The only thing worse than swimsuit shopping is...well, maternity swimsuit shopping, but let's not even go to that dark, dark place - it's much too painful. Shopping for swimwear is the absolute worst and I dare any fully developed woman to disagree with me. Throw in post-children swimsuit shopping and it's a near-suicidal experience.
First of all, I am of the firm belief that unless you are on a deserted island, no one belongs in a bikini. No one. NO. ONE. I don't care if you're on the Bachelor or you're little miss Hollywood that works out all the time. Chances are, there's still something that you shouldn't show. You're probably not in the 0.001% of the population that can wear one because you're probably not 14 years old without a stitch of body fat with nothing yet sagging to the floor. And if you are 14 and wearing a bikini, please go put some clothes on because boys should not be looking at you like that. Ok, yes, a tiny bit of my belief system stems from jealousy in the fact that there was a day when I was able to wear a two piece suit and show a little of my belly and now I can't, so admittedly I'm feeling a little envious of the young beach bodies that have yet to be destroyed by pregnancy and age.
Let's first discuss the prices of the modern swimsuit, shall we? I am stunned at how much we pay for so little. The tiniest pieces of fabric stitched together designed to make you look your worst and you can pay upwards of $400 for it. Is something wrong with this?
Then there's the physics of the suits, if you do happen to find something affordable. Anything under $50 has no support whatsoever. I don't know who these women are, but if you've had children and still have nothing on top, you still want more than just a thin piece of Lycra covering you. There are the shelf bras that work for 30% of the population. For the rest of us, they are just comical, cutting us in half, creating a look of 4 where there should be 2. Then there is the "soft cup" which is no support at all. It's just a way to make your sagginess look even more mis-shapen. There are a few suits with under wires, but if you're not the perfect size, forget it. I did manage to find cup-sized support on a couple websites, but they're either bikinis (BUZZ! wrong answer!) or they're cut so low that you might as well go topless. And who really wants to mail order a swimsuit anyway?
There's also the leg cut to consider. The boy short is fine for the stick skinny woman with no butt. And, I'm sorry, but I don't care what the magazines say about leg lengthening, the high cut leg makes everyone's thighs look 4 times wider than they are. Then there's the regular modest cut that, for some reason, has elastic so tight that it creates a bulge over and under it. Now THAT's beauty. There are skirts, but even some of those are unflattering, falling at the thickest part of your thighs, and have you seen one that's actually cute? I did happen to find a swim "dress" at Target last year. It worked on the bottom, but the top had other issues that needed attention. It was in the teen section, so what can I expect?
And answer this question for me. What genius decides where to put the security tab? You finally find a suit worth trying on and there is a giant chunk of plastic taking up half of the bra in the suit! And when you need the annoying overattentive commission-based saleswoman, she's nowhere to be found. Please, someone take the horrible ink-filled ball out of this suit so I can actually see what it looks like! Yeah, I'm really going to steal it when I can't even see how awful I look in it.
So, for online shopping, I found two options below, both of which you have to supply your own under support. One you can wear a regular bra, the other a strapless. You decide.