The Deals and the Dish on Where You Need to Shop
Apr 21, 2011
04:53 PMWindow Shopping
The Swimwear Dilemma
Recently I faced a dilemma that I hadn't faced before—buying a swimsuit is challenging. Perhaps it's because I always found swimsuits before when I wasn't looking, and now I was looking (have you ever had that happen?). Or, I was shopping with a specific top and bottom style in mind. Either way, in my wardrobe, swimsuits take a place somewhere between running shoes and pants—they're important to buy, yet I dread buying them. The former because running shoes are pricey (and let's face it, if I'm spending $100, I'd rather spend it on to-die-for heels! But I digress.), the latter because pants are frequently too short on me, so it's pretty much a given that unless it's in a "long" length, they won't work.
Swimsuits are obviously a wardrobe item that one doesn't wear every day (unless you're a surfer!) so it can make searching for one a little tricky. If there is one thing I can impress on you though after my recent swimwear search it's this: it's worth it to spend more on a swimsuit you'll be comfortable in.
Let's face it: parading around in less clothing can be somewhat stressful for women. So you should be confident in what you're wearing. On my recent swimsuit hunt it was more frustrating than I recall in years past. Perhaps it's because I wasn't looking for super-skimpy options, of which there are plenty of out there—and I wasn't looking for one-pieces and tankinis. I felt like I was in a weird Goldilocks dilemma—swimwear was either too little, or too covered up!
I visited some mass retailers and got discouraged rather quickly. At one place the swimsuits were all pretty expensive--$50 or more per piece (so yep, that means they'd clock in at $100 for the set) and since I have a few swimsuits, I felt it wasn't necessary to go overboard on price. At another the swimsuits were so bland I felt like I'd seen them fifty times before. At yet another all of the swimwear was so tiny (i.e.: made for junior sizing) I got frustrated that unless i wanted to walk around in stitches of clothing, I figured I'd shop elsewhere. At a few other department stores the majority of offerings were tankinis and one-pieces—stuff I wasn't looking for, either. Finally at Victoria's Secret I got some refuge for the swimwear snafu.
I admit: many of Vicky's options are pretty skimpy too, so if that's what you're looking for, they have plenty of that type as well. I however was looking for a nice respectable two-piece—nothing crazy-expensive, or tiny, or too covered-up—something in the middle. With the array of patterns and silhouettes there is to choose from, Victoria's Secret has a respectable selection—and you can piece together an entire look for under $50 in some of the versions. I chose a lovely lilac selection, but I think the pink cheetah pattern they have is pretty stylish, too (above, photo).
Are you looking for a suit and want to shop locally? If you want more fashion-forward options and price isn't an issue, I suggest Bop on Gorham or Shopbop.com for a wide array of silhouettes from barely-there to cheeky retro options. For sportier options Title Nine (a national chain) has tankinis, one-pieces and two-pieces that allow for easy movement—without losing your top or bottoms! LandsEnd.com and LandsEndCanvas.com, both stalwarts in the swimwear scene, offer endless options for women from bikinis to one-pieces—all for very affordable prices.
What's your swimwear secret? Have you ever had any trouble finding a swimsuit? Let me know in the comments!