I work out. Usually a lot. Zumba, Buti, Pound ( if you haven't tried any of these classes- you are missing something life changing!) I eat right the majority of the time. I live my life. I don't turn down that extra glass of wine or a chip or seventeen. I've had two kids. I've been a multitude of sizes and there's lots of beautiful pieces in my closet. I walk into a store that sells pants, I leave with a pair of pants. I am not too hard to fit and can usually find something I am happy with and that fits comfortably.
And then there are bathing suits...
I hate them. I don't know anyone who likes them.
If you like them please refrain from telling me.
Almost yearly, I take a group of students to Disney for work. I know, poor me, a free trip to Disney. The trip is wonderful. Sun, reading and palm trees.Bliss. The students and staff have a blast, I truly look forward to it.
But, I HATE shopping for a suit.
The bathing suit has to be professional. My school didn't sit me down and say, ' Holly, you must wear a professional bathing suit.' But, for a work related outing, this suit has big shoes to fill. It must hold in the ample girls, have full bum coverage, and survive the water slides without an embarrassing moment. One has to wonder if this magical suit even exists. Yeah, I could wear a wetsuit but imagine the tan lines and I always love to rock that glow when I return from the magical land of the mouse.
If you think I am exaggerating, just imagine, for a moment, having to wear a bathing suit in front of your work colleagues. Imagine HR sends an email and says, 'Hey, it's bathing suit day on Friday' in the office. Everyone has to wear a suit and walk around. Maybe now you see where I am coming from?
I report that after trying suits on at Macy's, Sears (Landsend- usually an old standby), Nordstrom, KOHLS,Target, some ridiculously expensive swim store that boasted swimsuits for all, and JcPenney, I found NOTHING. I was willing to shell out for a suit. There was no budget on this one. I needed something that fit and fit enough for me to want to wear it in public. I would have literally not baulked at a 250$ price tag IF it looked good. That is how bad I wanted it.
You may be thinking, ugh, another large woman complaining about not finding clothes.
I can find clothes just fine. I love buying clothes. Would I like to be smaller? Sure, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying swimming. I am, for the most part, comfortable in my skin, but swimsuits are another ball-game.
I cried, oh my gosh, I cried. In the dressing rooms with my arms full of ill-fitting suits, I sat on the little bench and was just so sad. I'm not a small woman, but there should be suits to fit ALL women. The ones in my size were either too tight or too big. Go up or down a size and still not right. I felt like Goldilocks, but this time instead of beds it was lycra and spandex and whatever the hell else swimsuits are made with these days. We have unicorn drinks, cell phones that are essentially computers, wifi and lots of other things that seem like legit magic. Why is it so hard to find a damn suit?!
If you're still reading this story has a happy ending...
On a whim I went online. I googled, " swimsuits for bigger women", " swimsuits for large breasts", " tankinis for women." And then something happened. I landed on the Walmart site. I know, Walmart. The place that sells walls. I joke. I don't usually shop at Walmart, if I can help it, but sometimes, as a teacher who buys supplies for her classroom, I need the best price.
As I perused the site, I thought, "Humor me, let's see what they have." I envisioned giant Hawaiian prints, poop emoji's, suits that said, ' I'm your bae' and mumus. I don't think they even sell mumus. Who knows. I tooled around and found this. The reviews were good. Like, really unbelievably good. Like, this is the mothership suit and everyone knew but me.It reminded me of a 1950s pinup ad. How bad could it be?
It is a bit more conservative than I am used to, I usually opt for a full fitting tankini, but what the hell? It looked cute on the model, was super cheap and had free shipping. I bought it in my usual size in a print ( not the one pictured) and waited.
A few days later it came, on the same day as another horrible bathing suit shopping excursion where I vowed to just wear a T-shirt and shorts and call it a day. I tried it on and was VERY pleased. Could it be? I found a suit that fits? That looks...dare I say... good? The print I ordered was weird, not the colors pictured on the site, and I did have to return it for a smaller size ( ALWAYS a good thing...winning!) but reordered it and low and behold...
I am no swimsuit model, Beyonce's photographer was busy, this is an 'ipad- in-my- bedroom-picture-I-have-graciously-posted-to-the-internet-to-help-the-women-of-the-world-struggling-to-find-a-proper-swimsuit.' Hey- it's a suit that works and seems like it could for a LOT of people. Normal people. People with curves and skin and lumps and bumps from life. Size zeros and Size twenties!
The halter straps are supportive ( VERY much so), the bum is a hell of a lot of coverage and there is a bit of fabric that comes down in the front, NOT a skirt, but just a bit to cover that weird crotch area, yeah I went there. There's some shirring for flattery on the belly. I cannot attest to how this holds up to a season of swimming, but at 35$ it can fall apart after 10 wears and I will still be as happy as a woman who found a bathing suit and plans to shout it from the roof tops.
I found a bathing suit! I found a freaking suit! A suit that fits and I FEEL comfortable in. It comes in a plethora of sizes and colors. This was a size large and fit perfect. They also have it in plus size. Read the reviews, give it a go. Not much to lose at such a great price.
I wish you luck on your sweet quest to find a swimsuit you love. Hopefully this helps someone searching for that great bathing suit in the sky.