Bathing Suit Time

As I lamented in my post about bra shopping after breast-feeding, your body changes in ways you never even fathomed. People talk so much about the baby weight, but can we talk about the baby shape?  This is a phenomenon that leaves many women scratching their heads as they are (praise be!) back to their pre-pregnancy weight, but alas, those low-rise jeans don’t fit quite the same and they never will. Tops have suddenly become inches shorter and leave you open to exposing your butt-crack the million times a day you are bending down to do something child related.

Post-kid clothing shopping is difficult, but not impossible. But just when you’re riding mid-rise high after a few new jean and tunic shirt purchases for your mom bod, bathing suit season rears its ugly head with poor lighting and options that make you go “meh”. Shopping for a suit is never a fun endeavor regardless of whether you’ve experienced the miracle of life. Before you start thinking that this is a post about not having a bikini model body – it’s not, I swear -it’s simply about finding a suit that has to bridge this gap between form and function, and yes, flatter your mom bod in a way that makes you feel good about yourself.

My suit requirements are as follows:

  1. Ability to withstand the constant tugging of small children and not expose those parts of my body which the suit is trying to cover up
  2. Maintain some semblance of appropriateness. I am a mom after all and in the past where I may have wanted to flaunt it, I’m definitely more in the “hide it” mode. That said, I also want it…
  3. To Look halfway decent and not make me feel too mom-ish
  4. Provide room for growth. Not spiritual, but rather the rosé and summer BBQ growth that will be happening to my waistline

With these requirements in hand, thus began my suit shopping journey. A journey which I invite you to look back on me with.

The hard part is knowing where to look. Victoria’s Secret used to be my go-to for bathing suits. All the options and the ability to mix and match made my heart swoon. But, as of last year, VS decided to shutter its bathing suit line, a line that has been outfitting me for most of my adult life.

I moved on to other options. I tried ordering a CupShe bathing suit. If you’re like me, then you’re bombarded constantly on every form of social media with images of these cute and ultra affordable bathing suits, which probably pair perfectly with Diffy Eyewear. Given their price, you know there’s going to be a catch but you’re not quite sure what that catch is. I ordered with confidence under the watchful eye of Amazon, who promised me two-day delivery and free returns should this not work out.

Here’s the suit:

It’s cute, but first off, I’m not so sure what made me think that I would be able to pull off this plunging V-neckline. When you’re chasing a four and two year old at the pool all summer, your best option to ensure a nip slip doesn’t happen is a turtle neck, not plunging necklines.  Perhaps I hadn’t quite let go of the trendy and cute suits that continue to be so elusive for me or I put a lot of faith in that tiny 1/8 inch strip of fabric working its hardest to hold the sides of this bathing suit top together . Still optimistic, I tried it on in the privacy of my home where I could cry into a pillow if need be.

To say this suit was a disappointment is putting it mildly. If I was feeling confident about my forever-changed mom bod prior to trying on the suit (I really wasn’t) then this shattered it to smithereens. Not only did this plunge practically to my navel, but the cups separated my boobs like Moses parting the Red Sea with my sternum popping out prominently in the middle shouting out “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Gandalf-style. Mama needs a suit that lifts and pushes the girls together, not separates them like two feuding children being put in their respective corners. In the wise words of Randy Jackson:

After dropping off my Amazon return package, I spent the next few days purchasing roughly $400 worth of bathing suits from Target. Fitting room light is unforgiving thus deterring me from shopping in person but the darkness of my walk-in closet is actually quite flattering so I eagerly awaited the arrival of my packages.

One suit, this cute ruffled number below, was apparently made for someone with the torso of my two-year old daughter. The crotch of the suit ended up giving me a severe (and comical) case of camel toe that I’m sure would result in a UTI with prolonged wear. Back to the store you go, ruffles.

The next little number was adorable and I was excited about its supportive halter top and the promise of a full-coverage bottom. However, I must have a weird torso  because this ended up being the Steve Urkel of bathing suits on me. The white band of the suit hit just under my bra line in a most unflattering way making the suit another one for the no pile.

In the end, I decided to keep this bathing suit right here. Basically Merona is how Target spells MOM because my closet is lined with items from that particular line. It’s stylish, fits well, covers most, and makes me feel like I’m not a regular mom.

Yes. I did an intentionally bad Photoshop job on this. Mostly because I don’t know how to use Photoshop and did this in PowerPoint instead. However, this is pretty much how my body looks.

In total, I ordered five bathing suits from Target. A few didn’t work but for less than comedic, blog-worthy reasons so I didn’t even bother mentioning them. That brings my bathing suit shopping success rate to a whooping 15%. This means that 1 in every 6 suits I try on will serve my needs, which is good as I do need to find a second suit. Basically what I’m trying to say is, there’s a chance. A small, 15% one, but the right second suit is out there. I just need to find her.

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