The Swimsuit Rant
Is there anyone who likes shopping for bathing suits?
Summer rolls around and everyone starts thinking about all the ab crunches they didn’t do all winter (guilty) plus all the holiday excesses that turned into midwinter cheer snacks and late winter exhaustion power naps (very guilty). Not to mention the convenience food, because we’re all super busy all the time. Suddenly vacations are looming and all the ads start talking about being “beach ready” like we haven’t been beach ready all winter. Helloooo. I’ve needed a stretch on the sand since the temps dipped to below 50 degrees. Now internet advertising is telling people they have to work out to earn that?
Obviously, a lot of people hate bathing suit shopping because of the constant reminders on TV and everywhere else that they’re supposed to look like the next Baywatch episode. But that aside, can we talk about how ridiculously difficult it is to find a suit that fits right no matter what your size is?
I’m a one-piece girl, in theory. I’m a big fan of the fifties styles that have come back around, but I’ve been looking for a good suit for a couple years now. I just want something that covers everything I want to cover and doesn’t sag open in awkward places, which is not a tall demand.
Except apparently, it is. Shopping for suits, as for shoes, is as much torture as it is leisure, and liable to drive me to despair. Who is it that designs the proportions in the swimsuit world? Why is it they have the same misbegotten notions of the female shapes as foundation makers have of color (sincerely, not an Oompa Loompa)?
I have yet to find a one-piece that marries the correct length to the right cup size to the right width, and believe me, I’ve looked. If the chest fits, the suit sags at the bottom. If the circumference is right, the suit drags the cups toward my navel. If the stretch is right, there are no cups at all. If it all fits right, it costs twice as much as clothes using five times as much fabric, and it’s sold out in the color I want. If it’s affordable, it’s got a hideous pattern and a froofy looking skirt.
And “affordable” is relative. The prices on swimsuits are absolutely heinous. It’s ridiculous. You pay a premium on the square inch—I’ve seen non-designer bikini separates over $60 a piece. And while these are the prices on some nice swimsuits, it seems excessive to charge more than $120 for significantly less than a yard of fabric with minimal tailoring.
The thing is, I know that I’m not the only person with this problem, and it’s not like I’m wildly outside standard sizing. I’m sure that it’s only worse if you’re busty, or you’re not, or if you’re short, or if you’re not, or if you’re big-hipped, or if you’re not, or if you’re female, or if you’re human at all.