“I always say, ‘Do you have a body? Then you’re swimsuit ready.’ That’s all you need to worry about.” ~ Emily Ratajkowski
Memorial Day Weekend
This weekend begins the unofficial kick off to summer in the US. In a normal year, we would be coming out of hibernation, remembering and honoring not just the sacrifices of our military, but also celebrating the fact we all survived winter. Coastal towns would open officially for the season, which would also include the beaches. Highways would be crowded with cars, as people travelled to see family, the busiest it had been since Christmas. There would be parades, and hot dog eating contests and just an elated aura of sunshine and summertime, regardless of what Mother Nature dictated weather wise.
Unfortunately, this year is not normal. All plans have gone out the window and we are lucky if we can jog on a beach, never mind lounging about, catching those rays. Our hibernation turned into a two plus month quarantine, and while states are beginning to re-open, gatherings are still limited to non-existent. It is a very different Memorial Day Weekend then what we are use too.
While I have been lamenting to anyone who will listen (and even those who won’t) about how much I miss the beach, I refuse to let COVID cloud my sun. Corona and quarantine are not going to stop me from enjoying summer, even if I have to make my own “beach” getting cozy with my parent’s backyard, and I am the only one who sees my summer wardrobe.
Actually, the last one, might not be so bad. I kid. Joking aside, as much as I love summer fashion, rocking cute sundresses as well as maxi’s and dusters, there is an aspect of summer that gives me major anxiety. Despite being someone who likes to think I am secretly a mermaid, (In my imagination) for as long as I can remember, I have absolutely HATED swimsuits. It has been an ongoing battle and just when I think I have succeeded in self-love, and finally come to a place where I love my body, BAM swimsuit season starts and so do all those loathsome abominable thoughts.
Reality is: No one gives a shit WHAT you look like in a bathing suit. And for the doozy of a truth bomb, even frickin Giselle Bündchen who made a career out of wearing swimsuits, gets insecure wearing them. It doesn’t matter WHAT size or shape you are, we all have our insecurities, and bathing suits is one of those, that I think we can all unite in our anxiety, over. Which should also go to show us, we are ALL our own worst critics of ourselves.
Fashion Gives us Confidence
Fashion has long gotten a bad rap, and regardless of whether it is right or wrong, and moving past the perceived notions of beauty, fashion can and is a major confidence booster. Clothes are not only a form of armor, but an expression of ourselves. If you feel sexy in a dress, that is going to translate to everyone around you. Likewise, finding a bathing suit you like, maybe even shockingly love, will give you that air of confidence which is then projected to others. Whether you love or hate them, they are a necessary evil, and I feel like I have finally come to a place where I am not just okay rocking them, but love them.
That is due in part to having found a suit that fits me, as well accentuating all of my perceived (because it really is all down to our own insecurities) positive attributes, as well as hiding what I have deemed (again all in MY head) to be less then favorable. Truthfully, the swimsuit search has been a long time coming. As someone who spends all her free time at the beach, you would think I would have succeeded in finding the “Perfect” suit long before now. Yet, it was only last year I stumbled on a suit and honestly it came as a huge surprise.
The Bathing Suit
Regardless of my insecurities, I am extremely picky. I prefer bikinis, but they have to have a decent amount of coverage, especially the bottoms. (I have junk in the trunk, what can I say?) I hate one pieces, purely because they are a pain to get off, but a lot of bikinis can be skimpy. Every spring, I do the dreaded search for a swimsuit, and every year, I feel like I strike out. But much like holding out for YOUR perfect partner, I finally struck pay dirt (now if my romantic life would follow suit) with not just ONE, but multiple holy grails of swimsuits.
Pink Lily, is one of my favorite online boutiques. They have cute trendy as well as classic clothing at affordable prices. They also have the cutest bathing suits. I have always bought mine from Victoria Secret, but when they stopped selling their swim line, I was left scrambling, even when I bought from VS, it was an uncomfortable process, as I was always size jumping it felt like. While I had ordered clothes from Pink Lily, I was nervous to order bathing suits, especially online. I needn’t be. I read the reviews which were extremely accurate. Despite liking full coverage briefs, I wasn’t a fan of the retro high waist, but decided to give this two piece ruffle set, a try. Not only did I fall in love, but I ended up buying more of the same style!
I wish I had given the high waisted trend a chance, before now, I loved how they hugged me and pulled everything, in while still being comfortable. The briefs were full coverage and the best part was they didn’t ride up. The cut-out detail on the side added just a bit of sassiness, though be careful, because it does give some interesting tan lines! I loved the ruffled feminine top. I had never gone for off the shoulder, preferring more of a halter style when at the beach, but I ended up loving it, especially as it does even out all the janky tan straps I get from various tank tops.
Styling a Swimsuit
Confession framily, I was that person who wore shorts IN water, even at the local pool because I hated my skater thighs as a teenager. I admit I still get self conscious, it is human nature to do so, but rocking a bathing suit is as much fashion as an evening gown is and instead of hiding, these days I choose to style outfits around it. This bathing suit makes it so incredibly easy to do so, as the top could be worn on its own.
As I wrote, I own this suit in a gazillion colors, my favorite color and the one I wear the most is the pink, which is a cross between a salmon and a coral color. It goes with so much in my wardrobe, yet adds a nice pop of color whilst still being neutral. Because the top is its own statement with the ruffle, I will throw a high waisted skirt, or shorts on, depending on what I am doing. Kimonos make the best swim covers, and I have a floral red one which when paired with the pink, matches perfectly. Lastly, a hat and sunnies are a must at the beach, and these earrings from Pink Lily add a touch of mer-glam.
This bikini is so versatile, that it can easily transition to a night out at a tiki bar or even throw a dress on over it, to go to dinner and yet I feel like a million bucks rocking it as I frolic in the waves. It truly is a gem that I am so grateful to have stumbled upon, because it has given me more confidence at the beach. Self-love and body positivity is an endless journey, one that is always opening new doors for the discovery of yourself, it is also a journey that we are ALL on. Realizing that, helps us to not only tear down those walls, but rock that dang bikini.
How do you feel about swimsuits? Do you have a swimsuit that gives you love and gives you confidence? How do you style swimsuits?