Last year we went to a pool party at my godmother’s house and I “forgot my bathing suit”. I wasn’t comfortable with my body and I wasn’t interested in putting it on display for various layers of my family. My parents took the kids in the pool, but it wasn’t very fun for them, and honestly, the kids would have preferred for Hub or me to be in the water anyway. So I decided at that point that I wasn’t going to have the kids miss out because of my insecurities. This summer there would be swimming.
As it happens, we’ve been put in the way of some upcoming activities that will require me to wear a swim suit. Not the usual summer vacation where we don’t know anyone, but amusement park trips with my brother, the beach with some friends and possibly a family camping trip. I know that I won’t get by without going in the water, especially because Liv is at a point where she wants to hang off of me, even in our 2.5 foot pool in the back yard. So I resigned myself to this fact of public swimsuit wearing. I’ve accepted it, and I’m moving on.
Now the swimsuit I’ve worn for the past few years is ok—in its one-piece with skirt old ladyish way. I wanted something a little more supportive, and a little more versatile. I couldn’t wear the existing suit under things because of the giant skirt. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed this about one-pieces, but they don’t do much in the way of supporting the girls. So I set out to casually look for some bathing suits—planning to do the shopping online and be done with it. Nothing seemed right though. I didn’t want a halter that tied at my neck, I didn’t want my whole thigh exposed…you get the idea. I was certain I wouldn’t find anything, but decided to look at the suits while I had the girls in Target on Saturday morning.
I was surprised with the selection—lots of nice interchangeable tops and bottoms. I saw a skirted bottom that I knew could work and decided to buy it even if I couldn’t find a top. And then I saw it—a black and white racer back top, that was fitted and had cups for support up top, but was looser and kind of ruched on the sides. A bit longer as well. I looked for and found an XL and I was sold. There was no time for trying it on, but I remembered the racer back Speedo suit I had in high school—mind you when I was a twig, but still had a need for support—and figured I’d be ok.
I put off trying it on when we got home. I was afraid of hating it. I was afraid it would give me back boobs. I was afraid of a lot of things. Eventually though, I did put it on and checked myself out in the mirror. The result was….not bad. There is no disguising the fact that I am overweight. And I think the fact that I get that now is helping me immensely. For my body type, the suit was perfect. I had nice cleavage and I had some flow in the belly region. My whole ass wasn’t hanging out; the skirt offered a lot of coverage, while still being modern. It was weird, but I genuinely liked the way I looked in the suit.
It was only when I decided to take the tags off that I realized the top portion of the suit was actually a maternity top. Nevermind that I’m not sure what kind of pregnant belly would fit in there, but UGH! Maternity!! This didn’t do a lot for my self esteem. Here I thought I’d found something perfect for “my body type”. It stung a little bit to know that my body type=looks pregnant but is not and has not been for 3 years. The Twitters helped to talk me down though, and I’m still keeping it. It is a good suit with good fit. Nobody will know the difference anyway I’m sure.
The rational part of me knows that nobody cares what I look like in a bathing suit. I know this I know this I know this! And I think I will actually wear it this coming weekend and I think I will wear it proudly.
I still say keep it, who cares if it's "maternity". No one will know but you. Besides, maybe maternity just means super duper spandex which is okay with me as far as keeping things in their proper places.
I think EVERYONE struggles with bathing suit anxiety. I agree too, if it fits and you like it – keep it!
You know, maternity clothes in this day an age are meant to cling to the belly and show it off not float over it and hide it. I can't wear any of my maternity shirts from when I was pregnant with Sam because they highlight my decidedly NOT PREGNANT belly. Which is a giant NO in my book.So, what I'm saying is don't feel bad about the top being maternity. It's not supposed to be a floaty and large, so it probably looks nothing like what you'd expect from a maternity clothing item. As long as it fits and makes you feel comfortable, forget about the label.OH! And also, Land's End suits are fantastic. I've got DDD boobs and they have suits that fit and support beautifully. And the only reason I've ever had to replace one of their suits was because I needed a different size. I recommend shopping at the end of the summer for next year's suit. They're expensive as hell, but the end-of-season clearance prices are AWESOME. (Mine was originally $80 and I got it for $22.)
You are so brave! I keep telling my kids that Daddy will have to take them swimming because I don't have a swimming suit….and, technically, I still don't have a swimsuit, but I did just order one that I think will work….but I'm not sure I'm going to tell the kids when it arrives because I just don't know if I can make myself wear it in public….I will try to take courage from you, who also feels uncomfortable in a swimsuit but is going to wear it anyway!
My THIN mom and I were at Target the other day, and she saw the PERFECT shirt—and then realized it was maternity. She said, "…But it doesn't look like maternity. There's no extra room in the, you know, TUM AREA!" So she went and tried it on. She said it did not look even one bit maternity. So I think the current maternity clothes must be something with, like, extra STRETCH? or something? Because they don't have a tum pocket.
I agree very strongly with all the comments about maternity clothes not being what they once were. I kept wearing many of my maternity shirts way past the preggo stage this time around, and I have a pair of maternity yoga shorts that are totally just SHORTS with a stretchy waist band and I still wear them all the time. Also, my friend was wearing an adorable shirt yesterday that I commented on, and she laughed and said, "Maternity!" And she is NOT overweight, and her baby is seven months old, and it totally looked like a normal top to me. So. No worries!
I am kind of impressed that you could just pick up a Target XL and it was fine. I can't wear anything there anymore…can't even jimmy myself into their 2Xs…. Sigh.I am glad you found a suit! I bought a top from Lane Bryant and am still trying to decide if I like it. I think it might be too low cut. Blergh.
Years ago, I bought the cutest top in the world. It was long enough I could wear it over leggings, and it was just perfect. I wore it probably half a dozen times before I realized it was a maternity top. I still wore it after that – because it was CUTE, and no one else knew.I'd keep the suit.
i bought this at walmart and LOVED IT. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Shape-Solutions-by-Catalina-Women-s-Leopard-Shirred-Halter-Swimsuit/15149468it had a cute 30's vibe, covered my thighs, held up my boobs, sinched in tummy. IT IS SO CUTE. you should check it out at your walmart.