If you saw this post or have been following me on Instagram, you know my struggles with one-piece bathing suits.
The older I get, the more uncomfortable I feel in a teeny-tiny string bikini in front of say, family, or people I don’t know that well. And of course, on vacation, there is certainly a time and a place for a hot string bikini (although, I never feel too “hot” in them anymore), more situations have been arising where I’m like, “is this really appropriate to be wearing!?”
So for the past year or so, I’ve really been on the hunt for a great one-piece, but everything I found was either too revealing, or just plain frumpy. Additionally, when I’d finally bite the bullet to go swimsuit shopping, the sight of my body in a bathing suit underneath the fluorescent lights of a dressing room was enough to send me running for the hills. (“It’s fine, I just won’t take off my cover-up!”) I also didn’t want to waste time and money ordering something online that wouldn’t fit.
Then, that’s the lightbulb went off–Amazon Prime to save the day! Free, super fast shipping, free returns. (Phew!)
Okay, now we got over that hurdle. What about the other elephant in the room?
Why are bathing suits so damn expensive?
I was never one to drop hundreds on a bathing suit. It’s so small–such little material–how on earth could it possibly be so expensive, right?
Well, actually. My views on that have changed lately. And here’s why.
I grew up in Arizona, where I purchased, on average, probably a minimum of 5 bathing suits each season. (It’s true.) I’m the first to tell you that places like H&M and Target often have the cutest bathing suits around, for the best prices.
However, for whatever reason, I’ve found they always miss the mark on one-pieces. The bargain retailers of my past don’t make one-pieces for late twenty to thirty somethings erring on the side of modesty–so, obviously, don’t be surprised when you feel like a sausage trying to cram yourself into one of their cutout one-pieces. (They just weren’t made for us!)
So, after much trial and error of sausage stuffing my body into cheap swimsuits, I decided to splurge on this one, and see how it went. Guess what?
Best money I’ve ever spent.
Here’s the thing…
Is there a price on feeling beautiful and confident?
I don’t think so. A bathing suit, like anything else–nice jeans that make your behind look like a million bucks, anti-aging facial creams designed to preserve your youth, those sunglasses that make you beam like Jacki-O–is worth the extra money if it allows you to see the most beautiful version of yourself.
So, if you’re in the same boat and are searching for that perfect one-piece, I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.
(Hint: They’re all from ShopBop, so not only does their Amazon Prime partnership making shipping + returning a breeze, but these are all currently 25% off with code INTHEFAM!)
Bow-tiful in black
Why it works: The bow provides feminine detail, and is great for adding volume if you need it in the bust area. The peek-a-boo cutout shows just the right amount of skin, plus, the v-shape of it pulls the eye downward, and slims the waist!
Why it works: The pattern of the suit is v-shaped until your eye hits the waist, and then shifts straight across. The v-shape (again) draws the eye downward, where the cutoff at your slimmest spot defines your waist and emphasizes that gorgeous hourglass figure.
Lady in Leopard
Why it works: The bustier qualities of this one-piece give you just the right amount of lift, the pattern helps to disguise any flaws, and see how the fabric is cut and sewn with a rectangular piece in the middle? Like the above, that defines your waist!
Why it works: Have you ever met a girl who didn’t look darling in gingham? This pattern gives off a timeless, retro vibe. Plus, the busier the pattern, the easier it is to disguise, say, that tummy bulge that only seems to appear in photos! (UGH.)
Why it works: I really like the idea of those lace-up bathing suits, but they always come off a tad too “dominatrix” for me. I love this one though, because it’s so simple and sweet, you actually do a double take to realize it has a lace-up front. It’s a little tiny detail that really gives a classic, black suit something extra. The neckline is also insanely flattering–a low v, but not too low.
Peek a Blue
Why it works: You’re catching on by now, right? Busy patterns=camouflage! I love the pretty blue color of the pattern of this suit. Plus, the cutout quality in the front is low enough to strike the perfect amount of modesty and sexy.
Why it works: This is the ultimate mullet bathing suit. Business in the front, party in the back! It’s a flattering v-cut in the front, and the colorful, strappy details of the back keep it from being plain jane.
Girly in stripes
Why it works: preppy girls, rejoice! This is officially the cutest, preppiest, girliest suit I’ve laid my eyes on. It has a vintage vibe, is modest, but so cute, you can’t help but love it. While the stripes are horizintal, they’re small, so you don’t get that “tree stump” look that you can get with larger, more bold stripes. Plus, the big bow adds a few inches in the bust spot (you know, if you need ’em.)
Sweet in Scallops
Why it works: Coverage in all the right places, cutouts in only the most flattering of spots. Feminine scallops. Just the right amount of skin. Makes you look just as tan as a white string bikini–just way more flattering.
Why it works: If you’re someone who thinks one-pieces are boring, think again! This suit deserves its time in the spotlight. Ton’s of bright colors, fun patterns, and a lace-up front that doesn’t scream “50 shades.” The diamond-shaped design also draws your eye in at the waist, emphasizing that ever-coveted hourglass shape.
Why it works: Oh my goodness–the back of this suit!? It might be the most flattering version yet. A low, scooped v in the front, with a jaw-dropping woven strap back. This may or may not be in my shopping cart as we speak…
Which suit is your favorite? Do you have any thoughts on shopping for a one-piece?
Image credit: Blog in Voga (Cass Bird for Porter Magazine)