No More Swim Dresses

My best chance to ever wear a bikini was when I was a kid. I had no body image issues, and I was pretty fit thanks to a merciless workout of climbing, running and jumping all day long, and little time to eat because there was so much to do and see!

And yet the one time in my life when I could have pulled off a bikini, I never did. That’s because I was a tomboy who loved to be rough and tumble, and thought bikinis were too girly. I wore simple solid color or patterned one-piece swimsuits instead.

As a teen, I desperately wanted to wear a bikini, but thought my belly was too big. Looking back now, I can laaaaaaaugh at how I thought I was so fat, because really? A size 10? It isn’t fat. I bought a cute two piece when I was a junior in high school, determined to shape up enough to go to the pool and flaunt my teal bikini. But it sat in my closet all year, because even though I fit it, my belly was still a little too poochy for me to feel comfortable.

I stuck to my reliable one-piece suit for my early 20’s also. (The one in the picture above.) And then after I became a mom, and added several more pounds and loose skin, I did what I thought I’d never do: I bought a swim dress. (The picture to the left is nearly identical to my swimdress.)

I have to admit, I looked fabulous in that swim dress – it’s a flattering cut that hides the hips and upper thighs. I could walk proudly on the beach without feeling the least bit self-conscious.

But there was only one problem: I looked good in it only while it was dry. Getting it wet negated the entire effect, and also left me with a heavy wet skirt clinging to my legs awkwardly. Swimming was also difficult, because more than once the skirt would float up, giving the appearance of some sadly deflated floaty around my waist.

I’ve lost some of the baby weight that has so badly affected my self-esteem (wondering how my Hot by BlogHer mission is going? I’ll have an update soon!), and I’ve decided that swim dress will be finding a new home at Goodwill. I don’t want it anymore. I have the confidence to go without the bulky skirt, and my new healthy habits will ensure that my one-piece looks better and better on me as the summer progresses.

Will I ever wear that bikini? Probably not. I don’t even think I want to wear a skimpy bathing suit anymore. But a tankini? That’s a possibility, maybe even this year. Because while I’m not as interested in showing off at the pool anymore, I still want to be comfortable and look good.

My future? Possibly.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by BOCA to promote their new Balanced Living group. (Don’t we all need a little more balance in our lives?) You can participate by writing a post about your swimsuit before midnight tonight.

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  1. I have several bikinis, one full-piece, one monokini, and a few tankinis. I honestly prefer the bikinis, xD, but that’s because it tans better. But, the monokini is running a dangerously close second. It’s the one that looks like a full piece in the front and a bikini in the back 🙂 Add a pair of board shorts, and I’m comfortable in my skin and free to enter the water.

  2. I have yet to find a tankini that actually stays down where it’s supposed to. It seems to ride up JUST as you get out of the pool, and the stretchy skin from carrying babies seems to leak out of the space between the top and the bottom. Very attractive.

    I have a bathing suit that is mildly ok. It’s a regular bikin type bottom and then a top that has a bit of a flare but enough length to cover my stomach.

    Now I just need something to cover my thighs and we’ll be all set.

  3. Tankinis are great! Very flattering. I’ve been wearing them since I gained that freshmen 15 (and then sophomore 10 and Junior 10 haha).

  4. Good for you! I fear that my body will never be close to normal ever again after carrying twins. The rest of me isn’t bad, but my belly is another story. Not sure if I will ever find a swimsuit that’s flattering enough for me.

  5. courtneyryan369 says:

    GO YOU!

    Love my tankinis. I have a halter one, a tube top one and one with little spaghetti straps…If you want to bare a little more? hike the top up!

    Not that I do, but you can.

  6. Oooh I like that Tankini. So perfect for me. At least it can hide my stretchmarks and c-section scar. lol. 🙂 At least I can swim comfortably but I am still looking forward to swim in my own skin without worrying about my body image.

  7. Since that tankini is incredibly cute, I think your future looks awesome.

  8. That tankini looks great! I found a perfect bikini last summer, but only got to wear it once before getting pregnant. I wonder if I’ll ever get to wear it again . . . one can dream.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Tankini is great! I am currently wearing the same one now that I am 6mos pregnant as I did before I was pregnant (and I’m not little 6 months). They work great, I do suggest the little boy-like short bottoms, they are really cute and hide a little of that unwanted upper hip/thigh flab!


  10. That is the cutest suit! LOVE. You’re gonna be a hot little number wearing that to the pool!

  11. I had a swim dress last summer when I was very pregnant. And yes, what you are describing about it being good until wet – totally.

    I’m liking the one in your future. Very cute. This reminds that I should see if my swimsuits from the previous summer fit me before we head to the shore…

  12. MBKimmy says:

    I like the tankinis with a skirt bottom, but them it just looks like a dress anyway …

    I don’t think I will ever get out of a 1 ps and yes I wear all swim dresses! Go for it … you will look great in it!

  13. I’m not even brave enough to do a tankini right now, even though not long ago I was in string bikinis. I found a nice boy-short one-piece on delia’s – problem is, according to their teenybopper sizing, I’m a large, and I don’t know if my self-esteem can take it.