Fashion Friday :: SWIMSUITS!

Oh yeah, I’m going there.

I’m curious. What types of bathing suits do you wear?

I got into an interesting discussion with some girls at the gym about skirted bathing suits. They basically mocked me for wearing what they scoffingly called, “but skirts” (intentional misspelling, gotta fool the Google!) and said that they just call MORE attention to the area, not less.

Well, I don’t care if it calls attention to the area, as long as it covers up what I want it to cover up, I said!

I’ve written on this topic before: To Skirt Or Not To Skirt, That Is The Question, and I pretty much stand by everything I said there.

I was hoping that, with all my working out as of late, I might be comfortable in a regular bathing suit again. But after spending a painful hour at the mall last week with 360-degree mirrors, the answer is a resounding NO THANKS. I think it’s safe to say that ship has sailed.

SO. Let’s window shop, shall we? Cause window shopping is a heckuvalot more fun than pulling and tugging in a dimly lit dressing room.

When shopping for swimsuits, I always start with Lands’ End. They just seem to make the most supportive, high quality swimsuits I’ve found. In fact, I am still wearing one I bought before I had my 3rd child. And it still looks almost new. AMAZING. Unfortunately I have put on a few pounds since then, and it’s not fitting quite as well as it used to.

I do have one bone to pick with Lands’ End, though. Their tankini bottoms are all cut so low in the “waist” that they create a very unattractive bulge where the “waistline” hits — I use quotes, because it sits so far below my natural waist that it really can’t even be considered a waistband.

If they’d make them a few inches higher, WITH SOME EXTRA SPANDEX, that would be SO MUCH BETTER. In fact, that is one reason why I’ve held on to my old Lands’ End suit for so long. They made their swim skirts with a much higher rise back then.

Here is my best swim skirt buying tip:

When picking a skirt, I always try to go for the ones with the least material possible. When they are shorter and fit close to the body, they can be very cute. The longer and flowyer, the more frumpy (in my opinion).

Don’t count out the shorts, either. They still cover what you want to cover, but they’re not quite as fussy as the skirts.

Here are some suits from the current Lands’ End swim collection that I think are super cute. I’m LOVING the halter with the shorts on the end.

Another place I always look is Athleta. I don’t find their tops to be quite as supportive as Lands’ End’s, but I love their selection of prints and colors.

Has anyone ever tried a swimdress?? This Athleta Siren Bra Cup One Piece Swim Suit could be cute.

Athleta Siren Bra Cup One Piece Swim Suit

And I really like the looks of this Athleta Solid Bra Cup Twistini Tankini.

Again, I just wish they didn’t make these skirts with such a low rise. And that one’s got a few too many gathers for my tastes.

Now here’s a cute option! I’m not a ruffly girl, but this Miraclesuit® Dotical Bandeau Swim Dress could be cute on the right person.

If you can get past the RIDICULOUS poses, this Victoria’s Secret Firm Control Ruched Skirt is really cute. I like how it’s body-hugging, but still covers the cottage cheese. The stripey top is cute too. Can anyone vouch for the quality of their suits? I’m skeptical.

Perusing the Nordstrom website, I didn’t find much. But this Profile by Gottex ‘Tutti Frutti’ tankini might be worth ordering and trying on:

And this Giraffe Shirred V-Neck Tankini at Swimwear For Me is cute! I love the wider straps. I wonder what the quality is like. Has anyone ever ordered from here?

I can’t seem to find a skirt to match. Boo.

I’d love to hear your recommendations for good quality, modest but cute swimwear. I know, that’s a tall order!

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35 Responses

  1. I am so glad swimsuits are your topic today! I am currently in the market for a modest swimsuit that gives ample support (if you know what I mean). I do have a question about Land’s End suits that you may be able to help me with. I found a swimsuit on their website that I love, but I cannot figure out what size to order. Based on my measurements, it’s telling me to order a size 12, but I usually wear a size 8 in all other clothes. Do you find that you have to order a larger size than normal with Land’s End (or any swimsuit for that matter)? I just hate to buy a 12 and it be too big, or buy my normal size and it be too small.

    1. I wear an 8 in most clothes, and I think my Lands End Swimsuits are 8s. I don’t think you’ll need a 12. The best ones for ppl built like us are the ones with bra sizes, that way you get some extra room up top without it being big all over. 🙂

  2. I usually wear halter top two-pieces because they are flattering on the shoulders. But I will be 35 this year and sadly the derriere cellulite is getting worse, no matter how much time I spend on the elliptical. I am not ready for a skirt yet, but I am thinking it might be time to go the boy shorts route.

  3. I got a really cute swimsuit at Shabby Apple last year. They tend to have retro styles which are a bit more modest…

    I will be wearing a mumu to the beach this summer. ::Sigh::

  4. Help! I am trying to find a high-neck suit due to skin cancer concerns (I’ve had a number of spots frozen off on my chest and I would prefer to cover up this area). It’s hard to find a suit that addresses this area. (I would prefer not to wear a rash guard – too tight and uncomfortable for me – especially if I’m wearing it all day at the beach/pool.) It doesn’t have to be up to my chin just covering my chest would be great.
    I got a suit from Lands End years ago (literally 10 years or more) but haven’t been able to find another.
    Any ideas?

    1. The sportier the style, the higher the neck, I think. You could look at Speedo or Reebok. I know I tried on some cute patterned ones from Reebok at Macy’s last year, but they were TOO high for me.

  5. I love the ruffled Miracesuit. I need a new swimsuit. Putting on a swimsuit is the only thing I hate about summer. No matter how thin I get (past tense), I’m just uncomfortable. Great choices in suits!

  6. Great options! I never thought I could wear a two-piece, but I got one from Sundance catalog, with the short ruffle bottom, a lot like the one you found from Nordstrom’s, and I love it!

  7. I have had this same conversation about skirted bottoms. My one friend finally said it was ok for me to wear if I wore a bra type top…She hasn’t had any kids and looks are perfect as she did when she was 20. Anyway I love and feel way more comfortable in the skirted bottom. I have found a bunch by La Blanca that I really like. I love the miracle suit (ruffle is ok for me!) I think I will try it!!

  8. Not a fan of the skirt. At all! But, I do love the Athleta option you chose. I’ve always thought unless you are a tiny, petite woman, the skirt makes you look wide and larger than you actually are even when you are only a size 8. I’ve always read that a string bottom is the best look for wide hips no matter which type of top you go with whether it be a tankini or bikini because it is more custom… At least for a pear shape, which I am… GASP, I know:). I’m 35 and a size 8-10 and yes I have cellulite and no I don’t care:). I also have a 7 year old and twin 4 year olds, so my body has some wear & tear for sure:) And I’m aware it isn’t the most modest option (because my mother reminds me often) but I just love and it’s what I’m comfortable in… If you aren’t comfortable, no matter which suit you pick, you will be miserable. Here is a great website with some other modest options… I’ve never tried, but they have great comments on their FB page.
    https://www.diviinemodestee.com/. I always love your fashion Fridays! And P.S. you always look fab!

  9. I’m a Land’s End fan too. Since I don’t do a lot of actual swimming but am instead chasing little kids, I need a top with support. And I love a swim skirt–again, because I’m out of the water more than I’m in it and I am just too self-conscious to have it all out there. I have a brown and a black swim skirt, both from Target a few years ago I think. I have a Land’s End top I got three years ago that I LOVE but they don’t make the same style anymore. I did find another cute solid top this year though, so I have two tops and two skirts which is plenty for me. So, I say buy quality for the top and you can get by with solid swim skirts for less if needed.

  10. I wore Lands End’s suits through college. If you’re thinking you’d be comfortable with the shorts from Lands End I think they look younger than the skirts. I’m only 28 and haven’t had kids yet, so I’m still pretty comfortable in a regular suit, but I also keep my shorts and tank top on over my suit other than RIGHT next to the pool or in the water.

  11. You are so right when it comes to tankini bottoms. Ugh-that low rise totally ruins the look of what otherwise would be a great suit, and makes it unwearable for me. Skirted suits are not at all fun to swim in, with all that extra fabric, and I agree with those who think they add bulk to that area. My suggestion would be to go to a sporting goods store with a swimwear section, if you need a suit with coverage and support (some, but not all) and they are chlorine-resistant to boot. They won’t be skirted, though, but in my book, that’s OK.

  12. My girlfriend wears Athleta swim suits and they are so adorable! She is short so the waist area isn’t a problem for her. She also wears the swim shorts they have vs the skirt.

    I’m a Lands’ End swim top person also. I wear swim shorts vs a skirt (I found the shorts at JcPenney online – I know, but hey, they work! – because I did not like anything Lands’ End was offering to match the tops I chose).

  13. My problem with skirts is that I really want my middle sucked in, and the skirts usually come in 2 pieces… so then I end up with lumps where one piece ends and the other begins and I find that so unattractive. I’m also very Irish in the derriere department, so it’s never been my area of concern — I more want to keep the top supported and middle smooth. 🙂

    1. YES! I am having that problem more and more. Considering going back to a one-piece after all these years. Problem is, it is SUCH a pain to go to the bathroom in. And also, the one pieces with skirts usually look frumpy-dump.

  14. I wear a mix of suits. I like to swim and hate the extra fabric of a swim skirt so I always buy a regular bottom if I am getting the skirt. I like the skirt option for pool parties or other times when I won’t be in the water. I think the skirt is fine if it is not too full.

    As a 34 DD(E), I like an underwire best. I try with Lands End but have had a tough time with the spandex not even lasting a season. This is with my suit and my kids suits and not alot of chlorine either. I really want to try an Athleta suit or a Title Nine suit but don’t really need one right now.

    I do alot of kayaking in the summer and love the versatility of the tankini top with some quick try hiking shorts. I feel cute on top and functional on the bottom.

    For fitness, I just get a tank suit. I get a little self conscious walking from the locker room to the pool because there really is no support on top, but I don’t like the padding for doing laps so I just deal with it.

  15. You should checkout Sierra Trading Post for discounted suits. I found a fun casual TYR suit there last summer. I’ve switched back to one-piece suits after almost losing my bottoms in the wave pool. I feel it’s more flattering because it smooths everything out, versus the muffin top you get when the bottoms of the takini are too low cut.

    I also teach water aerobics and wear a sports bra under my suit for added support. I swear by polyester suits (my fav is a Dolfin Ocean). I was replacing my suits every 3 months before I switched over. The polyester suits hold up really well to the chlorine and last well over a year.

  16. The problem is that I still don’t see these as modest because of the deep v-necks. My husband does not like me to wear things that show off my cleavage so much–and frankly I don’t either. So I am on the quest for a supportive swimsuit that actually covers my chest.

    1. I am very self conscious about my cleavage too, so many of these wouldn’t work for me personally. It really depends on body type, though. And of course everyone has a different definition of modesty. But I’m with you. Most of these are too low. It’s frustrating.

  17. This is such a hot topic! Ok I am a lands end fan too. but my ultimate favorite feel amazing in bathing suits are by Sunsets http://www.sunsetsinc.com I found in a local boutique here in Newport, RI. They are Ah-mazing! I have several tankini’s with underwire to support my girls and they have rouging through the tummy. Each tankini top is about $100 so I try to mix and match with one bottom. Totally worth the investment! Much better bra support than the lands end swimwear!

  18. modcloth has some cute retro, modest suits like this one…
    Swim suit style total depends on your build, so I don’t think there is a universal best modest suit style. It can totally vary from person to person. Leg length and thigh/hips are big factors in which type of leg opening. Like this suit above is super cute in my opinion but I could never wear it without making my short legs look stubby! 🙂

  19. Land’s End suits are my all time favorite. I do shorts or skirts, just depends what I can find. Love the one you posted with the red shorts. 🙂

  20. I’ve been wearing ruffled skirts with a tankini ever since my bottom half started to show my age-47. I’m petite and have a very small top portion-32AA- and a larger bottom-sz 6. I may look wide, but the skirts hide the bulges that the shorts don’t. I wish I looked like the models wearing those suits! 🙂

  21. I’ve been wearing ruffled skirts with a tankini ever since my bottom half started to show my age-47. I’m petite and have a very small top portion-32AA- and a larger bottom-sz 6. I may look wide, but the skirts hide the bulges that the shorts don’t. Love the suits you’ve shown; I wish I looked like those models! 🙂

  22. Love that green suit! I love the tankini-style swimsuits, but have never tried a skirt – I seem to just wear my cover up all.the.time!

  23. I am definitely a skirt/tankini girl. I’ll be 43 in August (GAH GAH GAH!) and my legs are just getting too veiny. Sigh…

    I have a super cute shorter length black swimsuit skirt that I wear with a halter top (similar to the style in your Lands End pic…furthest one ont he right.) It has honestly taken me years to figure out that style is most flattering on me. I need to still lose the muffin top and I am not flat chested and I’m short waisted so it helps to elongate my trunk. And that is a good thing!

  24. I was looking for a somewhat more age-appropriate swimsuit (I’m in my fifties,) somewhat to my husband’s dismay, as I can still wear a bikini that I wore in my thirties. It happened to still be around because I rarely wore it for anything other than a rare trip to the beach, and primarily for sunbathing. I wanted a suit that I could actually swim in. I have a few Speedo suits, but wanted something a little less “high school swim team” in appearance. Then I remembered the swimming movie star of my girlhood–Esther Williams! Yeah, I wanted a suit like that. I googled her name and was shocked to find out that not only is she still around, she runs a small swimwear company that has those gorgeous retro suits. The price was pretty reasonable, too: $74 plus shipping, which is about the same as the Speedos were. They’re eminently swimmable, and if you’re reasonably toned, not frumpy. Thankfully, they have soft cups but are NOT underwired (can’t stand those things for vigorous physical activity.) Love ’em!

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