Gone Style: Swimsuit Yourself

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uh, oh...

Last week I did an insane thing: I bought a bikini for the first time since High School. To be clear, I've never had an amazing body. I've always been insecure about the way I look in a bathingsuit, even as a teenager, especially as a teenager, actually. Size H breasts will do that to a person. So will being a size 8 in less-than-size-zeroland.

Since Archer was born I've worn a one-piece. A lovely retro polka-dotted one-piece but four years is a long time to rock the same bathingsuit, so I decided, last week, to treat myself to a new one.

I dared myself to try on a bikini. A triangle-top at that. Risky business considering I still have some pretty visible breast-reduction scars in the cleavage-area and along the sides.

After spending a ridiculous amount of time scrutinizing myself in front of the mirror I bought the bathing suit, with the intent to try it on at home, away from Target's mirrors-of-deceit, to see if I could pull it off.

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ED: both top and bottoms (Zac Posen for Target) purchased in size *large.

*I'm typically a size 8/M/34C, 5'8 tall.*

top = $18
bottoms = $18

I told myself I could remove the tags so long as I promptly re-joined the gym. Something I have been meaning to do for the last nineteen-months. Something I finally did last week. Bikinis are motivational like that. So are posting photographs of oneself half-nakes on ye olde blog. (Important, me thinks to be real about these things.)

I get loads of emails requesting bathingsuit recommendations for real women with real bods, specifically those of us rocking some postpartum soft spots. I've written about swimsuits before, years ago, so thought an update was necessary.

Here are a few I recommend, both of the two-piece varieties and one, based on cuteness, flattery and cuteness.

Bikinis:

1. I'm OBSESSED with this suit. So Betty Draper:

Buy @ Retrodress = $65.00

Gotta love a sexy two-piece love covers up the belly in a non-granny retro-sexy way. Well played.

2. String bikinis are FAR more flattering than most bikini bottoms because we can make adjustments to the sides as not to flaunt our (ahem) roll-over minutes. Exhibit this:

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(*This is why I always buy bottoms on the larger side - more material to work with. Nothing worse than a too-small swimsuit. Especially when strings are involved)

I love the print of the one I purchased (above/here) but I also love the mix-and-match. Victoria's Secret has some nice options if you're not easily distracted by otherworldly bodies. It's hard for me to envision myself in any of the suits when staring at bodies like this and this. And this:

Alas, its a cute pairing. Love the rainbow top and pink bottoms. And yes, you'll need a Brazillian for this one. And a size small vagina. After two kids, I'm afraid all the working out in the world won't affect my larg...ina. Sorry. That was kind of gross.


top = $15.50
bottoms = $14.50

3. I can't tell if I'm in love with this suit or the girl who's wearing it. The bottoms are also extremely flattering to those of us with childbearing hips. A little on the spendy side, however:


top = $98
bottoms = $98

4. Ditto on this hot little number, if you're (once again) looking to splurge:

Buy @ Anthropologie:

top = $78
bottoms = $78

5. And this, which would look especially hot on those with darker skin. I could never pull this off because I don't tan and the color would fetch every thigh dimple to come and play unsolicted:


top = $98
bottoms = $98

One-pieces:

6, 7, 8. Esther Williams suits are SOLID. They also run a pinch small. Here are a few of my favorites:

buy @ Retrodress: $65

buy @ Retrodress = $65

Buy @ Retrodress = $65

9. Hi. This might be cutest bathing suit of all time. That is all:

And yes, it is ALSO from Anthropologie. No one can compete with their selection of bathingsuits and yes, I know they're pricey. (Anthropologie should sponsor this blog for the amount of times I link to them. So should Target. Hint, nudge.)


10. I love this so, so much. It doesn't suit me (I don't think) but I wish it did. The belted style is so flattering and stripes are always sexy:

Buy @ Anthropologie: $128

11. I chose this for you skinny minnies with flaunt-worthy hips. My friend, Jasmine, for instance could easily pull this suit off, even after two kids. (Me? Hahahaha, no.)

buy @ American Apparel: $45

12. This is actually a two-piece. So flattering and so sexy. Ideal for those stacked with major cleav. The color is perfection:

buy @ target: $45

13. I call this? The perfect all-ages all-bodies suit. It's out of stock until next month when I plan to snatch one up for myself. A bikini's rad and all, but a one-piece is kind of mandatory for building sandcastles with the kids at the beach. Which I plan to do often this summer.

buy @ Anthropologie: $148

What about you? What will you be wearing this summer? Where do you typically purchase your swimwear? Any recommendations for lovely friends and strangers? Lend me your links, summer-lovers.

GGC

109 comments:

Maria Melee | 9:28 PM

You look lovely, lady. I need to check out that new line at Target!

emily bilbrey | 9:41 PM

lady. LADY. you look freaking ROCKING in that bikini! your tattoos just add to the whole sassy, cute, and SLIM picture - you are one hot mama!

it's funny to me when you talk about your body insecurities - when i was pregnant i remember looking through photos of your pregnancy with fable and being SUPER jealous! i've always looked at you and seen a skinny, stylish, haught lady; never would know you aren't aware that you look like a model for "hot california mom."

pregnancy and breastfeeding changed my body more than most people would suspect upon looking at me (clothed). i weigh less than i did pre-baby, but my boobs are bigger, my hips are higher, and i have some of the gnarliest stretch marks on my tummy - you'd think i carried twins! i wore a bikini last summer around my family only, and was sooo insecure the entire time. this summer i'm hoping to get over it - put on a brave face and wear my momma bod proudly!

these suit suggestions are great - can't wait to check some of them out! thanks for including super affordable options as well. (:

you are just so awesome, plain and simple. love this post, love you!

cheers!

kelli(q) | 9:43 PM

I laughed out loud at "larg....ina." Then I had to explain to my husband what I was laughing about, and that was just an awesome conversation.

Also, how do you look so fucking awesome? I actually want to know the answer here - do you do any specific workouts for that fantabulous stomach area?

p.s. you are my favorite ever, I want you to live with me

agirlandaboy | 9:43 PM

You look smokin' (as per usual).

I finally bought myself a new bikini at Target last year, and because I was postpartum and needed some extra wake-me-up oomph, I bought it in RED. Like, REDREDRED. Amazing how we can sometimes trick ourselves into feeling like the sexy girl if we simply dress like we imagine sexy girls dress.

Now that I've got a toddler to wrangle, however, it's time to delve into the world of one-piece suits for the first time since my parents said I was too young for a bikini. Thanks for all the great links to one-piecers that aren't as lame as one-piecers always tend to look in my imagination.

margot | 9:48 PM

Oh man, I'm in love with those Retro Dress suits and am so so hopeful they will work for my 34DDs, but I had a really hard time navigating their site. Does anyone have any experience with them? Will they sell separate sizes in tops and bottoms?

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:53 PM

Hey, Margot!

Just go here:

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

click "add to cart" and when you order (check out) specify sizes :)

Also, they will totally fit your 34DDs. I wore the suit comfortably with a 34D - plenty of room for larger top. They are MADE for girls with boobs. :)

You can also contact here: http://www.retrodress.com/contactus.html

They seem like a small business who will happily chat with you over the phone :)

Tootsie Farklepants | 9:55 PM

Are you freaking kidding me?!?! You're HOTTT!!!

p.s. my word verification is "uringeli" ...loosely translated "will you marry me?"

Desiree Fawn | 9:57 PM

LOOOOOVE this & damn you look good :D

I've still got a waterbed belly 16 months after my kid was born. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to be patient!!

jenifer | 9:58 PM

thank you thank you- its that time and i am dreading the bathing suits!!! and to be fair to yourself... you look amazing!!!!

pamela | 9:59 PM

you look great!! i think i'm too hard on myself in this department sometimes. i think we notice every little bump or curve or softspot...whatever. but most people think, wow she's a pretty, young, attractive woman! i honestly wish we were neighbors! we could have lemonade, play with the kids, drool over the newest anthro catalogue! so fun.

don't hide that body! flaunt it : )

Anonymous | 10:22 PM

Thanks for posting this, I love your style & you look amazing in a bikini! If you get a chance, can you post the maker of your black studded ballet flats? I've searched your site & couldn't find any mention of them, so sorry if you already posted that info!

Eli

brittany cox | 10:33 PM

WOW! can i just say you're my inspiration to show off what i got? i love how brave you are -- and you look AMAZING. also nice to hear there's another size 8 out there, and it's refreshing to hear you admit it! daring myself to go try on a bikini now...

andygirl | 10:40 PM

first of all, you are adorable!

lord, I am in swimsuit hell. I want a one piece SO badly, but it is impossible to fine one that fits. I am a 34A cup with a middle to large butt. one pieces are impossible. So I guess I'll be wearing a bikini again this summer, but I just can't bring myself to buy a new one. bleh.

Sabine | 11:52 PM

Um... but you are soo slim and slender! You look fabulous! Gorgeous! After breastfeeding my boobs are the only thing size zero on my body... Oh my musn´t crumble because we are all beautiful ladies as we are. There.

Mammy P | 1:50 AM

GAH! Don't get too skinny, mama!

(Incidentally, that whole thing sewn together into a weird trapezoidey-shaped string debacle wouldn't even cover my left arse cheek.)

You rock that bikini.

Fairly Odd Mother | 4:00 AM

Good god woman, if I looked that good in a bikini, I'd wear it to the supermarket singing, "I've had more than one kiiiii---iiid".

I'm not heavy by any means, but just don't have the bikini body. If I didn't gain weight only in my midriff, I'd consider it, but that's where it all goes and it ain't flattering. But, I bought a one-piece last year and ohmygod, when I had to pee? It was like trying to strip out of a rubber suit while on fire. So, it may be back to the totally mommyfied tankini (I notice that you did not link to any tankini which confirms my dread that they are totally THE UNCOOL). (I love those high waisted bikini's, but I'm high waisted already, so I look like Urkel in anything like that.)

If you do find cool tankinis (if there is such a thing) and link to them, I will weep in gratitude. I'll do a one-piece if I have to, but I don't think my bladder will agree.

Loonstruck | 4:01 AM

I have big old shoulders and itty bitty breasts so I can't wear a bikini top. I mostly buy for function instead of cute. I need to be able to go from swimming laps to kayaking with my mom to throwing my kid around in the water without feeling like I have to adjust all the time. (read: big bottom and a bit of a gut!) And since I wear them so hard, I go through bathing suits fairly quickly. I mostly shop here: http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/8057.htm

88highburycorner | 4:25 AM

Rebecca you are hawt and courageous to post pictures of yourself in a bikini if you are at all self-conscious (although you shouldn't be with your gorgeous bod). I just wanted to add that I've found in the past (hopefully still true) that JCrew's bikinis are cut a little more generously for more backside coverage for us fuller bottomed girls and you can mix sizes and styles. http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBrowse/Women_Shop_By_Category/swim.jsp

holly | 4:44 AM

Okay, I hate you! No seriously, you look amazing. I've been on the hunt to find a decent bikini for months now. I don't know if it's an Australia thing but they don't put underwire in swimsuits unless your a D cup which I'm not but after having two kids and breastfeeding I need a lift. I'm close to my pre pregnancy weight but my hips and gut are not what they used to be, so those fuller bikini bottoms make me look like I'm wearing a diaper. sigh.

Ernie Bufflo | 4:54 AM

Cute suit! I live in a beach town, spend every weekend I can sitting on the sand. As a result, I've developed a bikini habit, for real. My husband delights in asking our female friends, "so, how many bathing suits do you own?" When they reply with a respectable number like 3 or 4, he says, "Well, SHE has THIRTEEN!" pointing at me. So yeah. I have 13 bikinis. Most are from J.Crew, because almost all their suits are sold with tops and bottoms separate, and a few are from Victoria's Secret. I can't wear one pieces because I have an extra vertebra and thus an extra long torso!

Boston Mamas | 5:32 AM

You're rocking it my dear! And I applaud you for rocking the string ties.

I need a little more coverage and secure clasps and was super surprised to find some cuteness at Lands' End. You can check out the two suits I picked up + some notes here if you like.

xoxo Christine

lesloo | 5:53 AM

I just ordered this one from Lands End -- I like that they have a proper size chart, I would've ordered totally wrong if I'd based it on my dress size. And everything is returnable:

http://www.landsend.com/pp/AlloverControlSlenderHalterTankSwimsuit-80081_204157_593.html?CM_MERCH=REC-_-FPPP-_-GGT-_-1-_-386639-_-390275

The Jantzen Vamp Maillot is also totally cute in a vintagey way!! My friend just ordered it yesterday, so I'll soon get to see it in person.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=15781&Click=310393

Beth | 6:11 AM

You look amazing. Really. Rock that bikini and be proud!

I LOVE the first suit you posted. I am a gym nut and in decent shape, but no amount of hours on the AMT or crunches or weights will get rid of my 7-years-ago twin skin tummy (small frame + two over-6-lbs babies = tummy never the same again). That is the first non-tankini I think I could wear without horrifying the masses with the state of my belleh. Though I'd probably chicken out and just wear it in my backyard.

I haven't gotten a suit yet this year (or for many years, to be honest), but I've been eying Hapari swimsuits. They look like something I could wear and look semi-cute in while wrangling my three boys at the same time. They have all kinds of options to help camouflage those of us with post-baby body issues.

Anonymous | 6:16 AM

Oh god. You look better than, like, 99% of the general population. 99% don't think you're "insane" for buying a bikini, or that you need to make stipulations like "must go to the gym" before you take the tags off.

And you know it.

laboriousliving | 6:21 AM

Rock out! I wish I had your bravery. At 178cm and 62 kilos I feel like a wale in the land of the tallest, thinnest, most beautiful women on the freaking planet. I don't even wear shorts anymore...

Krysta | 6:23 AM

No joke, you are awesome. These bathing suit pics are great, and you are dumb hot in that bikini!

Be. | 6:29 AM

you are rocking the bikini! You look great....promise.

Mary | 6:44 AM

I have this awesome swimsuit from Amazon. It's called the It Figures Women's I.F.® Retro Romper Swimsuit.

http://www.amazon.com/Figures-Womens-Romper-Swimsuit-Indigo/dp/B003552FSC/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I14P024BGL5UT&colid=3PX12QDYQZ39T

I've had 2 kiddos and this covers all the stretch marks and the belly. :) I love it.

seph | 6:46 AM

you look gorgeous x 1 million. seriously. i've had two kids, and my tummy looks NOTHING like that. the stretch marks have doomed me from any bikini ever. oh, and my belly is not nearly that flat. :)

i do have a suit link though. it looks sorta like one you posted from target, but it's strapless. when i bought it, it came with a little tiny strap you could attach for a halter look, which i'll probably do unless i'm sunbathing. it may only work for girls, like me, with smallish breasts, but it has the retro-ish cut and ruching that i've been wanting since i saw your post about the suit you've been wearing for 4 years.

here's the greatest part about this suit: while it is still $35 online (which is TOTALLY fab for a cute bathing suit), i got it at my store for $8. Yep. $8 for the most flattering suit i've worn since i was 15.

i win! :)

http://www.target.com/Merona-Bandeau-Shirred-Swimsuit-Blue/dp/B002L2026M/ref=sc_qi_detaillink

Alisonian | 7:19 AM

Are you fucking kidding me, Becs?! I literally do not see a difference between your body and any of those models. Your tum is flat and cute and doesn't appear to have ever had children in it. I never had any babies but I'm a size 20/22 and wear a 40K bra, sooooo yeah, bathing suit shopping is just terrible. I don't even hate my body or anything (maybe I should?) but goddamn, I would totally trade for yours and never look back. You're amazing!

Karen Chatters | 7:20 AM

You are SOOO bold to put a picture of yourself in a bikini on your blog. Then, you're smoking hot and look totally fab.

My big problem is finding a suit that fits over my F size boobs. Nothing looks right or fits well. Lands End is pretty good for larger busted women but I just don't really like their styles. It's kind of lose lose.

Sarah | 7:45 AM

After you posted about your Esther Williams one piece, I ordered one for myself. I am no where near as svelt and lovely as you, but I have to say, they look FABULOUS on all body types.

At a 16W, I have to say that I don't really look good in a swimsuit, but in that swimsuit, I look as good as it's possible for me to look. Thanks!

marymuses | 7:48 AM

You look amazing! I love all the suits you posted, and especially dig mix-n-match. I'm currently on the hunt for a pair of cute black swim bottoms that don't look like an expansive island of black on my ass. I think you're proving here that string bottoms are the way to go.

The top I chose is from Boden, this one in pink/red: http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Swimwear/Bikinis-Tankinis/WB009/Womens-Knot-Front-Bikini-Top.html?NavGroupID=17

The bright color draws the eyes upward--far, far away from my cottage cheese thighs.

Tanna | 7:50 AM

I have found several great tankinis through Layers Clothing. Great for the flexablity of a two piece but the coverage of a one piece for that post baby bod.

Sara | 8:08 AM

Gurrrrrrrl. Rawr.

www.LimeRicki.com

Figure flattering suits that err on the side of modesty.

Lyndsay Holder | 8:18 AM

You look fabulous. Truly, truly! I think, as women, we are our worst critics and have such distorted images of ourselves. GGC, you look beautiful.

connieemeraldeyes | 8:39 AM

I found a cute suit http://www.overstock.com/Clothing-Shoes/Poko-Pano-Womens-Runway-One-piece-Swimwear/4257436/product.html?rcmndsrc=2 The back looks like a bikini, but it is a one piece. You look great in your new suit. #5 bottoms looks like bit underwear. I like #3, but your are right, too expensive.

Lindsay | 8:52 AM

Literally ten minutes after I read this post, the bathing suit I ordered from Mod Cloth was delivered to my door. Talk about serendipity! I just tried it on, and I cannot recommend it enough!
Here's the link: http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Womens/Swimwear/Bathing+Beauty+One+Piece+in+Black

It's a retro-style black one-piece, and it is so amazing. I have never in my life felt sexy in a bathing suit, as I'm pretty much a rectangle body with no boobs or butt. But this suit makes me look forward to being able to hit the beach.
The comments on Mod Cloth recommended you order a size up, and its true. I'm usually a size 8-10, and I ordered a 12. It fits wonderfully (aside from being too big in the chest area; but as a life-long A-cup, I've learned to deal with that!)
I would highly recommend it!
P.S. Rebecca, you look amazing - rock that bikini this summer!

Amanda | 8:58 AM

I love that we have very similar measurements so I can trust what you recommend is figure flattering! The skin situation, not so much. You have such lovely skin, and I'm afraid I've been banned to one piece land for life (a 9lb. 5oz baby on a previous 110lb frame left A LOT of stretching). le'sigh.

However, I swear by the retro one piece, and I'll gladly kiss the feet of the geniuses who brought that kind of sexy back.

This one from Modcloth is a favorite-
http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Womens/Swimwear/Beach+Blanket+Bingo+One+Piece+in+Black

The blue velvet version is gorgeous as well.

I think you covered all the really good ones though!

an other mother | 9:31 AM

Nice!!! I bought the black/red dot Esther Williams retro one piece last week and am SO happy to see that someone else finds it noteworthy! The swimsuit has always been an insecure buy for me. Can't wait to get it in the mail. Am nervous now, though, that you mention it runs small. I followed the Esther Williams size chart and hope that it stays true to that. Perfect with a large brimmed straw hat, red plastic framed sunglasses and candy-apple red toenails!

Estelle | 9:35 AM

'largina' are you effing kidding me? That's hilarious. Sort of. You are so brave and honest. I love it. I've been avoiding the whole bathing suit issue since giving birth two years ago. Just as I avoid most mirrors. I may have to make a Target run, now. You inspire.

mommymae | 9:49 AM

larg...ina! ha.

after three pregnancies, the nicest one was the first with twins, in terms of damage done to my pre-baby body (which i don't loathe, i just have to work hella hard to get back in shape) i have deemed myself a one-piece wearer of swimsuits. the last time i really wore a bikini was on my honeymoon.

i actually don't mind, though, since i hate HATE tan line & love to wear strapless & spaghetti strap dresses & tops.

that said, i wear strapless one-piece suits. the gap has them, so does j. crew. i have only bought them at the gap, but they don't have it this year! gasp! now i'll have to find one somewhere else.

p.s. you & your larg...ina look totally fabulous

Tracie | 9:54 AM

I think you look amazing. I feel incredibly naked in a tankini, so I can't imagine having the b*lls to don a bikini! I always look at the brave souls wearing bikinis on the beach, people who should NOT be wearing them. They flaunt their bodies, so why not flaunt yours!

klin | 9:55 AM

You are rockin' it!

ps When I was pregnant I called my nether-regions "vagiant". :-)

Erin | 10:16 AM

Post-baby I've been wearing a Jantzen Vamp in black. Love. It.

Btw, your bod is awesome.

Anonymous | 10:43 AM

I have four children, including twins, and there's no amount of exercise I can do to return my tummy to pre-twin condition. Surgery is the only solution.

However, I've found a bathing suit I love. One that holds the belly in and has a lovely little shelf for the deflated breasts that fed four babies. It's a Miraclesuit -- "Girlfriend's Escape" in black. Got mine at Nordstrom.

Prepare for sticker shock: $138. But it really is THAT good.

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2983786?refsid=275550&refcat=0%7e2376776%7e2374325%7e2377619&SourceID=1&SlotID=1&origin=related&cm_Sp=Related-Items-_-Product-_-Manual

Cave Momma | 11:19 AM

Girl, you look fab. I have never had a bikini body though I pretended I did for a little while in HS. Now? After 2 kids and stretch marks? And I'm cool with that since I still have some boob left over from pregnancy (34E or 36DDD). However, now my challenge is finding a one-piece with an underwire that is cute because I hate anything but.

I haven't had a swimsuit in years and now I have to since we are enrolling the kids in mommy-n-me swim lessons and well, I just need one. Thanks for the suggestions, I will search on!

Oh... and wear that string bikini with pride you hot momma, you!

Freestyle Mom | 11:25 AM

What does your hip tattoo say?

Nadia | 11:30 AM

DAMN girl, you look amazing! After my first, things bounced back fairly quickly however it's taking a little longer this time around. No excuses on my part though, I know it's because I haven't been working out as much as I should.

My swimsuit pick comes from Victoria's Secret and I've been pinning away for this baby for the last 2 years. Finally took the plunge a couple of months ago and L.O.V.E it! http://tinyurl.com/23owa45

the bellyacher | 12:44 PM

Thank you so much for this post! I've been invited to take my (very, very soon to be 1 year old) son swimming but I'm stuck on the whole bathing suit thing. I certainly won't be donning a bikini anytime soon (thanks, stretch marks, I appreciate the textured look you've given me) but some of the vintage-y bathing suits look great. Now I just need to figure out where to get a cute, inexpensive suit in England.

Oh...and YOU look fabulous!!

Ray | 12:46 PM

Rebecca, you look fabulous in that bikini! And MAJOR PROPS to you for showing your body off (breast-reduction scars and all. That makes you even more beautiful).

If I do go to any beaches or pools this summer: it'll be a pair of trunks and a t-shirt for me.

P.S. That one-piece (look # 10) that you said you couldn't pull off...? I'm pretty sure you could!! ;D

Freestyle Mom | 12:57 PM

oooh Bec!!!! for realz! You must halp me with this...

So the problem I always run in to with bathing suits, (aside from my ghetto booty like woah) is the fact that I have so many tattoos. I try to steer clear of patterns or too bright of colors because holy woah. But then I'm like, zzzz here's me, in black, again.

Any advice?

(There's a pic of me in a black 2 piece on the header of my blog if you need a reference.)

6512 and growing | 1:05 PM

Not a bikini wearer myself, but you? You totally pull it off! Enjoy!

Barb @ getupandplay | 1:12 PM

Oh my eff, you look great!

My Bottle's Up! | 1:57 PM

HOLYSHITBALLSINABUCKET i have that american apparel suit in black!!!! i can't believe i actually own an article of clothing that you have on your blog.

HOTDAMN i feel chic... :) yay me!!!

in other news... GOODCHRISTWOMAN you look delicious!!! i've only had 1 kidlet and i'm scared to death to even look at the bikinis that i wore pre-child. they are like waaaaaaaay the hell pushed to the back of the drawer.

also... for the one-piecers like myself, have you seen the "miracle suit" from nordstroms??? i have it in the black and white polka dot and it has a removable strap so it can be without. it's totally cute and is basically the spanx version of a swim suit. i have found it to be quite miraculous.

LOVE. THIS. POST.

Kate | 2:26 PM

your bravery is comendable.
your bod is of course smokin hot.

as for my sources, I've got one cute suit from Target and I otherwise love the Athleta suits. More on the sporty side compared to most of your fashionable suggestions, but they have some very cute ones and they are well built to last a few years.

Baby in Broad | 2:43 PM

Hooray for realness! You look fabulous. Incredible. Gorgeous.

I'm an Esther Williams swimsuit girl. I have one (polka dots, for the win!), and I want about 9 more. You're right that they run small-ish; I found one size up from my pants size to be perfect. And to the ladies who are stacked to the rafters with the boobage? The halter top holds everything in nicely. I'm a 34D, and I was more like a 34DD when I bought the suit originally.

I would love to be able to rock a two-piece, especially since I'm slimmer now than I've ever been at my adult height. But after spending most of my life overweight, losing and gaining the same 50 lbs. several times, and breastfeeding a child for almost 2 years, my breasts and midsection are so not up to the challenge.

Of course, with a cute enough bikini, I might just decide, "Fuck it. This is pretty and I love it, so I'm wearing it." Might.

jessica | 2:44 PM

oh wow how brave- a skinny girl with no stretch marks showing off her bikini bod. hey self, jealous much? oh why yes, yes i am!

I get it though. I do. I am a size 6 with issues that my bigger friends hate to hear about. they don't get it, they don't want to hear it and they have no sympathy or empathy. i say yeah but i have stretch marks and a roll and cellulite and they're like shutthefuckupbeforeishovemyfootupyourass! so i guess after reading your post i know how they feel :)
you look great. you can not only pull off the look, it would be silly if you wore anything else.

meowsk | 2:45 PM

Love these suits! You totally rock the bikini! And since I have the same measurements I may brave mine this summer as well. I do love my plain black one piece - plus it was on sale from $120 to $25 so that feels good too. :o) And you make me want tattoos...

And on another note... you could always try affiliate linking with Target and Anthro... I am pretty sure they have programs through Google. Perhaps they would take notice if you became a top affiliate?

angela | 3:09 PM

Oh girl, you look amazing in a bikini. I have a bikini and I totally shouldn't but if I looked like you, I'd ONLY wear bikinis! Even to work! :)

Anonymous | 3:39 PM

You look awesome and those bathing suits are great!
I have a question. I wanted to start a blog and I was wondering who does your web hosting - there are so many out there and I do not know who to choose. Also, how did you set it all up with the codes and everything, like how did you learn to do it and add the tabs, etc.?

Thanks

wonderchris | 4:14 PM

I could see you in the striped suit - I totally think you could pull that off and ROCK it!!

I like pinupgirlclothing for my swimwear needs....
http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/bikinis1.html

Happy sandcastle building!

Claire | 4:30 PM

The swimsuits from Lands End are incredibly cute this season. I know Lands End is typically for the polo shirt and khakis crowd, but seriously their swimsuits are HOT! And you can't beat the quality. Nice thick material that doesn't pick. They have lots of really neat retro bikini styles this year. They're on the pricier side, but not as much as Anthropologie. If I can drop this last 5 pounds of baby weight, I get one as a prize at the end of the summer. :)

mathilda | 4:43 PM

One more reader here who says you look smokin' in the bikini!
I love the retro style suits as well. I have one in red and it makes me feel all pinup like and curvy.
Let's all celebrate are capable and gorgeous bodies!

Mrs. Cline | 5:51 PM

You look amazing!

I'm rocking one of two maternity bathing suits they carry at Motherhood Maternity, and I have to say - I LOVE my pregnant body. I feel sexy in my bathing suit for the first time in, well, ever.

Anonymous | 6:43 PM

u look so fabulous in ur suit. and it's not ur suit, it's ur fabulous body!! u really look great and u've had 2 kids!
okay, i am BEGGING u to pls make an entire post/blog entry about ur almond/quinoa diet. i promise u their r thousands of us followers out here that wld be so grateful for a 'rulebook' regarding how u did it.. i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, how long, plateaus, and on and on. puuhhh-leeeeeeeeze help a girl out. u look so great and i remember whn i had a somewhat decent body, but i'm 40lbs overweight and you have inspired me. i've tried ww and south beach. the south beach worked really well, but i'm not a big meat eater, so... i'm so hoping u'll give us a step by step tutorial.. u've done it w/make up, hair, fashion, now it's time for food!!! tell us how u did it. love ur blog and u r rockin' the shit outa' that suit.

ThiliBlooms | 7:00 PM

cute bikinis.. I prefer brazilian ones but the ones at retrodress and anthopology are really cute!
the only thing with bottoms with strings.. my daughter loves to pull them.. ooops.. and I always end up trying to keep them away from her but it is hard! so try to keep them away from Fable (if possible) :)

Laurel | 7:41 PM

Firstly, you are all about that bikini. Please. You look great. Secondly, this was about the best montage of good bikini's ever. Thank you. Serious bikini research went on here, no joke.

L.A. Stylist Mom | 7:42 PM

Here's a link to a post I wrote called: "Swimsuits That Flatter Your Body"

http://www.lastylistmom.com/2010/03/31/ask-lasm-swimsuits-that-flatter-your-body-type/

Here are two that I'll be wearing this summer (amongst others both one and two piece), one from Liberty of London for Target...

http://www.letrainbleublog.com/uploaded_images/liberty+swimsuit-788959.jpg

...and one from Hayden-Harnett...

http://www.lastylistmom.com/2009/03/26/i-want-it-hayden-harnett-clio-maillot/

Techno Angel | 7:45 PM

Have you lost your freakin MIND? You look GREAT in a bikini even after 2 kids. ROCK THAT BIKINI EVERY CHANCE YOU GET!!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:32 PM

First off - these recs are GREAT! Love the Modcloth suits and thanks for the Nordstrom miracle suit rec! Will have to check that out as well!

Also love the pin-up style suits! Hubba! Thanks, Wonderchris!

And I LOVE the Hayden Harnett suit, LaStylistmom! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Question | 8:34 PM

Has you know who completely lost her mind?

Courtney | 8:58 PM

Reb- Can you take us on a tattoo tour? I am a mommy with tattoo's and I think it is fascinating to see how and what we got inked. ~Courtney

Breanne at Bella Vita | 9:21 PM

You look gorgeous!! I love the Zac Posen suit on you, and all the suits you featured are fantastic.

Angee | 10:12 PM

I recently bought the top of this one:

http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/womens/swimshop/brands/elle/PRD~c18374/ELLE+Solid+Swim+Separates.jsp

I like it because it helps draw the eye to my itty bitty boobs. But when I tried on the bottoms? Oh the humanity. It made my thighs look like Christmas hams. So I decided to mix and match with some white string bikini bottoms. Can mixing two solids be consider mix and match? Is the mix and match of two solids even allowed?!

L.A. Stylist Mom | 10:56 PM

I stalked the crap out of that Hayden Harnett suit, since there was no freaking way I was paying 200 bucks for it - got it for $49! (*patting self on back*) I love it too!

Margie | 1:46 AM

You look amazing...... Wish I looked that good after only one baby.
Good on you for posting the pic.

Alexa | 3:46 AM

You look GREAT! Don't be too intimidated to wear that - you look fab.

skinnythighs | 5:46 AM

You are on fire and in no way look like you've made two little ones for America's future. Your body is smoking.

We've done 5 posts on bikini hunting in the past month if anyone with a big booty, small waist and nonexistent boobs is looking for some assistance.

http://skinnythighs.wordpress.com/category/swimsuit-hunting/

Althea | 5:49 AM

Badass. Completely.
Thank you. Just...thank you.

Mrs. Q. | 6:01 AM

OK. Your body is what I strive for in my 'after' photo. You could wear a bikini to the supermarket. Damn!

Ditto Fairly Odd Mother's question about cool tankinis? It may be an oxymoron, but a must-have when taking two kids to swim class!

I'm skinny, but two breastfed babies have left me with NO boobs-- I mean, less than a-cups, and a botched umbilical hernia surgery has made my belly button something that needs to be covered. so... I'm thinking about one of those adorable high-waisted Anthropology bikinis. (I, too, am in love with that model. raawr)

And... do tattoos cover stretch marks or make them worse? I'm considering a belly's-worth over a tummy tuck. ;>)

Shaina | 7:01 AM

when i had 34DDs, bathing suit shopping was horrendous. untillll i found land's end, that is. i got a tankini top from them, with underwire, that looks like a shirt--the first time my bro saw it, he said "nice tank top!" lol. and it held me in! i lurve it. luckily after my reduction to a 34C it still works.

i'm thinking of buying a bikini soonish, but my midsection is worse than yours and i haven't even had kids. and i'm pretty darned sure i couldn't pull off the high-waisted styles. le sigh. maybe i'll wait a few weeks; i'm starting a serious gym routine TONIGHT.

Amy | 7:32 AM

Um, yeah I'll be wearing the retro suit this summer and probably every summer for the rest of my life. I wore a bikini until I was 34 which just so happens to be the year I gave birth.

How did you manage get through pregnancies without a single strtchmark or stretched skin? Lucky duck! With a body like that you should be rocking a bikini!

Emma | 7:42 AM

So when I saw this post yesterday, my reaction was, your body is great, what are you worrying about wearing a bikini for? While simultaneously thinking, not me, I would never expose myself in a bikini, and certainly not on my blog.

And then this morning I did my usual naked check-out of myself in the mirror... and instead of instantly of focusing on all the bits that are "wrong", like I usually do, I was struck with the thought of, hey, I don't look so different from Rebecca (minus the boobs. I have none.)

So thank you for posting a picture of your lovely, REAL body, and helping me to see than mine is maybe not so bad after all.

Brittany at Mommy Words | 8:53 AM

Man you look great in that bikini babe. With 3 kids 3 and under I rock out a little Tommy Bahama bikini that has a wonderfully supportive halter top and a very wide bottom. They also have a choice with a cute little skirt. It's very little but it does HIDE the lady parts that just can't pull off a teeny bottom yet.

I am now going to anthropologie to buy the little black and white number so long as they have a large enough size for these nursing bobbies and child bearing hips.

Thanks for the recs!

Francesca | 9:56 AM

I am 5'3" and a size 2 and I don't look half as good as you in that bikini. Your tummy is enviable.

Nakia | 10:01 AM

You look great! I'll definitely be checking out Target soon. It's well past time to trade in my swimsuit that predates my 5 year old son.

From someone who has way too much junk in her trunk - 43" hips, thank you very much - string bikini bottoms are absolutely the best. I'm a huge fan of anything adjustable. Gives me a little wiggle room whether I lose or gain a few pounds.

PopMommy Pam | 11:45 AM

I recently found your blog and I've loved reading it. I think you look amazing and BRAVO for posting a swimsuit photo. I am now re-inspired to get in shape. I live in Florida and it's already bathing suit time here. ARGH.

Chelsea Robbins | 12:56 PM

I think you look great in your suit.

I told myself I was going to wear a two piece this year (my first summer after having my baby) but i got a juicy swim suit and it's pretty flattering. Stretch marks haven't faded quite enough yet....

your suit is really cute though! <3

thedurttybride | 2:09 PM

Um - I haven't even had kids yet and you look amazing. Your body is rockin'!

laureen | 5:35 PM

Hey Rebecca,
Curious about the recent glut of referrals from 'Girl's Gone Child', I checked your blog. Thank you again for another glowing referral on our E.W. suits. And yes, although I still think they are the most universally flattering suits out there, whether you're into retro or not, I do have to agree with many others here and tell you that you wear that freakin' Target bikini VERY WELL, GIRL....

Anyway, thank you for yet another plug, and let me know when you're ready to try another E.W... you know where to reach me.
All the best,
Laureen @ Retrodress.com

rosiewiklund | 8:32 PM

I have a one piece and a pile of bikinis. The one piece is brown with just one strap, and in my crazy brain just screams "Look at my Beyonce Butt!!" Sadly it has absolutely no breast support, and my DDs could use it. I bought my bikini pile at a series of thrift shops. I'm about twenty pounds overweight on the BMI. I just buy them in sizes that fit. I think anyone can wear a bikini if they buy the right size, and ideally a good color/cut. I'm rockin' a little baby bump that (God willing..) will only grow larger as summer wears on. I will be flaunting that business in a bikini often. I really don't have the best "wearing less than underwear" body on the beach, but I have more self love than nearly every girl, and it shows. Self love is pretty hot in any variety of swim wear.

WrathofDawn | 8:50 PM

You did NOT carry two babies in that belly. No, you did NOT.

I didn't look that good before I had my two. If I hadn't seen your pregnancy pics I would have thought you were making it all up.

Rock that bikini, baby, and don't let anyone tell you you're not hot!

Andi | 11:52 PM

I don't know if you read all of your comments but... I NEED SOME OF YOUR BIG BOOBED SUPPORT. As an ex big boober, I know you've been there, done that. SO!

I tried the target suit on.. I ordered a plus size. It was still too small for my size H boobs, and it was too big for my tiny butt. My stomach is COVERED in stretch marks from my little boy, so a two piece is sort of out unless I can find a tankini or osmething I'm loving... But THESE BOOBS!? How can I contain them, short of cutting them off? If anyone can help me, it's you, Rebecca!

Maja | 7:53 AM

http://pix.motivatedphotos.com/2009/10/7/633905021442642980-Thebombiscoming.jpg

neysa g | 7:57 AM

No swimsuit suggestions here, just major props for not only putting yourself out there in a swimsuit! but also for displaying your lovely face without make-up. I'm always impressed that you seem to have the time/energy/motivation to put make-up on all the time, and you do an amazing job at it. However, I really appreciate your keeping it real and showing us your beautiful natural face this time. Totally relatable AND adorable.

Thank you!

Tracey r. | 8:24 AM

A few months ago I bought the black with red polka dots Esther Williams and I love it!! I am what you would call 'cleavage heavy' and also an eight in a size zero world and it flatters fabulously!! I did get a size 10, as you said they run a bit small.

Baby in Broad | 11:52 AM

So, despite my last comment, I may have just purchased a bikini. As workout motivation. Ahem.

I have a bikini top question for you two-piece-lovin' mamas. Pads in the cups: keep them in? Take them out? What's your pleasure?

Lindsay | 1:01 PM

Agreed- you look great, Rebecca! I just ordered from Target, but I usually pick my suits from jcrew. They're also great for mixing and matching and will last you several seasons. String bottoms are the most flattering for those of us going through the late-20's body shift...

@sweetbabboo | 4:39 PM

I'm wearing the polka dot Esther Williams you posted. I bought it last year after you tweeted about them. I LOVE it. It definitely works for those of us with curves.

I am an H girl myself and despite always wanting to, I have not had surgery. I keep promising myself it will happen after I'm done childbearing and nursing. I, too, know what it's like to be judged by only your boobs. I've been sent to the office in high school for dressing "slutty" b/c I wore an oh so popular baby doll tee. I've been called a slut because while talking to boys in seat row behind me, my cleavage peeked out of a boat neck tee. I've been called fat despite wearing a size 6 jeans (actually a size 2 back then). I've even had parents speak to to my boss, the elementary principal, because they felt my clothes were inappropriate (knee length shift dresses) because there's no hiding H's.

You look awesome! I'd love to be able to wear a bikini as I've NEVER dared since I grew these girls in 5th grade. You should totally rock it for all of us H's out here that want to.

-Abby

ikke ikke | 3:04 AM

hey bec, i think living in LA has effed with your body image because you look hot! don't put yourself down, imagine how us mere mortals feel by comparison :-)

Tatiana | 11:41 AM

The first picture in this post has stayed with me for a few days. I just love it.

Ever poke around Shape of a Mother? Your photo is the type of thing I wish they had more of.

Thanks for your honesty.

Anonymous | 2:31 PM

i would love to read a post about your tattoos and what they mean to you.

Katie | 2:51 PM

You are banging in that bikini! I don't give an EFF what you say!

plain jane | 8:54 PM

If it hasn't been mentioned yet, Popina here in Portland is great. http://www.popinaswimwear.com/

Ciaran/Momfluential | 9:21 AM

Way to rock that bikini Rebecca. FWIW, my 90 lb daughter, age 13, sz 0/1 shockingly just had to buy size large bikini parts at Target. One of the tops, one of the bottoms. What's up w/that?! Super cute bikinis, but sizing? Hello?

Modestkini | 10:42 PM

I just came across this blog and found it very interesting indeed.Thanks for sharing.

http://www.modestkini.com/

Heather Maxwell Hall | 9:31 PM

hot hot HOT. you look amazing. i've lost all the baby weight but still in the squishy soft phase.

i know this is an old post but malia mills suits are fucking amazing: http://www.maliamills.com/Pages/shoponline/one-pieces.html

Chloe | 7:53 PM

So, I've been stalking the Natalie swimsuit from anthropologie ever since you posted it here (damn you! I can not afford $255 for a bathing suit. It's extra 'cause of duties. Stupid Canada).. and the greatest thing just happened. I found it on simply beach for $100 US. Um, wow. I just bought it, and don't even care that it will get here at the end of summer.. I plan on using this one for years. Thought I'd post a link for anyone else who has been lusting over this beautiful swimsuit.

https://www.simplybeach.com/products/Seafolly/GoddessBoylegMaillot-Black.aspx

Tada!