Ask Avery: Suit up
blog by Avery Hartmans • March 15, 2013 @ 9:02am
Since I’m going on Spring Break soon and all the stores are carrying bathing suits, I feel like it’s time to start looking for a new one. But what I struggle with is finding one I can actually do more than sunbathe in. Are there cute suits that won’t totally fall off me?
I can’t believe it’s already that time of year: bathing suit season. I know those words may strike fear into the hearts of most women, but don’t be scared — mainly because as bad as you think you look in a bathing suit, someone else out there looks worse. It may be cruel, but that thought will get you through many a dressing room panic attack.
Body image issues aside, let’s all be honest with ourselves for a moment: just like clothes, not every bathing suit style works on every body type. Some of us — most of us — are not meant to wear itty bitty triangle tops and barely there bottoms. And even if that style works on your body type, there’s no guaranteeing it will actually stay on you if you try to so much as walk around the pool deck.
With that in mind, shop smart this bathing suit season. Do you plan on trying wake boarding for the first time with the boyfriend’s family? Don’t try to pull off a bandeau top and string bikini bottoms. I don’t care how hot of a body you have, you’ll instantly regret that decision when your bathing suit flies off as you’re somersaulting at 30 mph, clutching the tow rope for dear life. There are plenty of fashionable suits out there for the average sunbather, and just as many sporty options for all the aquatic sports enthusiasts. Bring on the warm weather.
I don’t think I’ve donned a one-piece since my swim team days at Hickory Hill Swim and Tennis Club. It was always green, it was always way too tight and it was always paired with a yellow swim cap and lime green goggles. Trust me, this is not the look you’re trying to sport this Spring Break. Instead, try a wetsuit-inspired suit that’s functional enough to let you partake in a sport of your choosing, but won’t look like you’re headed to swim team practice.
But if sports aren’t really your thing, why not wear the most adorable one-piece to ever exist? Complete with bows, a plunging neckline and an open back, this is the furthest thing from a sporty bathing suit you could possibly buy. Just don’t wear this if you plan to bend over, swim laps, wave hello to a friend or try any type of movement beyond spraying on suntan lotion.
Though tankinis aren’t really my style, they have their merits. You get the allure of a two-piece with the coverage of a one-piece. I get it. And if your ideal Spring Break involves playing beach volleyball or tubing on the lake, there are tons of options for you that will keep you covered. But it is basically spring, after all, so opt for a suit in a bright color, like shocking pink. The girls will be supported, your tummy will be totally tucked in and you’ll be ready for any and all aquatic activities.
But what if you’re a total vixen and it wouldn’t feel like vacation until the girls had gotten some sunshine? Not to fear: your perfect suit is jet black with a plunging neckline and a loose cowl neck that will showcase your cleavage and hide any winter weight you may have gained. Plus, the bottoms are control-top so you’ll look totally toned, even if you’re faking it. You’ll be getting your strawberry daiquiris for free all week long, girlfriend.
One of my biggest goals in life is to be a California surfer girl who gets an even, golden tan while simultaneously beating out all the boys for the best waves and wearing an awesome bikini. I think this is probably an unrealistic dream. But that doesn’t mean I and all the sporty chicks of the world can’t still rock a super-cool bikini. This one looks like it will stay on you even when the waves get rough, and even the more well-endowed can wear it without it looking like a sports bra. In this suit, I can at least accomplish a third of my goals.
For everyone else who has normal, rational dreams such as looking nice in a bathing suit, there are tons of fantastic options. Personally, I’m a big fan of anything mint green or floral, so this suit is an ideal choice. The wide straps are both flattering and feminine and the print is so pretty I would wear this suit every day.
I can’t wear a bandeau. It’s one of those things that simply does not look good on me. But I guess there are girls out there who can pull off a bandeau top, and apparently there are girls who like to attempt sporty activities in a bandeau. I don’t care how miniature you are or how tight that top is, you go to spike a volleyball in a bandeau and your vacation will turn into “Girls Gone Wild.” Whether or not that’s what you want is your business.
For the more practical bandeau-wearer who knows her only option is to become bronze and strap-tan-free, a cute mixed-pattern suit is on-trend and fun with just a little bit of sex appeal. You’re only task in this suit is to look fantastic hanging out by the pool.
Whoever brought retro-inspired underwire bikini tops back is a genius. For bustier girls, they’re a swimwear miracle and for the flat-chested, they may actually give you cleavage for once. Underwire tops also allow for more support and coverage — it’s basically like wearing a really adorable, socially acceptable bra to the beach. You can run. You can skip. You can jump. Meanwhile, the girls stay put.
But if you’re the trendiest girl on the planet and just want to look more hip than everyone else at the beach, opt for a high-waisted, ultra-retro suit. Sure, you’re tan lines will be whack and you’ll be completely misunderstood by everyone other than your own, hipster kind, but that just leaves more time for writing in your hand-bound journal and listening to The Decemberists on cassette tape. By wearing high-waisted bottoms and an underwire top, however, you do run the risk of looking like Taylor Swift. And that’s not a compliment.