The real skinny on shopping for a swimsuit in a mom body
Published: March 26, 2019
By: Pam Molnar
I dread shopping for swimsuits.
I know I am not alone when I say that. Normally, I am the kind of shopper who can find something quickly. Sales people love me because I don’t waffle back and forth when choosing new furniture. I picked out all the items for my remodeled kitchen in an afternoon. But swimwear? That takes forever. In fact, I probably spent less time looking for my wedding dress than I did looking for last year’s swimsuit.
Like most women, I guess I fear being judged. Let’s be honest. We have all seen those women who clearly did not use the mirror in the dressing room. They are the highlight of people-watching on the beach. While it’s true that people may judge your choice of granite or living room sofa, it’s just not the same. You are not wearing your granite on your way-over-25-check-out-all-my-flaws-post-children body. There is something to be said for those bathing suits from the early 1900s.
I normally shop for a swimsuit alone, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be better taking a friend for moral support. A friend would understand why you need to order margaritas at lunch and she would not remind you about them when you complained about your muffin top in the dressing room.
No, I brave the dressing room sans friends (and margaritas). I wander around the swimwear department grabbing swimsuits that only look good on the hanger. I undress and try them on in a tiny room with bad lighting. While I criticize every wrinkle, stretch mark and pound, I make a silent promise to stop at the gym on the way home. After hitting three or four stores at the mall, I either give up and go home or settle on something that doesn’t look “too bad.”
Online shopping is no better. Sure, you are in the comfort of your own home and you save yourself the embarrassment of running in and out of the dressing room looking for bigger sizes, but you open yourself up to another frustration: You have to guess how these suits will fit. The swimsuits look adorable on these tiny models with big boobs and flat stomachs but that wasn’t my body before I had children, let alone now.
The online stores offer size charts and body-type suggestions, but honestly, they are no help. The size charts are from size 2 to size 16. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could show the suit on models that fit in each size? That way, if you were a size 12, you would be able to see what your size-12 butt was going to look like in the suit versus the size-2 butt. But it’s not like that. You only see the suit on the picture of the Barbie Doll-shaped model and you have to guess.
But that’s what I did this year. I searched online for what I thought looked nice and I hit the purchase button. The good news is that it is back-ordered until May, so I can put off the agony of trying it on until then.