So this is the deal. I have spent much of the last 8 years NOT wearing a bathing suit. I have been the drink fetcher, the sunscreen applier, the snack maker, the popsicle dispenser, but I have rarely, rarely, been the swimmer.
And this hit me full force when, towards the end of last summer, when I was taking a rare dip in the pool with the girls, Eva said: “Mommy, I didn’t know you could swim!”
Sigh. And all because of a little thing called the bikini. Also, laziness, not wanting to get my hair wet, and a water temperature that is never quite right, but mostly, it was the bikini. I mean, why would I want to subject myself to the public scrutiny and humiliation that could come with putting on a bathing suit. So I collected coverups and sunhats and stayed safely out of sight.
Until one day, a few months ago, when I realized that I am not getting any younger. I mean, I know this may not exactly come as a revelation to some, but it came as quite a shock to me.
I am not getting any younger. Right now, I am the youngest I will ever be. And, barring an exercise routine (what??) or surgery, this is as good as I am going to look in a bathing suit. So I decided to embrace it. And to take stock of the suits that work, and the suits that don’t, for moms.
Because, I don’t know about you, but I have bought a few duds over the years. Suits that worked on celebs, or supermodels, but never quite made the transition to the poolside scene at Casa BeautyMommy. Here, a few pointers that will help you avoid the duds and find a suit you will love this summer:
1. Ban the Bandeau: A strong horizontal neckline, like that of a bandeau suit, is fabulous for drawing the eye upwards and balancing out the hips, but avoid bandeaus unless they have a strap. Most moms need one. Trust me. Without the strap, they make a bigger chest appear saggy. And if you have a small bust, a bandeau will only flatten it out.
2. Boyshorts Are For Boys: Okay, not exactly true, but they are far less flattering than people think. If you have a long torso and long legs, then go for it, but they don’t work for short-waisted or short-legged women.
3. Seek Support: Once you’ve had kids, and you’re past a certain age, your bust is going to start demanding a little extra support. Halter styles, underwire tops and built in bras can give you the lift you need.
4. Retro the Right Way: At a recent summer style workshop, there was a universal groan at the sight of the high-waisted vintage style bathing suits that are so popular this season, and there is reason to fear. But if you are long and lean, with a long torso, these can be a glamorous way to break up that long line, and if you have a long torso and wider hips, a high waisted bathing suit bottom can be a great minimizer.
5. A Smaller Bottom Equals a Smaller Bottom: If you want your bottom to look larger, cover it with more fabric. Within reason, slightly smaller bikini bottoms are usually more flattering, and create the illusion of a smaller bum.
And finally, reveal only what you want to reveal. Find your favorite body part and choose a suit that plays that up. BeautyMommy Bathing Suit Week is here to help. My goal – to get everyone suited in style by the end of May. Ready? To start, to prove that one pieces can be fashionable, not frumpy, here are a few of the most glamorous maillots of the season.
1. H&M printed maillot, about $34
2. We Are Handsome “The Landing” one piece, $369
3. Suboo floral print bustier suit, $198
4. Ted Baker “Laydea” fluorescent Florentine swimsuit, $175
5. Oye “Sandy” one piece/leotard, $295