This is not to say that I have supreme swimsuit confidence. I do not. My fear and insecurity centers around two specific areas: 1) the dreaded roll of fat that you get right above your bikini bottom on the side/front (you know what I am talking about, and if you don't, fuck you), and 2) the tan lines that you get from a suit with straps. Without fail, you will end up somewhere in a dress that is strapless, or just cut differently from your favorite suit, and there your strap tan lines will be, on display. But I have singlehandedly solved both of these problems and am going to share the solutions with you, along with some of the bathing suits I would be buying if I wasn't married to Señor Stingy.
First of all, eschew all bottoms except for the string bikini. It's counter-intuitive, but you can ADJUST the sides so that you will never, ever have folds of fat overflowing from the top. It's genius. Second? The bandeau top. Embrace it. Just make sure that if you are a bustier girl, you get a size/cut that has adequate coverage to contain and support what the Good Lord gave you. Trust me on this one.
Now for the fun part. In a dream world, I would own this lovely suit from Missoni:
I love the pattern, and the double strings are just fun fun fun. Unfortunately the price is totally unfun, so no Missoni for me this season.
Another beauty comes from Paul Smith:
But lest you think that fancy designers are the only ones making cute suits, fear not. There is always J. Crew. Now J. Crew prices, while not astronomical, aren't chicken feed either. But you can wait for the sales and totally clean up. Here's what I'm eyeing:
This suit has the benefit of decent coverage up top and the "double tie" on the bottom - very cute and adds a little interest to a plain old string bikini bottom.
Victoria's Secret is next. Now, wait, hold on! I know! You don't want to look like white trash. I get it. But VS actually has some cute suits, and their tops provide excellent support, what with them being a brassiere company and all. Here are my current faves:
So cute! Tie-dye! and the double tie on the side! Also, the back ties instead of having a clasp, so you can adjust it really easily. Here's another one I love:
Come on! Pink? With RUFFLES? I am in love. With a bathing suit. Whatevs, I'm going with it. Just trust me on this and check out Victoria's Secret - there are hidden gems among the glitzy, trashy, Girls-Gone-Wild suits.
However, the real jackpot when it comes to bathing suits that don't break the bank is Old Navy. That's right, you heard me. Old Navy. This is just about the perfect suit:
And it comes in a million colors as well as awesome patterns like this:
Here's another Old Navy suit that's equally as adorable with a slightly different cut:
There is one drawback to only owning bikinis, and it's one that became apparent to me only after Ted and I moved to the country. You see, in our little town, everyone is a member of the town pool. Which is lovely, with three huge pools, tennis courts, a snack bar, and softly rolling grassy lawns where one can spread a blanket and hang with the fam.
But one feels strange at the town pool in a bikini. Trust me. I generally count my fellow pool/beachgoers lucky if I am wearing my top, let alone a one-piece suit. But there's something about running around making sure that your two small children don't drown that lends itself to wardrobe malfunctions. And before you know it, you're giving everyone a free show. And I like to charge for that shit, so I caved and bought a one piece suit.
The one I got was from Land's End and is great, but they no longer make it, and in fact pretty much every single suit they have on their site now is hideous and looks guaranteed to make you look 20 lbs heavier than you are, and frumpy besides. But no worries, J. Crew comes to the rescue with this sleek little number:
Which also comes in what might be my favorite color for a suit that I've seen this season:
So go! Buy a bikini! Wear it! I don't give a shit how old you are, or how many pounds you think you have to lose, you can rock a two piece. I promise.