Writing swimsuit posts always makes me cranky

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I always dread trying to find good swimsuits to write about here, because nothing inspires self-loathing like that particular article of clothing, and it’s tough to know what’s going to look good on all of you, with your many and varied body types. But such a post has been requested a few times lately. And it is pretty much the season, so I’ll power right through the absolute mood that trying to get this together has placed me in and start with one that I just purchased for myself: this perfectly classic number from Solid & Striped.

I bought this for my trip to Miami a few months back, and adore the crochet business, but must warn that it hits very high in the rear.

One of you wrote in the comments that I do not need to point out every time something is a plus-size option, but I find it tough not to when the size of the model leaves one wondering. In any case, are these polka dots not criminally cute?

This is very 50s screen siren, and it is made with control material for a flattering fit.

The chevron pattern here is also quite flattering.

Here’s one specifically made for women with a fuller bust.

The back straps here are rather intricate and really pretty, and I love a red swimsuit.

Just a stupendously fun striped option.

From Ashley Graham’s line: I think the lace-up situation is very sexy, without really exposing much of anything.

I know this one plunges rather darlingly, but the floral is so pretty.

Another rather 50s-style cut (and here’s a very similar plus version).

I like the neckline here, and it’s a nice buy, too.

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30 Thoughts on Writing swimsuit posts always makes me cranky
    Jenny Katz
    20 Jun 2017
    8:09am

    I just ordered (and sadly, had to return) the gorgeous purple floral from Zara. The plunge front isn’t as dangerous as it looks, because there’s some kind of wire in that dip that allays boob migration. The suit ended up looking and feeling too tight on me, though, either because I’m actually not the size small I thought I was or because the suit runs small. If you do order, consider sizing up.

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    c.w.
    20 Jun 2017
    8:17am

    First of all I commend you for tackling the swimsuit issue. I would dare to say there is not one other article of clothing that confounds a woman more than a swimsuit particularly as they progress along the age spectrum. So bravo for finding suits that are adorable (love the polka dots and the stripes!) and offer coverage. Two or three years ago my muther was visiting and had forgotten to pack her swimsuit. She was eighty-nine at the time. I took her to the local Everything But Water and the salesgirl found her a one piece that covered her rear end, had straps, but had a cut out over her belly-button (I suppose to display a belly-button-piercing?). Muther came out of the dressing room wearing the suit and I asked her if she was comfortable showing her belly-button. She laughed and said, “At my age, who cares?” She bought the suit. So I now try to apply that way of thinking when needs require a new suit. I’m almost sixty-six ergo “Who cares?” And I wear whatever covers my rear end and has straps and beguiles.

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      y.k.
      20 Jun 2017
      9:31am

      😆 i love this. especially imagining the cut out!

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    Amy
    20 Jun 2017
    8:17am

    The link for the purple floral suit is going to a different suit at topshop, fyi.

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      KimFrance
      20 Jun 2017
      8:52am

      Link fixed!

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    Dana D
    20 Jun 2017
    9:40am

    I like every single suit here! Saw the crocheted one online yesterday and loved it, but wondered about the rear-end situation.

    Ugh because I won’t pay a lot for a suit, want to try it on (under those awful lights, double ugh), and want fair-trade or made in America.

    I ended up at REI because they have Carve and Patagonia.

    (Add to all of that the grew-up-in-southern-CA-at-the-beach GOACA situation which means melanoma and other lovely skin cancers and one is left with swim leggings and a rash guard for every beach holiday so it hardly matters what the suit looks like at all…)

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      Viajera
      20 Jun 2017
      10:49am

      Swim leggings?!! This is new to me — where does one get those? Are they just to block the sun or do they do anything else? If you get a chance, I would love to know.

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        Dana D
        20 Jun 2017
        11:28am

        Hey Viajera!

        Solumbra/Sun Precautions in Seattle makes the SPF 100 leggings I have. I wear a long sleeve surf shirt from there also. Their stuff is pricey but is recommended by dermatologists and has the highest SPF rating. I can swim in them and don’t have to futz with sunscreen…

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          suz
          20 Jun 2017
          12:36pm

          I am so happy that these even exist!! Thank you!

          Am a very very pale real redheaded person, so beach type clothing is a particular hell for me …since birth. This is amazing news to me – I had pretty much given up on beachwear. Thank you!

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          Viajera
          21 Jun 2017
          10:39am

          Wow, great news, thank you!!! I despise having to put on sunscreen too!!! It is so annoying. This is very interesting.

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          Eloise
          21 Jun 2017
          12:26pm

          Coolibar sells swim leggings, too. I haven’t ordered them yet, but am going to do so today. (There stuff is good quality in general).

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    Eloise
    20 Jun 2017
    10:02am

    The Norma Kamali suit is on its way – yay! (And thank goodness for Shop Bop’s free return shopping policy!)

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    Shannan
    20 Jun 2017
    10:23am

    Those are GREAT options – I love that striped one, and the red one in particular, because it reminds me of a white suit (similar cut) that Rachel Ward wore years ago in the movie Against All Odds. Also – I thought I’d share here (because it keeps popping up in my Facebook feed), a swimwear line that is new to me called Summersalt (https://www.gosummersalt.com/). They seriously have some of the CUTEST one pieces that I have seen in a long time, and BONUS – they’re eco-friendly!

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    Lisa
    20 Jun 2017
    10:24am

    And when you decide that you like your body well enough because even though you are 60 and dimpled and so on it’s served you well and you believe in IDGAF, and you find bathing suit fabric less than comfortable on your belly, I recommend Arak’s bikins;).

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      Jenny Katz
      20 Jun 2017
      10:32am

      xoxoxox

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      ktcorz
      20 Jun 2017
      12:49pm

      Amen! My nearly 70 year old cousin told me a few weeks back, indignantly, regretfully, she’s never worn a bikini but now considers it a political act. IDGAF was exactly her mantra re: a body “that’s had 2 kids, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, had a broken hip, suffer the slings and arrows of time” and modesty be damned. I bought a bikini the next day, wore it at a Palm Springs pool surrounded by PYTs and GOACAs in one pieces and man, it was a revelation!

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        Dana D
        20 Jun 2017
        6:12pm

        Love this…

        Yes to the bikini!!!

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    Leah
    20 Jun 2017
    10:59am

    Thanks for the post. I wish Topshop would use a model who has a “fuller bust” for their “fuller bust” suit. By contrast, gotta love the Ashley Graham models. It’s inspiring for those of who have said “fuller bust” but sometimes feel self-conscious of it.

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    Jen
    20 Jun 2017
    11:08am

    Can you tell us about the boob situation in the first one (the one you bought). It’s not described on the site. I need a little bit of padding because sadly I have eternal top hats.

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    Ruth Harris
    20 Jun 2017
    11:46am

    Here’s a tip from a chic friend: she buys simple tank swimsuits in two colors and layers them. Usually black over white. Looks great and suit #1 acts like a foundation/body shaper. Would work with many of these terrific selections.

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    Cristina
    20 Jun 2017
    12:38pm

    Anthropologie has a ton of great suits – especially one pieces. Many of them are online only. I’ve purchased a few of their retro inspired styles and love them!

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    suz
    20 Jun 2017
    12:42pm

    Swimsuit makers really need to show suits on a variety of shapes, so we can actually SEE what it looks like with say, hips and boobs. The Kamali suit looks strange shown on such a straight figure….and hooray for Ashley Graham btw.

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    Laurel
    20 Jun 2017
    1:13pm

    I bought a tankini from https://www.swimsuitsforall.com/ this year and I am pleased as punch with it. I have an exceedingly long torso, such than no one-piece will ever suffice. Swimsuits For All also has a refreshing array of models and lets you buy differently sized tops and bottoms.

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    joannawnyc
    20 Jun 2017
    2:30pm

    My model-skinny younger sisters buy their suits at Target, but I’ve had the best luck at HerRoom, Bare Necessities, Fig Leaves etc.–the lingerie makers like Fantasie and Freya and Panache have some great, well-fitting styles for the well-endowed. And yes, I own a two-piece (not *quite* a bikini, though).

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      Jen
      21 Jun 2017
      12:10pm

      Totally agree! A freya or fantaisie cup-sized tankini with underwire is the way to go, especially if you are a non-standard size. I have a very small band size (30) and a very large cup size (H in UK sizing) and that is the only way I can get a suit that fits. Although I am also careful to wear a rash guard for sun protection.

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    Lori
    21 Jun 2017
    2:06am

    Life-long swimmer; long torso, hourglass figure with boobs that need support and butt that needs coverage, and a post-45 intolerance for anything touching my stomach (what *is* that?): Had fantastic luck in Hawaii recently (swimming, snorkeling, body surfing) with the bra-sized Antibes bikini tops + bikini bottoms from Boden, and the mix-and-match triangle tops + bikini bottoms from J. Crew. All stayed in place, were supportive and flattering, provided excellent coverage,
    and didn’t stretch out or fade after multiple wearings.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    22 Jun 2017
    2:39am

    J Crew = Long torso bathing suits + reasonable price = Happy Val (and I went out of my comfort zone and got red.)

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    Jen
    27 Jun 2017
    11:52am

    I for one appreciate when you do point out a plus size option as plus size. I’ve clicked through to non-plus options far too many times and been burned when sizes only hit a 10/12 and won’t come near fitting my size 18 bum.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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