nobody, that’s who. Buy the one that makes you feel like a goddess, and tell the haters to move on.

Other fantastic options for busty ladies needing a new swimsuit are ModCloth and Her Room. ModCloth is packed with adorable retro designs, and their sizing is very, very transparent, so you’ll have a good chance of your suit fitting without having to exchange. Her Room rocks the bra sizing like ModCloth, and has more modern – but still fun and awesome – patterns and cuts.

If you’re busty, I highly recommend finding a swimsuit shop that offers bra sizing in their tops. Invest in comfort and style that works for you; don’t shove yourself into some uni-boob top situation just because you know it’ll prevent poolside nip-slips. We all deserve to feel pretty in the summer.

Tune in next weekend, where I ramble on about packing for a summer vacation! Why? Because I’m going to Hawaii for my honeymoon next month, and it’s kind of all I can think about. See you then!


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