I got a 2010 bathing suit catalog in the mail the other day. A few years ago, I would have obsessed about starting an exercise regimen and losing 10 pounds before I would even try on a new suit. But thanks to new fabrics (and probably a fair amount of engineering) we have a ton of options that don’t require crash diets or gym memberships (not that a gym membership is a bad thing) .
The way we were … join me on a little trip down the memory lane of Boomer bathing suits.
Historical note: recall that while most of us were wearing cute and modest swimsuits to the pool, lake or beach, during this same time (1964) Rudi Gernreich introduced the shocking ‘topless’ or monokini. Interestingly, according to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, “Gernreich’s paradox is that the bottom of the topless suit is very conservative, with ample coverage and made in the same wool material that had been used for Victorian bathing apparel … an avant-garde sensibility with a nod to tradition.”
The way we are … okay, our bodies have changed since the ’60s and ’70s. If you’re lucky enough, smart enough and/or worked hard enough to maintain a semblance of your 18-year-old self, good for you (and I’ll try not to be a hater). Your reward is getting to choose any old thing in the swimwear department.
The rest of us must be more creative and look for a bathing suit that forgives and/or hides flaws. I contend that everything … even cellulite or flabby arms … looks better when you’re tan. (We’ll talk about how to get healthy tans another time.) So the combination of a nice tan and a flattering bathing suit are a recipe for feeling good about ourselves and having fun.
I found a great website that demonstrates the before & after of choosing the correct bathing suit for a variety of body types.
Check this out …
I’m not recommending any particular brand or manufacturer, although I did buy a ‘miracle suit’ last year and it is fabulous. I’ve also had good luck with suits from Lands’ End, including a tankini similar to the one pictured with drawstrings that you can cinch to adjust the coverage of the top. Brilliant!
Just as an example of how customizable this suit can be, Lands’ End offers it as separates, so you can customize top and bottom sizes. The top comes in regular and plus sizes; you can select regular, long or short torso; D, DD, DDD and even mastectomy cups. That’s a lot of choice for one tankini top.
An online store called shapefx.com offers suits that control to flatten, tighten, lift, enhance and sculpt. The suits are really cute and the price points are about half of what the miracle suit sells for.
More and more manufacturers are recognizing the Boomer market and our particular needs and wants. Through advances in fabrics and styling … shirring, underwire support, larger cup sizes and designs that ‘fool the eye’ to create a longer torso … any Boomer chick can feel confident and look great poolside, at the beach, on a boat and anywhere else where the dress code calls for a bathing suit.
P.S. Hang Ten created a marketing campaign a couple of years ago that celebrates our Boomerliciousness and connects us with our inner Gidget. Print this and stick it on your fridge as a reminder of who still inhabits your swimsuit. : )