Swimsuit Nightmares

Malia pictureIt’s no secret, I’m a “big” girl. But big girls like to go to the pool, too. And I have children that really like to go to the pool. And it’s summer. And I need another swimsuit.

I bought a swimsuit from a catalog a few summers ago. It was a decently styled “swim dress”, black with a blue & while trim above the bust line. It was the kind that had straps that could be fastened over the shoulders or tucked into the suit if you wanted to go strapless (ha!) which I guess was for those women that can actually tan. And since I bought it from a catalog, I couldn’t try it on ahead of time to gauge how well it fit. Turned out it fit alright – could have been tighter in some areas, looser in others, but it served it’s purposes. However, not long after I started wearing it, one of the tabs that held the straps over my shoulders came apart. I was able to repair it and went along like that until last summer when the second tab gave way in a manner that was not repairable. *sigh* That meant it was time for a new swimsuit.

I knew I would be taking the kids to the pool this summer but I still put off the swimsuit shopping. I wanted to go to the pool today (though it looks like we’ll be getting a late start since I’m sitting her blogging about swimsuits instead of actually getting us ready to go!) So yesterday, I headed to the mall on a mission – Operation: Find Acceptable Swimsuit. My favorite “big girl” shoppe apparently doesn’t carry swimsuits in all their stores; only certain stores have them and of course they sell them on their website. (They were having an excellent bra sale though…okay, that’s probably oversharing.) I had time to peruse three department stores. One had no swimsuits of any kind that I could find, one had swimsuits on sale, the last had swimsuits but no sale.

Now, I hold no notion of ever “looking good” in a swimsuit. I know my size, I know my body type, I’m not delusional that Lycra and spandex can at all look appealing on me. I just want a swimsuit that covers what needs to be covered and doesn’t make me look like a 70-year-old woman! Why is it that retailers of plus size swimwear think that plus size women all like garish floral prints and plunging necklines?? And why would I want to pay almost $100 (sometimes more) for something that I swear, not even my grandmother would have worn? And why is that when I do find something in the store that would actually make Operation: Find Acceptable Swimsuit a success it a) is sold out in my size and b) costs more money than I spend on real clothing? I mean, I know the suits are bigger and use more material but does a tankini top and a skirted bottom have to cost $50+ each?

I came home with no swimsuit. Fortunately there is the Internet! I did manage to find a nice looking suit at an on-line retailer (and I had a gift card for this website!). Of course, I can’t try it on until it gets here (which won’t be today!), so I guess I’ll be in shorts and a t-shirt at the pool this week.

The swimsuit shopping nightmare is over. I’ve bought jeans, a swimsuit and bras all in the span of about 3 months. I think I’ve reached my quota for stress inducing shopping excursions for at least a year…right? Let’s hope so!


Filed under by Malia, Rant

11 responses to “Swimsuit Nightmares

  1. michelle

    I hope you like the new swimsuit and that it fits perfectly. I got a cute suit this year, tankini top (long so middle does not peak out) and black shorts on the bottom. It wasn’t cheap but managed to get a discount and my favorite “fat girl” shop sent me a $20 off coupon so that helped. I guess I am finally at a point in my life that I don’t care what anybody else thinks about my suit as long as it covers me up in all the right places and lets me enjoy the water.

  2. Jul

    ok, i am a lurker from a link on someone else’s site. but, i might have a solution: maternity suits. don’t knock it just yet. this is not a problem i have but my sister does. she was at old navy and wasn’t finding a thing. until one of the sales people, who couldn’t have worn more than a 10, told my sister that she has started buying the maternity suits because they have more coverage and are cute. my sister ended up finding a VERY cute simple black halter one piece that looks amazing. you would never know that it was ment to be a maternity suit. it’s worth a try because big box stores are getting more “hip” maternity wear and they can be much cheaper than department store plus size wear.

  3. Malia

    Hmmm, maternity suits. I had not thought of that! And I did see some pregnant women at the pool today in some really cute suits, but would the price really be any different? I’ll have to keep that in mind!

  4. Awww, I depsise shopping for swimsuits, too. Heck, I hated it even when I was younger and thinner. Gah.

  5. Hey Malia, I know that you said you already bought a swimsuit but you should try Land’s End. You can make a model that looks like you and try the suits on the model. It is fairly realistic and has kept me from buying some terrible suits. The last suit I bought was with the help of my model and it did look pretty much like it did my model. You can even give the model similar hair and face shape and skin tone. Kind of fun. You should try it sometime.

  6. Malia

    Funny you mention Land’s End, Julie…that’s the “on-line retailer” I purchased my suit from! I’ve used the model in the past, though not for this purchase.

    Thanks for the tip!

  7. I am about to start the struggle of shopping for a swimsuit. I am SO not looking forward to it, but am excited to try the ideas listed in here. I would much rather buy online – thanks for the tips!

  8. Malia

    My swimsuit arrived today!! That was fast! It fits, well, mostly. It’s a little tighter than I would have liked but going up to the next size I’m sure would be too loose. Motivation for weight loss? Probably not.


  9. Trying to find a swimsuit in smaller sizes isn’t fun either. Especially when you are a smaller size whose body definitely does NOT look like the models on the tags of the swimsuits. They don’t offer much coverage for my size either b/c they assume ALL small girls want to show their arse to everyone. Ugh. And post-breastfeeding boobs aren’t fun to find a top for. I’m glad you were able to find one!! I haven’t even started trying to find a new suit yet. I’m totally dreading it. lol

  10. Malia

    I totally appreciate your point of view on this! I think all women have issues with some part of their bodies. I may look at someone, like you, and think, “Wow, she has the perfect body, she can wear anything she wants and has no trouble finding clothes.” but I know that I would be wrong in that assumption. Just as someone would be wrong in assuming that because I’m overweight, I shouldn’t even concern myself with finding a swimsuit or shouldn’t care how it fits me. We all have a voice in this discussion, no matter what our size! 😀

  11. Pingback: *o, pish posh!* » Blog Archive » *thankful thursday, 6.7.07*

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