Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Swimwear Blues

Blue waters and sandy beaches have been calling me since the beginning of summer and so I've started looking for a new bathing suit early in the season. Although there seemed to be ample selection, procuring one that would meet my three million needs proved somewhat challenging. After browsing on-line and in stores I've come to the conclusion that a swim suit that would please me and fill all my requirements simply doesn't exist. If it's got the right shape, it doesn't come in the right colors, if it comes in nice colors, it doesn't have the shape I want and if it has the shape and the color the price is so astronomical I feel silly paying it for something that is essentially underwear .

These were my requirements:

Shape: The bathing suit/bikini has to cover my belly without making me look like a grandma (Not that there's anything wrong with looking like a grandma, but I'd rather wait till I become one to look like one).

I don't like feeling like I'm falling out of my bikini top every time I lean over (I guess it's all part of getting old...er). None of those little triangle-string bikinis for me. It must have ample support.

I'm not particularly fond of solid color swimsuits. My husband claims prints make me feel younger in my "old age". Really though, to me a swimsuit is the essence of summer and summer is all about happy colors.

I've noticed that most decent bathing suits cost as much or more than most Anthropologie clothes. I don't get why that is. It takes much less fabric to make a bathing suite and it has less seams, so why should it cost so much? Would someone explain this to me please? Under the pretense of allowing us more selection and mix and match options, stores charge for each piece what the entire bikini set should have cost. Am I the only one who thinks it's completely insane to pay $55 for bikini top plus $49 for the bottom? The bottom is just underwear in a stretchy fabric, why can't it cost $10?

So what will it be? Here are some of the swimsuits that caught my attention :

Floral Halter Tankini from Chadwicks.com
I like the color and the toile floral print which I find to be unique for a bathing suit. I also like the amount coverage the Tankini provides. Not crazy about the bottom though. I would have tried this one out, but the smallest size it comes in is 8. Oh well. It's now on sale for $39 which is reasonable.

Regal Isle mix & match separates from Athleta.com
This one came in three different colors and a variety of shapes for both top and bottom. I actually like the boy-short, makes me feel secure in moving around and not being too exposed. The only drawback is the price.

Maui Bikini from J.Crew
I love the color and print of this bikini. I don't know who had the bright idea of mixing orange with light blue, but it works! The bottom makes me nervous since it seems to be so low. It doesn't fit my "covering the tummy" requirement. Plus even on sale it's pretty pricey and J.Crew doesn't take returns of sale items. Bummer.

Cubed Ice Tankin from Anthropologie.com
I like the tankini but not crazy about the undies. Also pricey, $80 on sale for top and bottom.

Hotchpotch Swimsuit from BodenUsa.com
Very cute even if a tad juvenile looking. Covers the tummy! Original price was a bit much but Boden is good with coupons and sales.

And there you have it. Unable to find the perfect swim suit and convinced by my husband that "the ideal" is the enemy of the "good", I settled for two not so perfect ones.
The blue Hotchpotch suit from Boden was my first purchase. I got it on sale (which makes me feel less guilty for overpaying for my 2nd purchase). I wore this swimsuit on my vacation and was overall pleased with it . The only thing that could be improved on is the fabric, which is 40% cotton. It seemed like a good idea at first and the cotton did feel very nice when dry, but once it became wet it took forever to dry. Also I could have done with less of a leg opening.

The second swim set I got is the boy-shorts and bikini top from Athleta. I kept waiting for this set to go on sale but after looking at it for two months I noticed that sizes started disappearing and the suit still did not go on sale! The nerve! I finally caved and purchased it. It came in the mail today and I was pretty happy. Athleta actually has a surprisingly good selection of swimwear. Who would have thought? Don't let the photos of all those butch women scare you, the sizes seem to be accurate and the quality is good. It meets all my fit requirements and although the color looks brighter than it appeared on the website I'm willing to live with it. Or swim in it...
I'm becoming incoherent which is my cue to catch up on my sleep.
Happy swimming!


Jill said...

I found your blog and I'm a die hard Anthropologie fan too! In fact, I was just there tonight.

I completely agree with you about the INSANE prices of swimwear. I would much rather have a fabulous dress from Anthropologie.

I like the Chadwicks suit and the Anthro suit.

Anonymous said...

I Love Anthropologie!! I agree with the INSANE prices of swimwear!! BUT... I found a website that has very cute suites and for a very good price!
It's called sassymia.com
Check it out! www.sassymia.com

boden coupon said...

I completely agree with you about the INSANE prices of swim wear. I would much rather have a fabulous dress from Anthropologie.


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