Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to Shop for Swimsuits.

Throughout history, there have been two types of shopping that can completely unhinge any woman.
1. Jean Shopping
2. Swimsuit Shopping

The time has come for the latter of the two, for carrying and birthing two Things has wreaked havoc on my body, making the bikinis I once sported no longer seem appropriate.... or flattering. Damn it.

Last summer, being the kind and generous person that she is, my sister gave me her black one piece in exchange for my cute-as-a-button pink and white polka dot bikini. I had just birthed Thing 2 and was happy for a dark colored one piece to draw attention away from the area that was formerly known as my waist and the other area that was twice the size of my normal ass. What I didn't realize is that I had made a BAD TRADE. I was wearing the suit at a public pool when I looked down and saw my mayonnaise white flesh gleaming THROUGH the black fabric. Apparently my giant fleshiness was compromising the integrity of the fabric, making it a viable candidate for spontaneous combustion (just like the drummer on This Is Spinal Tap). To my great dissappointment, this strain on the fabric was NOT happening in the chestal region. Of course. Additionally, there is the fact that my sister informed me (after the suit trade and the public exposure of my "I just birthed a baby!" jiggly parts) that she had, in fact, owned that suit since the 8th grade.The suit was so old that it was basically disintegrating while on my body.  Aging spandex, chlorine and extra fluffy stark white lady pieces= a very bad day indeed.

Does anyone see "Sucker" stamped on my forehead? I think my sister did it while I was sleeping.... Please don't take me to a big city as I will come home without my lizard skin cowboy boots, but with a brand new pair of mint condition Moon Boots from the early 80's. Awesome trade! To my sis: I hope you and your "I work out every day and have never carried a fetus" body are enjoying my adorable Daisy Duke bikini. You suck. Bring the ingredients for chocolate martinis the next time you come for a visit. xoxo Jo

My friend has access to a pool through her condo and now that the weather is stupidly hot, we plan on spending a great deal of time there with our herd of children. I wore a bikini the other day. Let me express my deepest condolences to people of the condo pool. Between my extremely flat chest, my bloated, stretch mark clad, c-sectioned gut and the hail damaged so-beyond-white-that-I-may-actually-be-mint-green other parts, I was feeling like a... well... a mom. After little to no thought, I decided that I needed a new suit! I am currently in the market for one piece, preferably with some sort of spanx for the bulgy stuff, some well-enhanced upper area "support" and a mothereffing genie to grant my three wishes.... because I am delusional and a slow learner, I would like the new suit to make me look like this (totally attainable, right?):

Picture borrowed from:
 Since my super model days and the giant paychecks are long gone (blahahaha), I decided to look at the Neiman Marcus of all super stores, Target. I found a suit! It was on sale! It was a most slimming shade of black!The label proclaimed it to have magical shaping capabilities! I hurried to the dressing room, certain it would work. Unless you count elastic cutting into my ass "magical", it didn't have any shaping capabilities. I still looked gross. And I didn't even BEGIN fill out the super-padded cups that were supposed to enhance my girls, in fact, there was extra fabric swimming around under my armpits. Nice. As par for the course with any swimsuit shopping endeavor in my entire life, I left on the verge of tears, feeling horrible about myself and wanting a margarita. (I had twoTuesday night- it'sallgood).

I decided that I can't be the only one with swimsuit shopping issues and decided to put together a "How to Guide for Swimsuit Shopping with Common Figure Flaws". You. Are. Welcome.

Spoiler Alert! Let me just state up front: Head to the accessory section and by a cute cover-up. Problem solved.

1. The Apple
Also known as: "I can't keep these girls contained", "Why is this happening to my body?" and "Mom"

Issues: Breasts too large to be properly supported by any suit. Straps/elastic cut into shoulders and waist. All weight gathers in mid-section.

Don't buy: Bikinis (especially of the string variety- that tiny triangle will barely contain on nipple), One-pieces (unless you enjoy looking like a potato with a wedgie), Halter tops (they enhance the bust and make you look like a line-backer) or underwires (they will cut your boobs in half and smoosh them unattractively because they hit at the wrong place)

Do buy: Margarita Mix. Go ahead and get the Cointreau.

2. The Pear
Also known as: "God is not a fair guy", "My thighs are best friends, also known as "why I don't wear corduroy", "What is cleavage?" and "Mom".

Issues: No boobs. Plenty of butt and thigh, extra in fact. Needs two completely different sizes. Elastic cuts into the bottom half.

Don't buy: Bikinis (especially of the string variety- there is not enough "upper" to hold the top in place). One pieces (unless you enjoy enhancing the look of the Nebraska Plains, otherwise known as your chest). Scoop necks (they aren't flattering, trust me), anything unpadded (it is just too sad) or anything too padded (cut to you,  holding your child against your chest and the pressure is squeezing those pads like a couple of kitchen sponges, thus making you appear to be lactating pool water)

Do buy: Franzia boxed Cabernet- $13.99 for 5 liters! Yeah!

3. The Asparagus
Also known as: "The 12 Year Old Boy", "I've even tried protein shakes" and "Skinny Bitch"

Issues: No curves. At All. Gets tired of people saying "go ask your mom if you can...."

Don't buy: Bikinis (especially of the string variety- unless you want the tit triangle to end up under your armpit...). One pieces (unless you like looking like a plank of lumber). Anything with an underwire (wire on bone is not pleasant). Anything from the junior department (even if it fits, Dora isn't age appropriate).

Do buy: Ingredients for Grasshoppers. They are delicious and the calories won't affect you. Bitch.

4. The Butterface.
Also known as "She looked great when I saw her from the back, BUT HER FACE...." and "no amount of liquor can fix that".

Issues: Causes visible jealously, always followed by visible cringing.

Buy: Whatever the hell you want, your body looks great. Make sure to accessorize with a giant hat and bigger sunglasses.


Just remember, when you are standing in that dressing room, with those horrible fluorescent lights casting their awkward purple glow onto your pasty skin; highlighting cellulite that you didn't even know you had, don't allow yourself be seduced by the swimskirt. You will initially scoff at it, but after 14 suits that were apparently made for some breed of fleshless bone people (with elastic moving to the top of your Enemy List), you will start to see the skirted suit in a new light. It will appear to be the solution to all of your figure flaws! You will convince yourself that it is retro and that you can work it out with some great heels.  No. You can't. Unless you are 70+, a card carrying member of AARP and know the names of all the servers at the Golden Corral at the Early Bird Special hour, it is not allowed.

I hope that this guide will help you with your swimsuit shopping for many summers to come. When you feel the overwhelming urge to shoot out those horrible fluorescent lights, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
Come to think of it, maybe winter isn't so bad after all.....

Peace, Love and Unicorns,


  1. i want one of those old-time knicker outfits. i'll skip the swim cap tho. :)

  2. How did I end up with a mom body without actually ever giving birth? Maybe we should call it the edging up on 40, hates working out, loves cupcakes and booze figure...
    Anywhoo, I HIGHLY recommend Esther Williams' line of swimsuits. These things are feats of engineering (aka 'tummy control power net') and worth every penny. I've actually been complimented while wearing mine (it was most certainly the swimsuit receiving the compliment, and not the body contain therein).
    And I would totally wear mine with a swim cap! Provided it was covered with plastic flowers ;D

  3. I'm buying two boxes of the cabernet. I'll drink myself silly while waiting for your next installment of: How flat chested adult women get suckered into buying bras - even though there is absolutely no bra out there that actually helps their cause. I just love the fact there's two inches between my flesh (where boobage should be) and the fabric of the bra. Also, padding should be avoided in swimsuits at all cost because they can float away --- TRUST ME ON THIS!

  4. Fun fact- spanx makes swimsuits. If it ever gets warm here I'm buying one.

  5. I was actually delighted to buy a maternity swimsuit this year (and there was no skirt!) But I was going to recommend the Esther Williams swimsuits as well. That's what I'll be getting next year.

  6. Lady, I need a skirt. I do it for the benefit of mankind's eyeballs.

  7. HeeHee I feel your pain.

    Last time I was in TJ Maxx, here, they had some good stuff. FYI!

  8. BAHHAHAHAH! I feel I may still be giggling at your drawings well into next swimsuit season. What kind of drink can you recommend for the cosmopolitan blogging lady of independent means with the top of an apple and the bottom of a pear (aka, just plain fat)?

  9. @texwisgirl- I like those too. Fer serious.
    @Moxie- I looked at those suits and they are super cute. Problem is, my measurements fall within 3 different sizes. Grrr.
    @Phoenix- i feel like you would be my choice of swimsuit shopping pals. It is a good idea to stick with like-shaped people.
    @Tova- That was what Target was carrying. They didn't have my size (which in fact, may not actually exist)
    @grammar- you must be one of those cute pregnant ladies. I just looked bloated and gained a bunch of weight in my chin.
    @marie- lady, you crack me up. I would still hang out with you. Swimskirt and all. i would probably have to wear my rhinestone encrusted cat-eyed sunglasses though.
    @Lou- I'll check there, next time I have someone watching the kids.
    @Allie- Anything with Vodka. :) I'll join you.

  10. Tankini!!!! One pieces suck ass!

    That is all.


  11. so so true! I am loving this post.

  12. Mine too - I always fall across three different sizes >:( this is why I sew! Although sewing patterns are the same way (I have one pattern from 1948 where my measurements actually fall within one size! Weird. Apparently the small boobs to waist and hip ratio was fashionable that year).

    I bought the size in between and it fits great. Yay for stretchy fabrics and bust padding (that has yet to float away or squish out or do anything other than stay put).
    You know, if we just had bigger racks we'd be hotty hourglasses like Marilyn or Christina Hendricks... But nooooooooo.

  13. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the drawings!

  14. I need to find a suit from 1948! No problem! :)

  15. This does not bode well... I was just thinking I need to buy a new suit this year. Maybe I'll wait until I'm 70 and can easily do the swimskirt.

  16. When I complain that I am pear shaped to my husband his reply is "that makes you great at having my babies." I guess I see his point. I slung those babies up on my ample hips and fed them with my small yet good enough to give forth milk boobage.

    Swimsuit shopping, however, is never fun. I just end up avoiding showing myself in a suit in public. Even after losing 40 pounds I still do this. I think it is a mental thing. Hard to get over.

  17. Better yet, shop with your buzz already going! Living in a resort area, and having just taken a "polar bear plunge" for charity, I am in swimwuit trouble year-round.

    Never forget: tan fat looks better than pale fat (that might be from the Sweet Potato Queens) and either hit your gym's tanning bed or buy some good bronzer with your new torture device/swimsuit!

  18. So in the end...the sad truth is revealing ....nothing looks good on a pearshape...nothingD: