Two Piece or Not Two Piece: The Bathing Suit Conundrum

Post inspired by Weirdgirl.

I didn't want to have to blog about this. Frankly, I didn't even want to have to think about this but with a trip to San Diego for the July 4th weekend and a My-Parents-Are-In-Russia-So -We-Can-Have-a-Pool- Party-with -A-Kegger-And-Do- Canonballs-with-Beers-in- Our-Hands-Because- My-Parents- Are-Out-of- Town! upon us I feel the need to express my concern: I have no idea what kind of bathing suit to wear.

I have not purchased a swimsuit since Archer was born. I have not purchased one since way before I was pregs and kinda rocked the same tie-dyed two piece for a couple years prior. I know, peace, right? Peace and hemp.

The last time I owned a one-piece I was six. It had polka-dots and a ruffle on the butt. I grew up in a bikini and like the photo you will see coming up on your right (sounds like we're on the Jungle Cruise) was quite comfortable wearing one, er, half of one. (Shut-up, it was the summer of exhibition and flat-chestedness and yes, feel free to make fun of/and or black mail me when I run for political office.)

Where I grew up bikinis were like breathing. It didn't even matter if you couldn't pull it off. I fondly remember Katie Nameshavebeenchangedenstien who clocked in at about 300 Lbs and still rocked the bikini without the slightest concern. She just threw on a pair of Roxy Board shorts and paddled out with the rest of us, not to mention she was a waaaaaay better surfer than us little things. Whateva.

I know it sounds ridiculous but when I think of a one-piece I think of this frightening cover-up that out-of towners seem to love*. I believe they sell them on old-folks-homes and Miami thrift shops. I also think of those hideous things with the built in skirts.

But lastly and perhaps more importantly, when I think of a one-piece I think of my Mom. For the record my Mom wears way cute one-pieces and she looks smoking hot for 50. The woman is a total GILF and I can only hope and pray I grow up to look like her. Hubba-hubba. BUT she is 50 and I am 25 and I'm not sure if I'm ready to retire the triangle top and join the the club. I'm just not sure.

This painful limbo winds like the path I hath traversed by my lonesome for over a year now. I weigh the pros against the cons and back again. I search the web almost daily for something cool and vintage and perhaps red or polka-dotted that might be hot enough for me to cross over from the beloved two-piece to one without aging 25 years.

I have discussed this matter with several people. One of whom recommended the in-betweeni. The "tankini." I have always been positively anti-tankini just as I have always vocalized my disdain for juicy-couture sweatsuits and swarovski crystals. I wish they would be outlawed worldwide but alas, first we need a new administration and then a few other million-trillion things and then we can talk fashion crimes. I am keeping a list though, fyi.

I tried on my old b-suit the other day and it was fine-ish. It fit, yeah but there was something not quite right. Oh yeah. I remember now. There's that whole stretched-out belly thing. Do I really want to flaunt that shit? I mean, if I happened upon me at the beach wouldn't I want me to put that away? Or would I be proud? Would I be like, "hell, yeah Mommy-bitch! Embrace your postpartum bod with pride!" Would I smile and secretly throw-up in my mouth? WHY DO I CARE SO MUCH!?

It's like this. Ditching the bikini, though seemingly trite and no-big-deal-ish feels like a really big deal to me. It means I'm done with that. In this case that is a very loaded word that goes beyond a tan tummy and tying bikini ties in creative ways-- a kris-kross here, a loopty-lou there. Sex appeal and style replaced by function and I hate function.

Ditching the bikini for the one-piece feels like going from young and sexy to old and utilitarian. It means I'm going from twenty-something to simply, "Mom". Isn't there a way for me to be both? Pretty please?

But how?

It's this goddamn circle I've been spinning in, blindfolded for months. Please, oh please, point me toward the pinata.

GGC

*Actually I'm kind of thinking the cover-up bikini-bod monstrosity might look really hot worn as a smock with some knit leggings and ballerina flats. Don't tell Lindsay. She'll for sure bite it.

39 comments:

Angel Baby | 5:17 PM

Well, a few years back I went to a water park with a girlfriend and we both noticed something: Why are all the sexiest girls in ONE pieces? We made a pact to never wear a bikini in public again... and have considered ourselves sexier ever since.

And since making that choice I have noticed that I am not tugging, readjusting, or otherwise messing with my suit.

There are a LOT of sexy one pieces out there. Believe me. One time a stranger asked me if I was wearing my lingerie...

Anonymous | 5:43 PM

Burberry has a new print in one piece suits. HOT mama! and it'd go great with you HOT sunglass's

jennster | 5:57 PM

i wear a bikini, but i bet people wish i didn't. lol

meredyth | 6:10 PM

Hi, I came across your blog a couple of months ago and really like it. You are a super awesome lady and a super awesome mom. You make me less nervous about having a kid and turning into a suburbanite. You are hilarious.

Anyway, needless to say, I don't have kids yet so I can't comiserate or give advice about that stuff. But, if there's something I know it's one peices. I grew up on a swimteam and have always worn them. I don't really feel comfortable in a bikini but I too don't like the granny suits.
Last summer I found a pretty, vintage-y suit online. It was cheap and cool. bluefly.com has some good stuff. I wore mine to the pool the other day while babysitting and I felt like the sexy mama I hope to one day be.

BlondeMom | 6:21 PM

I bought a solid blue tankini last summer. That's about as far down the matronly swimwear road I want to go for now. But I'm 36 and I've had two babies so I try to cut myself some slack. I say...fine a "modest" bikini..maybe with those cool boy-cut bottoms? GO FOR IT! Add a cute cover up and carry your boy around and no one will notice the belly flabbage.

BlondeMom | 6:22 PM

that's "find"

doh

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 6:25 PM

OOOOOooooh! Good call. I'm on the prowl. Thank you and thank you Meredyth for your kind words and knowing advice. I think I'll scope bluefly right now in fact!

Onetallmomma | 6:35 PM

I concur. There are some hot one piece suits. High on the thigh, low in the front and back, but still concealing the baby belly.

I loved the tankini because it was such a breeze to nurse in. Just a flip of the tank and baby is on!

Thank you so for yet another wonderful post.

Motherhood Uncensored | 6:52 PM

Yeah. Love the boy cut. Just watch that they don't cut off the thigh. Sausage legs = not so good.

I just wear a 2 piece (bikini). My mid section was pretty slender last year due to my elim diet - however now, not so much, but I've gotten over it. Way over it.

urban child bride | 8:04 PM

I'm not usually a Victoria's Secret person, but they have some very non-matronly one pieces.

Anonymous | 9:18 PM

Well this may be too late, seeing as how the keg party is this weekend, but Boden has FAB sexy, but vintage style swim suits. The site is
www.bodenusa.com

I have the cherry print one and I adore it.

Mom101 | 4:48 AM

For what it's worth, I had the "just in case" one piece that was never worn- until a couple years ago. We're talking bikinis until age 35. Now it's the only one that I will wear. UNTIL...(cue scary music) the built-in skirt embarrassment that I bought down on the beach last month. Yes, I have no pride where cellulite is concerned. I'd rather you roll your eyes at my bathing suit choice than run shrieking from the pool area looking at my ass.

Sigh. Aging sucks.

Oh, and with you all the way on Juicy.

PS Malia Mills (wrote them up on CMP early on) has fantastic suits.

Her Bad Mother | 6:30 AM

'Being done with THAT.'

Sigh.

So hear you.

My compromise recently was to wear bikini bottom with ratty-but-sorta-cool-T. A little bit puberty-ish, but at least I didn't feel too oldster...

reluctant housewife | 7:31 AM

As a fellow former bikini beach bum (I will forgive the Miami slight - shame, shame!) I completely understand your pain. But I've convinced myself that one piece suits can be sophisticated and sexy - just like bikinis can be cheesy and hot pink bandeau-top'ish. And don't get me started on tankinis and boy shorts! Unless you have 2% body fat they are not flattering! The higher the cut over the hip the longer and slimmer your thighs will look.

Here are some for inspiration. Don't have a heart attack when you see the price on the Pucci one - I don't have time to find a cheaper version.

http://www.bluefly.com/pages/products/detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=2028564061&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1199&N=1199&Nao=18&Ne=500000&Ns=Popularity%7c0%7c%7cProduct%2bCode%7c1&Nu=Product+ID

http://www.bluefly.com/pages/products/detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=2011083953&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1199&N=1199&Nao=36&Ne=500000&Ns=Popularity%7c0%7c%7cProduct%2bCode%7c1&Nu=Product+ID

http://www.bluefly.com/pages/products/detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=2024030823&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1199&N=1199&Nao=36&Ne=500000&Ns=Popularity%7c0%7c%7cProduct%2bCode%7c1&Nu=Product+ID

http://www2.victoriassecret.com/commerce/application/prodDisplay/?namespace=productDisplay&origin=onlineProductDisplay.jsp&event=display&prnbr=UU-192747&page=1&cgname=OSSWMOPSZZZ&rfnbr=158

gusmomma | 11:40 AM

ok growing up in huntington beach and living in so cal my whole life i understand the whole bathing suit dillema..now being a mom it different...i sooooooooooooooooo refuse the one peice and yes cause it totally reminds me of my mom and my adolescent days...so i sport the bikini and am f'ing proud, haha! i gained 100 lbs w/my babe and lost it all in 10 mths so my used to be hard as rocks pilates built abs are now sad, stretchy and old... BUT f it is my motto!!!! and so far its works, hehe...i have opted for boy shorts type bottoms though...it easier for me to chase the rugrat around in at the beach!

mothergoosemouse | 12:16 PM

Dude. I finally felt comfortable enough with my body to buy a bikini in early 2001. I wore it ONCE - in South Beach - when I was two weeks pregnant and didn't know it. I can't bear to toss it though.

I rock the one piece now. I'd rather be comfortable. I already think people are revolted by my pasty whiteness (when actually they probably aren't even looking).

Emery Jo | 12:24 PM

You'll LOVE this one for sure:
Swimsuit

mwah ha ha !

Keri | 5:03 PM

Why is everyone so worried about what others think? To hell with that! Wear what you want and what you feel comfy in, whether it be a one piece or two piece. Confidence equals sexy! I'm a two piece person all the way! ;)

Amanda | 6:49 PM

After my first kid at 17 stretched my tummy to all hell (oh yea, thats a pretty sight) I still wore a bikini for a couple of years (now I'm oh so old and mature at 24, I've retired them and gone to tankini's or one pieces). Nobody looked twice at my tummy (which probably wasn't at all as bad as I thought) and I felt damn good in my bikini with all the other hot young things.

If you like 'em, wear 'em I say!

adria | 9:39 PM

I can totally relate. I have not purchased a suit in years, and we are going to California in August.
In my search so far, I have discovered Land's End has nice suits, and you can still have a tasteful and hip bikini.

the mad momma | 5:51 AM

I wore my first bikini 10 months after I had my son. I had not lost the weight I gained and I have stretchmarks so deep you can see them through the t-shirt... for the record I had an awesome body before I had my son... but you know what...somehow the whole pregnancy and childbirth process has left me alot more comfortable and now I am a lot more easy with an extra 5 inches on my thighs and stomach....
if you wanna wear a bikini... well I say.. go girl!

sunshine scribe | 6:08 AM

I am so feeling you on this. But I hate one pieces. Feel uncomfortable in them and because I am long they never fit right. So I have gone the dreaded tankini route. But I have found some cool ones that aren't too much of a juicy-sweatsuit-esque disaster. Okay maybe they are but whatever, people are looking at my kid in his suit now and not me anyway :)

the weirdgirl | 11:18 AM

I so hear you. I'm totally going to check out some of the links people were kind enough to share above because I'm just a little scared to try on my bikinis. The one piece I have now looks more like I'm on the swim team. The only sexy part is a zipper in the front that my husband likes to play with (yes, he is twelve). I'd really love (I know I'm dreaming) to find a pair of bikini bottoms / board shorts that are cut like those old 50s shorts - where they're high in the waist and short in the thigh - then I could still wear a bikini top, still feel sexy, and STILL cover up the problem area (my belly button is hideous)!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 11:26 AM

Yes. I'm actually really digging the malia mills site mainly because the suits look wearable.

Thanks for the reminder, Liz. I'm also really digging some of bluefly shizit. I am currently rocking the mismatched two-piece because I have not yet been able to get to shopping. I'm going to not care so much today. Sigh...

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 11:38 AM

HARK! Look what I found?

http://www.retrodress.com/otherstuffsix.html

HAAAAAAAALLLLLELLLLLUUUUIIIAAAAH!

Perfection.

Angel Baby | 12:42 PM

Which one are you gonna get??!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) | 2:11 PM

So i interesting to read evryones opinions on the matter.

I sometimes wear a bikini. I have one that actuallly covers my stretch marks - but my husband doesn't like it so when we were in Hawaii he made me get a skimpy one. I had my son over four years ago, so my marks have faded quite a bit and he says you can't noice. Whatever. I just keep my little sarong wrap tied around and only take it off for swimming and tanning. Otherwise i wear board shorts with it. I have always been a board shorts girl even when I had that awesome tummy of youth cause I hate the back of my thighs.

Occasionally I will wear a one piece. But I haven't found one yet that I love.

Hope you had a blast this weekend. And regardless of how your stomach looks - you are one funny chick - and isn't that what really matters??

BTW - I am new here - clicked on your comment at Suburban Turmoil.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:57 PM

Thank you and welcome!

A la exactly-what-i-was-looking for b-suit, I'm trying to decide between the red polka dots and the cherries. Decisions!

Suburban Turmoil | 7:50 AM

My stomach is still not where I want it to be, so my bikinis are staying in the drawer for now. I've turned to the dark one-pieces with very daring, plunging necklines. They're so sexy you forget that it's a fuddy duddy one piece. Plus it draws attention away from the tummy and to the cleavage. Woo hoo!

Hippie Mama | 9:34 AM

Haha cool title, great minds think alike:

http://stoptheblock.blogspot.com/2006/06/two-piece-or-not-two-piece.html

Summer | 10:23 AM

Ooh girl....great controversy about the swimsuit thing. I have had two babies and still refuse to wear anything but a bikini. I realize my ass is fatter than it used to be, that my boobs are saggy due to the constant feeding frenzy and also that my once very tight and muscled belly is now loose and jiggly. OH FUCKING WELL. I rock the sexy lil kinis cause I want to. I don't feel bad about it...my motto is if you don't like it, don't look.
I'm sure you'll look hot in whatever you choose. Confidence makes it sexy, not the style.

Christina | 10:28 AM

Yeah, I haven't worn a bikini since I was in elementary school. I've always had a bit of a belly that made me too self-conscious to wear one.

Now I have a lot of belly and some cellulite legs to go with it, so it's the dreaded swimdress for me. Although I found a gorgeous one the other day - it's black with white polka dots and looks vintage 1950's. I actually look good in it!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 11:03 AM

See!? The vintage suits are hot!!!! Love those suckers. See above link... so cute!

jess | 6:11 AM

has it crossed anyone's mind that wearing vintage 1950's style suits like your moms and grandmas used to actually wear really doesn't avoid the whole "i don't want to turn into my mother overnight" thing?

i mean the suits are really cool, i'm just saying...

seriously, ggc, i think a bikini suits you best. the first time post-baby that you wear one is weird, and then it is no big deal.

J's Mommy | 7:35 AM

I settled for a tankini this summer. Hubby kept yelling at me for wearing a one piece but I felt the most comfortable in that. My post-baby belly is way more than stretched out and you will NEVER see me in a bikini again, except maybe after some lipo. So tankini it is, even if I hate it.

Petite Mom Blogger | 8:13 AM

I would be very uncomfortable in a one piece. I have NEVER worn one. I'm all for bikinis. I have one from VS & one from Old navy.

I'm sure you will look amazing in whatever you choose!

Here is a link to me from vacation in May.
http://www.contestformoms.com/uploaded_images/megreybeach1-767479.jpg

Anonymous | 1:03 PM

reading all these comments i am actually feeling better. Last year
I bought a "younger looking" skirt and tank combo suit at Dilliards. I really don't care for it. I was online looking for other options and stumbled onto this blog. I am thinking about getting a one peice with the back cut out, you know those? the back looks like a 2peice and the front has tummy coverage. I am 25 and live on daytona beach. There is no way i will sport my flabalicious strecthmarked skin on the beach like it aint no thang- but I definately admire those who do.
Check out one from Newport News:

http://www.newport-news.com/shop/product_ensemble.aspx?ifn=6S0899G&effort=9I&style_id=25452048&index=55&gp_coll_id=2012&gp_cat_id=7505&nav_cat_id=7507&category_id=4835

its the red and white halter- I'm thinkin its cute. kinda weird- but it just might work
:)

Anonymous | 7:18 PM

Ok so I'm 18. I havent had a kid yet (and dont plan on it for awhile) but i thought I would help all you ladies out in your search for a vintage one peice bathing suit. Go to this web site, www.pinupgirlclothing.com

they have two styles of one pieces.
One is a "bettie paige" style. Red with white polka dots or black with white polka dots. Its a swim dress but not like something a grandmother would wear.
The second one is my favorite. Its a Marylin Monroe style in red or black. The fabric is gathered and scrunched to hold a flabby stomach tight and to hide any other imperfections. Its padded and cupped in the bust area to lift cleavage and hole everything in place.
These suits are adorable so y'all should check them out!

www.pinupgirlclothing.com

enjoy! :o]

High Waist Bikini | 3:48 AM

At the end of the day what matters is how you feel in your bathing suit. If you're comfortable with a bikini then it's all good. High waist bikinis are one answer if you want to conceal some imperfections around the belly area. And judging from the comments already posted you're not the only one with this predicament.