I’ll Be the One in Sweat Pants

Do you all have any idea, any idea! how impossible it is to find a swimsuit?  I’m sure you do.

We are going to the beach in a month, give or take, and the only swimsuit I have is the one I bought in . . . umm . . . 2001?  Maybe?  Sounds about right.  It’s an okay swimsuit, don’t get me wrong.  But?  The BEACH!  I’m going to the BEACH!  I’d like a swimsuit that isn’t older than three of my kids! 

I haven’t been to a BEACH since I was a little kid. 

Okay, not true.  I went to a beach in San Diego when I was in college.  But it was early spring, I think (heck, maybe even winter?  I don’t know.) and it wasn’t warm enough to swim.  I distinctly remember wearing jeans and a tunic top and some sandals, and rolling my jeans up so I could wade in the Pacific Ocean (because all of my previous beach-going experiences were in the Atlantic, and I wanted to actually go into the Pacific just so I could say I did), and one of my slip-on sandals came off of my foot and nearly floated out to sea.

Anyway, I also have a pond in my backyard, which means I should get to swim more than the average stay-at-home mom with five kids (since I don’t have to load five kids up in a mom-mobile and lug them off to a pool somewhere), so really a second swimsuit is totally justifiable.  Totally. 


Just agree with me.

Can I tell you how many hours I’ve spent looking at swimsuits online?  I even ordered one a couple of weeks ago, and it came, and I don’t like it.  It is a sport tankini, which is fine.  But?  The shorts are actually a bit too long (right?  who woulda thunk it?  but the length makes my legs look stubby, and even the husband thought it was just too frumpy).  The other problem?  I ordered it in the appropriate size, but they sent it with the bottoms one size smaller.  Yes, the top is the right size, but the bottoms are a size smaller.  Now, in truth, that is the way I would probably need to order a suit if I were ordering mix and match pieces.

“Huh?” you are wondering if you know me in real life.  “You have no boobs!  Just nicely padded bras!”  And this would be terribly, terribly true.  But?  As my mother likes to tell me?  I have a wide rib cage.  This fact has even been confirmed by the Land’s End sizer, fitter-ma-bob (that’s bob, not boob) feature.  You give it all your measurements and it tells you what your ideal size is for a given suit.  It actually shows you three size options and tells you where the suit would be loose or snug (including the degree of looseness and snugness) in each of the sizes.  For me they are all snug around my apparently massive ribcage despite the fact that it is topped with practically microscopic boobs.

It’s okay, I came to terms with the boob thing a long time ago.  Now I just have to work on the  ribcage issues. 

I am actually able to squeeze into the one-size-too small bottoms, but, as previously noted, they make my legs look stubby.


So, in desperation, I actually tried on bathing suits at Wal Mart the other day.  Wal Mart!  Seriously people, I did.  And?  I wasn’t even mortified.  Just resigned.

But?  I didn’t actually buy any.  It was worth the education, however.  What I learned from this experience is as follows:  board short bottoms look much better on me than the longer “sport” short bottoms; and, all the halter tankini tops are made by Satan.  I am saying this, of course, because I am assuming The Prince of Darkness likes big boobs, and I?  I don’t have them.  So the halter tops that look so cute on the hanger next to the short board shorts?  Look horrible, awful, and just plain hideous on me, the boobless wonder.  It just isn’t wise to wear something that shows off cleavage you don’t have.  It’s actually somewhat revolting.  Especially when you are so pasty white someone is bound to mistake you for a vampire sparkling in the sun.

So I’ve spent more hours online than I care to admit trying to find a bathing suit, a tankini, a mix and match, whatever that had board shorts and a top that isn’t a v-neck halter.  You would think I was asking Obama to stop spending money or something.  Most of the non-v-neck halter tops are straight up bikini tops, which just won’t do, or they are minimizing tops, and really?  That would probably make me actually concave, which would be mighty embarrassing, and probably uncomfortable to boot.  There are also bandeau tops, which maybe would be okay.  Except?  They give me flashbacks.

When I was about 14 years old, I had a one-piece bandeau top bathing suit.  Like most bandeau-topped suits, it had a string of a strap that attached on one side, went around and behind the neck, and then attached on the other side.  So I went on some church camp activity or something (I don’t remember what exactly, I just remember who the adult leaders were, and I affectionately called them the camp Nazis for years, so I’m assuming it was some camp something), and on the way back home we stopped at some public pool to swim.  I put on my bandeau-topped, blousy, one-piece swimsuit that couldn’t have been more modest unless in had sleeves, but I could not find my little stringy strap thing.  The adults?  Almost didn’t let me swim.  Yes, they were going to make me get dressed and sit out because my bathing suit was strapless.  You see why I called them Nazis?  Anyway, I finally found my little stringy strap, put in on my bathing suit, and suddenly I passed muster and was allowed to swim.  Freaking Nazis.

My husband said I could just cut off some sweatpants and wear those as my bathing suit.  He was joking, obviously.  I told him he just wanted me to look as frumpy as possible so he could get pity attention from all the cute 18-year-olds on the beach.  He said he doesn’t need pity-attention from 18-year-olds.  He’s right, though that’s not how he meant it.  I told him if I don’t find something soon I will be wearing sweatpants on the beach, and he’ll be so embarrassed to be seen with me than he’ll tell all the fawning 18-year-olds that his wife died and I’m just the nanny.

Okay, I can’t come up with a good transition for the next part, so I’m just going to say it:  If you hear on the news that Liz Lange (assuming she’s a real person) will no longer be designing maternity wear for Target because she was found dead in her townhouse, I can promise you that it will be justifiable homicide.  Because really?  Who designs a maternity swimsuit with gargantuan ruffles going horizontally across the belly?  Who???  Liz Lange does, that’s who.

If you are expecting and actually own that suit, I am really sorry.  I mean, not sorry for mocking Liz Lange and the drunken cocktail party that inspired that monstrosity; just sorry that your hormones got in the way of your better judgment.  Trust me when I say, “Burn it.  Burn. it.  now.”

And no, I am not in need of a maternity suit.  I haven’t been drunk at any cocktail parties lately.  It just popped up in my Amazon search results for tankini. 

And did you notice?  It even has a v-neck halter top!  Of course, when you’re pregnant, you have boobs.  Unless you are me.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is happy he doesn’t need a swimsuit.

16 thoughts on “I’ll Be the One in Sweat Pants

  1. I also hate looking for suits. (Who doesn’t, really?) Only, my problem isn’t no boobs, it’s the incredibly pathetically saggy ones I got for nursing my boys (only two! what will happen to me if there’s ever another?!?! maybe we’ll adopt.) They are also the reason Victoria’s Secret (formerly the only ones to fit me) no longer work. I am not an eighteen year old childless woman. Try Land’s End or Nike or TYR’s sport suits. Not particularly cute or sexy, but at least you look normal! Good luck. (And what beach? anywhere near SoCal?)


  2. I have the opposite problem with tankini tops – large chest, small ribcage & a long torso just to keep things interesting. Finding swimsuits is just as difficult as finding bras. It took me years to find a suit that was long enough to cover my stretchmarked-ghostly white spare tire & had an underwire to support the girls. I’ve had good luck at Figleaves.com & Lands End. I’m also not a fan of halters but only because I hate having things around my neck. My most recent swimsuit has removable straps, which I find annoying, but it’s adjustable on the sides so it’s long enough to cover my midsection (You’re Welcome public pool patrons) & the girls aren’t hanging down to my knees. Have you looked at the Miracle Suit? I’ve heard good things about them…

    Good Luck!


  3. Oh my word, I’m laughing so hard I can barely type. Hate swimsuits. Hate shopping for swimsuits. Hate spending money on swimsuits. Most of all, hate being seen in swimsuits. I have one suit and it’s ridiculous – old granny skirt with a top that is way too revealing for the fact that when wearing it I am wrangling a toddler. I must not have tried it on when I bought it, I don’t even remember where or when I bought it. I will need to get something else before MY trip to the beach in August, because my child loves the water and it’s not fair to not take advantage of the beach just because I resemble a beached whale. I really only realized that I need to tackle finding a new suit as I read your post. Now now while I love you, I also really do not so much. Good luck and keep us posted on your results!


  4. Concave! Bwaahahahahhhaaa!

    I agree about The Dark One’s involvement- but, I think ALL swimsuits are designed by Satan. I hate trying to shop for one.

    BTW- Don’t feel too badly for yourself… I would rather be boobless than have the type that needs to be hoisted up off of the stomach and back onto the chest and affixed with a system of pulleys, duct tape and gadgetry of all sorts. It sucks.

    We were at a beach years ago and two girls were eyeballing my hub. Finally one came over to me to ask if I was his wife, because “her friend just wanted to know.” Geesh. The point is… if my Grizzly-Adams-style, with a beer gut even though he doesn’t drink-hub can get hit on at the beach, you are in a lot of trouble. I’ve seen your man. Make HIM wear the sweatpants. And black socks with sandals. And a shirt at all times. And zinc on his nose. And one of those goofy sun-protection hats with the flap thingie that goes down the back and covers the ears and neck. Maybe that will make him 18 yr old hottie-proof.


  5. J

    Did you try Athleta? or Lime Ricki, they have a couple of Bandeu suits for us, more modeerately endowed…(btw the best bra’s I’ve found that fit me are training bras… not kidding… at all…)
    I may have to post on Cute Covered just for you!


  6. J

    Oh my gosh, I just read Michelle’s comment and she is right make your dh wear sweatpants, and maybe a hijab…


  7. m

    I love the beach and I love to get in the water or go for a long run on the sand. Get a black whole piece with a nice looking top and wear a pair of light cute boxer type boy shorts over the bathing suit bottom.


  8. Because you DO have a pond and therefore should have more than one (in fact, more than 2, if you live in your pond the way I live in my pool all summer) I’m going to tell you that you need to go to Dillard’s (in the big city mall) at the end of season for their 75% off sale. That is pretty much the only place I buy swim suits. I have a freakish body what with the waist that does not match the rest of me and makes buying clothes impossible, but I have good luck with Dillard’s swimsuits.

    Sadly, this doesn’t help you now, since they are probably still full price, which is crazy expensive…

    But, when you do come to Dillard’s for the end of season swim wear sale, call me and we’ll go have lunch. 🙂


  9. Pingback: Swimsuits For Elaine (or anyone else for whom the term “concave” may apply…)

  10. Christina

    That frilly maternity suit? Should be in the dictionary under the word “Horrid”. I don’t get the ruffle thing at all – just tried on a shirt that was ruffled like that the other day and I felt like a circus clown. Can not imagine wearing that when I was pregnant!!

    I hate buying swimsuits. Almost as much as I hate wearing them. Really I should just concentrate on buying a very flattering cover-up, because truth be told that’s what most people will see me in.


  11. The Liz Lange bathing suit – yeah, that was pretty bad. Good luck with the search. I have contemplated beginning that search myself and may just give up the lake and pool for the year instead 🙂


  12. I have the wide ribcage and a massive chest so I hate swimsuits. Can’t really do halter top tankinis. I just spill out like there’s no tomorrow. I really think Satan had a hand in all bathing suits. I did finally find some trim shaper-sucker inner type tankini online at Kohl’s. It takes me 10 minutes to get into the top and i still have to suck it in, but it is better than wearing sweats to the pool…


  13. I have the no boobs issue too. And the thing is that with no boobs, the shorts on the bottom just look funny because everything is bigger on the bottom and one pieces look horrible. I get suits from Old Navy – mix and match – those halter tops actually look decent on no boobs. I get the regular bikini top and the tankini top and regular bikini bottoms. Then I go to Athletica and order a cute skirt to put over the bottoms. Good Luck!


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