Wednesday, May 09, 2007

everyone's favorite shopping experience

I finally did it. I bought a new bathing suit. My last new suit was at least two years ago, not counting athletic suits for real swimming. Those can be as ugly as they want to be, since I am there to get a workout. I'm talking about the kind you wear to the beach (shudder) or a backyard pool party.

I had been putting off the new suit for a long time for a couple of reasons. Bathing suits are expensive, and I have a couple that are OK, even though they're a little bit big. Even though I spend a lot of time at my parents' pool, the people who see me there know what I look like and the suits I have are good enough for chatting with them while reading O, the Oprah Magazine and trying to get that tan that I know is bad for me.

I also really wasn't excited about the idea of a new suit if it wasn't going to be the "itsy bitsy teeny weeny" kind of suit that my irrational self imagined I would both be able to look good in when I got to my goal weight (ha!) and that I would have the confidence to wear (double ha!) . I have been to goal weight before, and I don't have a swimsuit model's body hiding under this flab. I still have cellulite and all the normal-woman body issues. And the two or three times that I was hundreds of miles from everyone I know and did wear a bikini, I felt so weird and self-conscious that I wrapped up in my towel when anyone came near me.

So, what prompted the sudden change of heart? I have a pool party coming up with people I know casually from work, and I left all my "sort of OK" suits at my parents' house, since that's where the pool is. The only suits I had here are the ugly athletic kind and the bikini that I can't wear even when I don't know the people lazing around on the towel next to me.

The first trip, last night, I confined myself to our woeful local shopping options. There were two or three suits I was willing to try, and I couldn't figure out why I looked so bad in the mirror at first. Turns out that the suit I was trying on was too big. I didn't find anything worth the $60-70 that, even on sale, I was going to have to spend, so I gave up.

Today I ventured a little further, though I was not quite up to going to the mall. I tried Kohl's and laughed in the face at their "5 items at a time" dressing room policy and took about 20 pieces (everything is sold as separates now) in with me. It was a bust. Actually, it was my bust -- it seemed determined to defy all of the suits I tried on, except one two-piece athletic-style suit that was too small. They didn't have the size I needed.

I decided to try Dick's Sporting Goods. They had some really cute tankini separates on sale. I like the separates because I usually need a larger size on bottom than on top. Today was no exception. I got a cute suit, size 10 on the top and 12 on the bottom, that fits fine, keeps everything decently covered, and is actually kind of fun. Each piece was only $14.95 on sale, which would have been an exciting savings if I hadn't found a pair of shorts and a t-shirt that I just had to have, bringing the grand total to $63, about what I had expected to spend.

Sorry, no pictures. I'm not that brave!


  1. Oh how I laughed at your blog today. I think every woman can identify! I especially identified with your comment about only wearing the bikini when hundreds of miles away from anyone you know. Wear your new suit with confidence and appreciate all your hard work!

  2. that's a great price for bathing suit separates - i seem to have good luck at target's markdowns from last season but its hard finding both the top AND bottom that match... i remember getting a new tankini last year and my boyfriend was like, "hey, take that back - you're not old enough for one of those!"... so i'm thinking, if he likes me in a bikini then so be it... :o)

  3. Good for you for finding a swimsuit! Yea for separates! You forgot to mention the Oh-so-flattering fluorescent lighting in the dressing rooms.

  4. The only suit I'll be shopping for is a teeny tiny one for my tall skinny daughter. I will probably go with my one peice and light weight shorts for this season. You could photo the suit itself, without modeling it...but that's not quite the same I suppose. Great that you found one, after your searching, and did not have to go home empty handed.

  5. I'm so impressed you went bathing suit shopping! I have a pool at my apartment complex and I'm just planning on wearing my athletic swimsuit at the pool this summer. Maybe I'll try Dick's too.

  6. I've got that pool party coming up tomorrow. I find Lands End ( has some great options for all body types, and if you look in their overstock section there are plenty of bargains. I have a good coverage tankini for tomorrow - the bikini is still in the drawer for another 15 pounds!

  7. I didn't realized that swimsuits were catagorized into athletic and non-athletic. How do you know which is which? I want to go shopping for a suit and I don't want to make a mistake. I'm such a fashion misfit.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07