(See widget below for links to the red & white striped suit and the floral suit; the black is no longer available but I linked similar ones!)
If you’ve got curves, then chances are that the only thing more painful than shopping for jeans, is shopping for swimsuits! Just the thought of a rack full of teeny tiny lycra in yellowy fitting room lighting is enough to induce tears. I get it, it ain’t fun!But for most moms, the summer involves swimming and we all need something we can feel great in. I’m sick of feeling apologetic that I’m not living up to some crazy, unrealistic body image when I walk out to a pool with my kids. I’m working hard to improve my diet and get my muscles back to where they should be after this last baby but let’s face it: this is what my body looks like at this point in life and I’m gonna stop stressing. I’m stretched out and squishy and paler than a vampire but who the heck cares?!There are a few things that I look for in a swimsuit to help support and flatter my curves; I wanted to share them with any other mom out there who just wants to swim with her kids without feeling like she has to wear a muumuu on top of it all. I’ve broken it down according to body type so you can take what you need, depending on what you’re looking to flatter.
Bust: There was a time in my life I thought it’d be nice to have a little extra on top…but now is not that time! Most days I’m trying to strategically minimize my bust and keep the “girls” strapped down. One option to look for is molded cups, like the floral suit I’m wearing here. It’s basically like wearing a bra so it’s great for support. The downside to these is that they often show off a bit too much for most women’s comfort level (if you look closely you can see that I added a strip of fabric to the top of my suit here because my cups literally overfloweth ;). They can also be hard to find big enough at most stores. This suit is from Old Navy and, as you can see, the large barely covers my assets, but the XL would’ve been too big in the bum. Look for suits that are sized like bras: 34C, etc to remedy that problem.Another option is to look for molded bandeaus like the black suit above. These are super flattering, have a decent amount of support and tend to be easier to fit big bosoms into. Just be sure to size up because some bandeau tops (especially two pieces) are sized very small!Lastly, try a suit that has some distraction up top, like the one-shoulder tie on the striped suit above. Now in the interest of full disclosure, the support on this suit is definitely sub-par. I have to tie that thing tight and I don’t expect to do any diving in it, but for a lounging suit, it’s super cute! I’ve included some other one-shoulder and ruffly versions above.
Waist: My two favorite tricks for belly camoflauge are ruching and patterns. Ruching is basically when the fabric is all gathered together, thereby hiding any imperfections (and who doesn’t have those??). The wilder the pattern on the fabric, the better for visually smoothing lumps and bumps! I’ve included quite a few waist-whittlers in the widget above as well as some super cute prints.
Bottom Half: There are significantly fewer options when it comes to flattering hips, thighs and bottom in a swimsuit, simply because there’s less fabric down there! I used to be so insecure about my thighs that I wore shorts all the time…but I was never comfortable in them and they were just a pain so I ditched them years ago. Nowadays I mostly just look for swimsuits that have good rear coverage, with a slightly higher leg cut. Now let me explain this one: I’m often tempted to get boy cut bottoms to try to get as much coverage as I can, but when your hips or thighs are the widest part of your body, the last thing you want is a horizontal line running right across that! Now that I know that a higher cut leg opening is actually more flattering for my short legs, I’ve stayed away from the boy short style ever since.Swimsuits don’t have to be terrifying! Find the best suit for your body and then forget about it. Let’s show our kids that having fun with them is more important than our insecurities!