Fashion Friday: Swimsuits and Coverups

By popular demand, let’s discuss swimsuits and cover ups.  As for the former, you can refer to a post I wrote in July of 2007: To Skirt or Not To Skirt, That Is The Question.

We might as well just get it out here in the open right from the get-go.  I am a huge fan of the skirted suit.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: there comes a time in every woman’s life when she should no longer bare her hind end for the world to see, and my time has definitely come.  If that makes me frumpy, so be it.

Now that we have THAT settled, my very favorite place to shop for swimsuits is Lands End.  You just can’t beat the quality.  I know they aren’t the sexiest of swimsuits, but again, my time to feel sexy in a swimsuit has come and gone — a LONG time ago.  These days, my goal in swimsuit shopping is to find something that I am not mortified to be seen wearing in public.  I do well to find that, nevermind trying to find something I actually LIKE.  Basically my criteria is two-fold.  I’m looking for support and modesty, without looking like I’m wearing my mother’s bathing suit.  Or was that three-fold?  Whatev.

For years I’ve worn a suit from Lands End’s faille collection.  It’s five or six years old, and it’s still in great shape.  I’ve had a couple other suits during that time, but none that I’ve liked enough to keep for more than a season.

This year I was definitely in the market for a new suit.  I spend half my summers at the swimming pool, and one suit simply won’t do.  Plus, it might be close to time to put my faithful old faille bathing suit out to pasture.  Even though it’s held up well, it’s not fitting me quite as well as it used to.  You ladies over 35 know exactly what I’m talking about.

So.  When I was getting ready for my trip to the Hyatt last weekend, I ran out to the mall to see what I could find.  Thank goodness Sears sells Lands End suits in their stores.  The selection isn’t great, but I picked up this top in navy blue with the solid navy skirted bottom.  I’d like to order another top in a different print and style, but also in navy, to switch out with the same skirt.  I’ve got my eye on this.

But if I could wear anything I wanted, I think I’d go to Athleta and get something like this.


Or this.


Title Nine also has adorable suits, and I would have to assume the quality is good, but I’ve never bought one from there.  But seriously, how cute are these?



My friend Grace just pointed out something very obvious. I’ve linked to all tankinis.  That’s simply because that is all I ever look at.  But for those who are not a fan of the two-piece, have you seen Miraclesuits?  I owned two of these back in the day, and they really do help keep all those jiggly parts in check.  Like, how about the Sanibel?


They don’t make many with skirts, but you always pick up a sheer sarong like this one to throw on over it while you stand around the pool.


Or if that’s too fussy for you, I used to throw on a pair of board shorts over mine.


Where is your favorite place to shop for swimsuits?

I did get a specific request for discussing swimsuit cover-ups, and I have to admit, this a much more enjoyable topic.  I have a hard time with cover-ups, though, because of my skirted bottoms.  It’s hard to put anything on over them and not look lumpy and bumpy.

For example, I absolutely love this Reefbreak Hoodie.  It would look great over a suit, at least it would if you have the body of a supermodel and you plan to spend the afternoon perched on the side of a boat, grazing on lettuce and fruit.


For the rest of us, what about the Taj Tunic.  That could be really cute, and it still leaves room to eat, which is always a good thing.


Of course, I hate to break the bank on a swimsuit cover-up, so let’s check out Old Navy.  These Terry Halter Dresses are cute.


Or the Embellished Gauze Tunic would be cool, comfy look over a suit.

Old Navy Womens Embellished Gauze Tunics

I always think Smocked Tube Dresses are cute when I see others wearing them to the pool.

Old Navy Womens Smocked Knit Tube Dresses

Target has some cute ones too.  Like this Knit Dolman Cover-Up and this Merona Convertible Knit Dress Cover-Up.


So there you have it, my best picks for swimsuits and cover-ups.  How’d I do?

Fore more Fashion Friday, you can visit Big Mama.  Today she’s addressing my very favorite topic — handbags.  In fact, I just ordered one that she linked to.  Can you guess which one it is?

Disclosure: Links to Amazon, Old Navy and Athleta are affiliate links.

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32 thoughts on “Fashion Friday: Swimsuits and Coverups

  1. that smocked tube dress is adorable! I may have to go check that out! I have until mid next week to find one before we leave for the wonders of Jekyll Island :o)

  2. This is the first year I will buy a tankini that also has a skirt or swim shorts. We have season passes to a water park here and the skirt and shorts will be good for walking to the snack bar, etc. I will NOT swim in the skirt…I can’t even imagine that is comfortable!

    I 100% agree with you on Lands End and Athleta. The only problem I’ve found with Athleta suits is the v-neck on the tankini tops is a lotta eyeful of “V” for any kid swimming underwater wearing goggles! I don’t mind showing a little cleavage, but some of the suits show half of your breast at least. Also, they have a lot of halter tops and those just hurt my neck.

    1. Yeah, I had no luck with the Athleta suit I had. It was too low-cut and it didn’t remain supportive. But most people don’t need the support I do, and they are cute as can be, so I love to peruse their catalog.

      As far as swimming in a skirt, I don’t swim, so that isn’t a problem. 😉

  3. Oh Heavy Sigh. Well, like you, I’m looking for comfort and modesty. I must have a skirt, the more coverage the better. I no longer care about lumpy or frumpy. No midriff can show. Loads of support needed. I’m afraid I already look like my mother, but that’s okay since I’m now 46.

    I spend my summer in the pool. My last suit I bought at Sears several years ago. I need a new one, but I CANNOT ORDER FROM A CATALOG. I have to try them on, over and over, and wiggle and stretch and hate every minute. So, thanks for letting me know that Sears is carrying Lands End in their store. I may go for a visit 🙂

  4. Let’s all just remember the days when we were teenagers and none of this mattered. ahhhhh. Okay, now that reality is here…

    I love the skirted suits that Land’s End has; especially the cute new ruched one this year.

    I don’t wear skirted suits b/c my legs are a-okay. After having kids, my midsection is delightfully JIGGLY, so I do tankinis that have an eye-catching print on top to keep that region looking it’s best. 😀 I love the athleta suits although I’ve never bought one. I randomly found one at Old Navy that I LOVE this year.

    My problem with the Land’s End suits this year is they don’t have enough padding. Some of you gals need support…I need PADDING. I tried a few on and looked boob-less. Yuck.

  5. I’ve bought my last two suits at Athleta and I have to say I’ve been very satisfied with them. As for a coverup, I bought one from Nordstrom two years ago and am still loving it. It’s your basic black terry cloth halter dress, but it’s comfy and easy to care for.

  6. Girl, I am ALL about the skirted suit. I got mine at Target this year. That said, though, I wish they made my toddler daughter’s suit in grownup sizes: It. Has. A. Tutu. Fantastic!!

  7. I don’t know what I am going to do this year for a suit. I will probably check Motherhood Maternity since I am almost halfway through my pregnancy and will still need to take my little to the water playground at our local park and may be making a trip down to Houston to visit my parents.

    1. I did post all tankinis, didn’t I? I never look at anything else, lol. Lemme add a few. Have you seen the miraclesuits?

  8. I am going to guess the Melie Bianco bag as the one you bought. They’re all cute, of course. I love the Aldo straw clutch, but not sure I’d ever use it! I don’t think my wallet would fit in there.

    I guess I am going to have the is it fat is it baby? stomach all summer again. I have a skirted swimsuit that’s not maternity but it works well for me as one. Summer’s now all about my baby’s swimsuits. She has an ADORABLE blue one with white polka dots from The Children’s Place.

  9. We live at a lake so I am at the beach most days in the summer. I need options so it does not look like I’m wearing the same thing all the time and love to mix & match solids and prints. I am a fan of Lands’ End suits, and LL Bean has some good options as well. Usually I’ll buy a tankini top, a skirted bottom for days I will be hanging around & not swimming, then a regular bottom (for actual swimming) and board shorts to wear over them. I will buy a bikini top for getting a little sun while at home.
    I rarely buy a cover up, I prefer a button front camp style shirt.

    I’m loving a lot of the retro style suits…sort of old Hollywood glam 🙂

  10. I love Lands End. The suits never wear out! Archeologists will still find them in good shape YEARS from now!

  11. I’m buying from Land’s End this year, too, but I have to put a plug in for Victoria Secret’s swimwear. I know, I know – Yuck – Lingerie swimwear, but actually, if you can get past the twiggy, fake-breasted girls all over the place, you’ll find in their catalog or online the miracle-bra tankini, along with matching skirts in lots of colors and styles. Mine has held up perfectly for two seasons already and I’ve been ever so grateful for that miracle-bra top, which you can order in sizes JUST like you’d get a bra. Can’t beat that fit!

  12. I’ve been a HUGE fan of the skirt and Lands End for years. When I wear the tankini with the skirt there is no need for a cover up and I feel so comfortable being it all day at the pool/beach. I’ve ordered a couple of tankini tops ($12.99) from Lands End just this week to go with some solid color skirt bottoms I have – perfect!

    And I do agree with the comment about VS and the miracle bra – I’ve actually got 2 of those and love the support it offers.

  13. I love the embellished gauze coverup, I bought a similar one in chocolate brown last year and adore it! As for swimsuits…I always have trouble but I’ve found Macy’s to be the best place as far as breadth of selection. Ever since I bought my first tankini I will never go back, for the sheer ease of going to the bathroom! Wet one piece suits are awful.

  14. I’m loving that pretty coral suit! And that first cover up is adorable. Of course, nothing ever looks the same on me as it does on the models. Oh the joy of being short-waisted.

  15. I definitely won’t be wearing a swimsuit this summer. I’m due September 8 (with our first) and I just can’t see myself going anywhere near a suit. Of course, next summer will probably be even worse with a post baby body to try and figure out 🙂

  16. When i saw the title to this post I almost skipped it. I’m just not ready for swim suits yet (although I am exceedingly ready for summer!)

    But I’m glad I read it.

    You’ve picked out some good ones (I love a tankini) and its given me hope for this dreaded time of year! 😉

    1. NOPE! Although that one was tempting. 🙂 I have 2 Orla Kiely bags, so I decided it was time to give another designer a try. Gotta spread the luv, ya know. 😉

  17. I have had excellent luck at Target, but I don’t buy skirted suits, so I’m not sure what their selection is for that. I was just at Target this morning and saw an adorable tunic for only $20! I also picked up a sleeveless black terry cloth dress/coverup on vacation last year that I love! I am all about those coverups! 🙂

    Did you know Spanx makes swimsuits now? They’re pricey (like $150-$200) but I guess if you plan on being in a suit all summer, it might be worth it.

  18. after three kids (that broke my ab wall) – i have a huge tummy, even though I only weigh 125 – Mostly I’d like an apron tankini that is long enough to reach the top of the bikini bottoms. (an apron tankini is one where the fabric ties in the back and is FLOWY around your middle, not tight) – why would i wear a tankini if I had a flat tummy? Anyone seen any good apron ones that aren’t also SHORT?

  19. So, since I’m pretty much pregnant one summer and then trying to lose baby weight after nursing (cause I can never quite seem to lose too much weight until I stop nursing) during the next I seem to need a new or different size every summer. Last year were my favorites. I got a Land’s end top with the ruched sides in navy…I have waist and middle bulk issues so the ruching was great. Then I bought a cute little skirt on sale from Athleta and a cute little pink and navy paisley skirt online from Talbots of all places. This year, since I had a black maternity top that I like, I bought another cute skirt from Athleta. It’s nice because some of their skirts have a roll waistband that is perfect to cover the baby belly during pregnancy and provide a nice little band to hold things in after baby.

    Also, as far as maternity suits go…I have had good luck with Target…thank you Liz Lange for taking over that department. And…this year, I actually found a cute black and white polka dot suit online from Walmart! It must have sold out because I can’t find it to link.

  20. I am the same. Skirted Suits all the way! It’s really the only kind I wear.

    I am definitely in the market for a swimsuit. I may check Lands’ End because I’ve heard wonderful things about the quality of their suits.

    Unrelated Side Note: Old Navy has an affiliate program? I’m going to look into that…

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