Shhh…I’m Sharing Secrets For Successful Swimsuit Shopping
And I sell seashells by the seashore.
But seriously; this is serious stuff.
Shopping can be fun. Bathing suit shopping – not so much.
That’s why I haven’t shopped for a new swimsuit for six years.
So imagine my surprise that I have just endured this process and I am still partially sane.
And I am generously sharing my secret.
I started my swimsuit search two weeks ago by spending several hundred hours in internet research. I thought it would make sense to see what options I had…styles, brands, prices.
This is not my secret. Except to advise you not to do this. I read sixteen thousand reviews. Bleeding colors. Poorly made. Stretches when wet. See through. Weird bra. Too long. Too Short. And mostly – TOO SMALL.
After looking for several days, the satanic web-stalker then followed me wherever I went. Words With Friends, Yoga philosophy, and political editorials were (and still are) decorated with bathing suits. They’ll probably still be lurking around in November.
I did make one decision based on my web searches though. I decided to stick with the same style I have worn for the last six years. What is rather inanely called a Tankini. Separates that meet in the middle. No bikini for me. My gallbladder scars are tiny but my belly is not.
For you men (I have at least two males readers) who are now confused: put on your sleeveless undershirt and your underpants. You are now wearing a tankini.
I like this style because I can choose a top and a bottom separately. Separates work very well for me considering my top and my bottom were certainly on separate people in a previous incarnation.
Just before I headed out to shop, my mother told me a story.
Not long after they retired, my parents went south for a little vacation. On one particularly nice day, they decided to spend some time at the hotel’s pool. My mother was lounging by the pool and a young woman walked by. She froze – completely stricken – in front of my mother. She was wearing the same bathing suit as my sixty-three-year-old mom.
My mother laughed as she related this moment. “That young girl must have thrown away that suit the same day!”
The thought that I am close to the same age now as my mother was then, and that I could possibly cause some young skinny girl to cry…well…it cheered me right up. I cranked up my James Taylor CD and drove to the store.
I decided to shop at a big store known for its eternal ‘specials’.
The back of the store had been converted to a huge swimsuit department. All the suits were half-price, and there were racks and racks of Juniors, Misses and Plus all jumbled together. If one suit was a size six, the next one was a 24W.
Bathing suits run small. It’s like the manufacturers want to make sure you feel as rotten as possible. As if standing untanned under fluorescent lighting in bulge-revealing skimpy material isn’t enough. They want to make you need a really big size too.
And that’s when it hit me.
The secret of successful swimsuit shopping.
I went into the dressing room with suits three sizes too big.
And I worked my way down.
I felt great.
And I bought TWO tops and TWO bottoms – in sizes much smaller than my original selections.
I’m ready to ruin a teenager’s day.
I hope her boyfriend sees me too.