Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Joy of Bathing Suit Shopping

Yesterday I had to do the activity that I dread enough that I haven’t done it in a couple of years. I went shopping for a new bathing suit. You see, I’m going on a cruise in two short weeks, so I’m going to be primarily forced into a bathing suit at some point. I went through all of the bathing suits I own (about six), and I hate all of them. When I bought them, I loved them; now I hate them. Que sera, sera. Not to mention that I’ve gained about five pounds so I feel like a bloated whale in anything that is even semi revealing.

I went to Macy’s on State Street, which has a pretty good selection of bathing suits on the fourth floor. When I saw the spread, I though surely I can find something that doesn’t make me look terrible. I mean, I’m not enormous. Sometimes I think I’m much harder on the way I look than other people likely are. My male co-workers tell me I’m skinny. But I’m not – I’m just a 35 year old woman who knows how to dress in such a way that flatters my figure. (It took me years to figure out how to do this.) In clothing, I can look skinny. But put me in a bathing suit and the cellulite on the back of my thighs stares you right in the face.

The first thing that struck me was that the vast majority of the cute swimsuits out there are string bikinis. Who wears these in real life? I’m not talking about celebrities who can pay for personal trainers and have the luxury of a personal chef and the ability to work out for four hours a day. But regular people. Does anyone buy these other than 18 year old girls? And how do 18 year old girls afford a $200 Betsy Johnson or Juicy Couture bikini? I don’t know, but the reality is that I would not want to see the vast majority of women I see on a daily basis in a string bikini.

I tried on eight bathing suits. They all looked awful. I need a medium on top and a large on the bottom because I am a big pear. None of the one pieces were cute. (Why are swimsuits so bright and flowery?) Most of the tankinis were hideous, although I tried on a couple. I just looked terrible in everything. However, I found one Kenneth Cole suit that I really liked (it had a skirt bottom! Which hides the worst part of my thighs! Oh hurray that this is in style!), but they only had the bottom in a Medium. I most assuredly needed a Large. So, I went home empty handed, went online, found said bathing suit with a large bottom and bought two of them in different colors. I can’t believe I’ve entered the age where a skirt bottom is necessary and possibly appropriate. Although, the skirt bottom appears to be at least in style, so maybe I’m not so bad off after all…

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