Vanity + Wearables

I like these swimsuits. But let’s be real, it’s not like I’d actually wear them. Or would I?


L: Bandeau top and underalls from Grey Ant at ’80s Purple // R: Suspendered bather from Minnow Bathers

Confession: I haven’t worn a swimsuit since I was 12 or 13 years old. Yeah, it’s been well over 20 years. I have gone in the water a couple of times since then (sporting the classic underwear-and-tee combo), but swimming is really a thing of the past for me. I don’t think about that fact very much, but when I do, it makes me a little sad. I miss the water. But I don’t miss swimsuits.

I really don’t want to be one of those people who kvetches about body image and dressing rooms and all that (yeah, yeah, I know I’m OK), but…well. Sometimes you don’t want to put on a swimsuit. And sometimes that “sometimes” lasts for a couple of decades.

These swimsuits are pretty cute though, right? The one from Grey Ant (sold in separates as a bandeau top and underalls) is like an awesome Scandinavian blanket re-sewn into swimwear. I can get behind that. The other one is from Minnow Bathers (they also have an Etsy shop, and Leah told me they’re happy to make suits in custom sizes). It kind of looks like what the emcee from Cabaret might wear to go swimming. Or modern lederhosen. Only good things.

I want to go swimming.

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91 Comments

  • Reply Lori Andrews July 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

    love

  • Reply victoria July 20, 2011 at 12:51 am

    i like them, but i don’t think they’d look good on me. the one on the right is very “rudi gernreich”!

  • Reply Eva @ Sycamore Street Press July 20, 2011 at 1:06 am

    I like these suits: the black and white, the high waists, and the low cut leg openings… But the don’t have any support up top — just like every other swimsuit out there. I don’t know why swimsuits don’t customize the sizing more (like bras do). I heard that Christina Hendricks (aka Joan Holloway) wants to design a line of swimsuits like that. I hope she does.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 1:08 am

      Yeah, that’s definitely an issue for me!! My friend Leah has a Minnow suit, though, and she says it’s supportive on its own…so maybe the photo is just deceptive?

  • Reply Jennifer July 20, 2011 at 1:17 am

    I’m the same way! Though sometimes I make a compromise and slink into the water rather awkwardly. I love to swim, but feel pretty rotten in swimsuits. I will say the one I’ve found pretty tolerable is the Esther Williams suit on Modcloth. There’s a bit of boning and it actually supports my top heavy DD chest.

    http://www.modcloth.com/Modcloth/Womens/Swimwear/-Bathing-Beauty-One-Piece-in-Black

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

      Yeah, I’ve heard good things about the Esther Williams suits! I wish they were a little less “retro” in their styling, though. I know that’s the whole look, but what can I say…I’m a modernist. 😉

  • Reply Audrie July 20, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I like them but I would look so ridiculous. I’m with you on the swimsuit thing… I don’t particularly love my body but I don’t hate it either. Still, I haven’t worn a swimsuit for over 15 years and I have no intention of getting into one anytime soon.

  • Reply Marthe July 20, 2011 at 1:49 am

    I haven’t worn a swimsuit in 10 years. And I wouldn’t want to get tan only in a really small and weird-shaped area. But I have to admit that these look fab!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Weird tans only bother me on my feet, haha! But maybe that’s because my feet are one of the only parts of my body that gets exposed on a regular basis.

  • Reply kelly w July 20, 2011 at 2:16 am

    a few years back, it occurred to me that I don’t know the last time I went swimming. The last time I remember being in a swimsuit in a pool was 1990. I’m not averse to water, but I am averse to summer– I guess that’s why.

  • Reply Shawn C July 20, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Neat swimsuits, I wish more girls wore better designed stuff like that. As a side note, I couldn’t help but laugh at the “wood” briefs made by Minnowed Bathers.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

      I know, the mens’ suits are hilarious!!!

  • Reply Sneakycrafty July 20, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Yes that resonates with me too – my partner convinced me to actually buy swimmers and go to the beach, and it was so great… and you know, now I need to get another pair and the default is back on. It’s funny isn’t it. I also realised that folks don’t really care as much as you think they do, and I know that shouldn’t matter, but as you say, sometimes you find yourself avoiding it for a while. Then another while.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Y’know, I actually don’t really think about other people so much. I thought that was it at first, but the truth is that I wouldn’t even want to go in my own backyard in a swimsuit.

  • Reply a. July 20, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Do it! I hate it, too. Wearing a swimsuit is probably never going to feel fantastic, but the water sure does. I stick to relatively quiet, uncrowded, untrendy pools and beaches, make a beeline for the water, and try not to think about it too much. Swimming is worth it!
    Also, shopping for coverups and beach towels is way more fun!

  • Reply knirkus July 20, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Go for it.
    I really think you would rock the one on the right. With your cool hair and everything 😀

    By the way, I really like your site. I sneek around here a lot.
    (Promise it’s not in a creepy way.)

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Hee hee! Sneaking is definitely allowed. 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie July 20, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I like the printed one! I always find myself looking at swimsuits and bikinis and I never ever go to the beach or swimming- not to mention the body-image-discomfort. There is a really cute banana-print bikini at H&M right now that I almost bought, but then I reminded myself that I will never wear it :-/

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 10:33 am

      I think you should get the bikini. Banana-print sounds like it can only be good! 🙂

  • Reply elaine July 20, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Would you like these?
    i got the black one and love it, it conceals and reveals wonderfully.

  • Reply melani rae July 20, 2011 at 5:33 am

    As I read this I am staring down the gun of a 2 week vacation to Turkey where I will be forced to don a bathing suit. I would literally kill (spiders only) for that black and white beauty. Oh how I loathe showing my body to strangers. 98% of human bodies are hideous.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Haha, I agree. Humans are just so…fleshy. We are up there with naked mole rats in terms of physical unattractiveness!! 😀

      • Reply Rebekah@thenaughtyrenter.com July 20, 2011 at 11:15 am

        My god, I just posted that mole rat qoute on facebook. My sister used to call her children mole rats when they were little, it struck as a funny thing for a mother to say about her darling little ones.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 8:42 am

      p.s. I would definitely kill mosquitoes. Or cockroaches.

  • Reply Lena July 20, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I can understand your feelings. I just wear a very standard, boring sporty one, it somehow makes me feel ok since it doesn’t really draw any attention to myself or my body and kind of gives the message, I am just hear to swim, not to look good. If I wore any kind of fancy, nice swimsuit, even if they would make me look better than the one I am wearing now, it would make me feel more akward and self conscious.

  • Reply Kristen July 20, 2011 at 7:37 am

    These suits are catalog cute, but I think they would be pretty horrific on a real body. The best suit I’ve ever purchased was at Nordstrom’s. They merchandised them near the lingerie and many of the tops came in bra sizes so magically the suit was comfortable and fit me as well as a suit could. And it was made by Tommy Bahama (go figure).

    As to not swimming, please go. Whether you’re the model in the photos or a normal person or morbidly obese, the joy of floating in cool water when it’s 100 degrees far exceeds the temporary mortification of getting from your lounge chair to the pool, lake, etc. Do it! You don’t want to be 80, and realize that when you were 30, and relatively young and hot, you were too shy to swim.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

      I’m pretty sure these womens’ bodies are just as “real” as yours or mine. I know what you mean, but that kind of phrasing is a pet peeve of mine (check out the “I’m OK” link in the post…I’ve gotten into that before). But I do know what you mean, of course.

      This might sound weird, but I’m actually trying to move away from the concept of dressing for a particular body type and focusing more on whether I love the actual garment. Fit is important, of course, but the whole “right for your type” line that magazines have fed is for years had resulted in a whole lot of women feeling like certain clothes are off-limits to them. And I’m here to call foul!!

      I don’t mean to invalidate your comment, and think it’s great the you found a suit that you like (let’s hear it for top support!!). I just had to open my big mouth and say few things. 😉

  • Reply Barb July 20, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I would try on the printed one before purchasing. The pattern could potentially do a weird chevroning thing toward your lady parts. Which would not make you any more comfortable in a bathing suit. 🙁

  • Reply Tina July 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I like them, although they wouldn’t look good on me. I love the water, and I can relate to how you feel about bathing suits. After a long, hard search, I found a suit, reminiscent of the 40’s that looks decent on me, and I feel comfortable in. Besides, where I live, it’s too hot to walk past our neighborhood pool and not take a dip!!

  • Reply Sally @ ourdreamlives July 20, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I love that first pattered one – it’s amazing! I say go for it… there is nothing better than going for a swim on a hot day! I’m not too confident in swimsuits either but just think it’s so nice to swim in the summer!
    Absolutely LOVE your I know I’m OK post 🙂
    Sally

  • Reply Sarah July 20, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Wear what you love! I totally agree that the whole concept of ‘dressing for your body type’ is a fallacy. Life is too short to worry about whether or not everyone else thinks you look good 😉

  • Reply Ceci July 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Go for it, girl! Get one & get cool. It’s going to be in the triple digits this week! 105 in DC. They are both really cute swim suits!

  • Reply jennifer July 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

    My favorite beach activity is jumping waves until my legs are weak and the sea has proven it’s mighty dominance.
    I beg it to toss me around and scrape my tangled limbs across it’s shell and stone littered bottom. It pulls me to it, hard, while I fight to be upright just in time to be knocked flat by the next foaming crash. It is, at once, exhilarating and frightening and fills me with such deep joy that I forget the crowds at my back and face the horizon, laughing. Wave after wave I’m giggling, chortling, swallowing the sea, having it swallow me.

    Once washed and polished and reminded that I am so very tiny, I move just past the crests and float. On my back, arms and legs spread wide as a sea star, my head always pointing south or west, I buoy. The sea holds me. I capitulate and stare fully into the blue sky above. The laughing of the gulls beyond my view competes with the crashing surf to fill my ears. Up and under, again and again, the sea passes beneath me. Only a hint of it’s vigor caressing me, it stings the corners of my eyes. I stay this way as long as I can.

  • Reply Jen Ray July 20, 2011 at 9:26 am

    These are gorgeous.

    I’d totally wear the Grey Ant one for a day with no waves, lounging around on the beach. I’m a surfer though, and choose suits mostly because of structural integrity, i.e. a big wave will not wrest my girls out of the top and suck the bottom down to my knees. Which, er, has happened more times than I and shocked onlookers care to remember. I completely agree though, design matters a lot, and “body type” stuff does not.

    I didn’t get into sufing though until my late 20’s even though I grew up close to the beach. I had the bathing suit dread from probably the age of 13 on. I don’t have mad body issues, but I’m 5’4 with little short legs, a long torso, big hips, and a fairly small chest. Women’s magazines (and I’m sure plenty of other sources) gave me plenty to agonize about and hate about myself as a teenager, even though by that time I was “punk” and not supposed to care about things like that.

    When I started surfing, my 55 year old dad (we were very close) was suddenly dying of cancer. Worrying about whether someone I didn’t know thought my butt was too big or legs were too pale or jiggly suddenly seemed really pointless, and being in the waves was one of the only things that made me feel better.
    Not that trying on suits doesn’t still suck most of the time and not that I don’t still kinda dread going out for the first time in the summer, but now it goes away pretty quickly and I just kick it and have a good time. Also, margaritas help.

    Haha sorry for the huge long rant!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 10:24 am

      Wow, Jen…this is a really amazing comment. Thank you for sharing your feelings about losing your dad and what being in the water did for you during that time. I really do think there’s something about the weightlessness of water and the detachment from solid ground that’s very healing, both physically and emotionally.

      I, too, have nightmares about losing my swimsuit in the water, but since I’d most likely be swimming in pools or lakes/watering holes, it’s probably not too much of a concern. 😉

  • Reply Jen Ray July 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Also not that I haven’t said enough but just wanted to clarify that I’m not being all “get over it!” at all- it’s a hard thing to come around to, and I really do completely understand. If anyone’s going to get comfortable parading around mostly naked it has to be in their own time.

  • Reply Amélie July 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Go for it! These are gorgeous. Have you seen the ones at ModCLoth?

    http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Womens/Swimwear

    Cute!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 10:17 am

      Those are all a little too “retro” for my taste, but yes, very cute! 🙂

  • Reply robin July 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

    My six year old daughter LOVES to swim. We have a public pool 2 blocks away from our house in Philly and we use it EVERY DAY. Though the idea of my neighbors seeing me in a bathing suit sends shudders up and down my spine, I wear one because I love my kid. I love her more than I dislike my body. I also realized that others aren’t spending nearly as much time thinking about my thighs as I do . Therefore, I need to quiet those annoying voices inside my head and enjoy the life I have with my family, in the water and out.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      “I love her more than I dislike my body.”

      That’s a great line, Robin. I think my line might need to be, “I love my body more than I care about my modesty”.

  • Reply The Subtle Rudder July 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Those suits are cute, but I think the high waist would make most women look, well, dumpy. Especially the one on the right. I haven’t had a suit in YEARS, but I just wore my new speedo to the Y yesterday: http://vip.zappos.com/product/7739571/color/271330

    And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I FEEL GOOD IN IT. It’s ever so slightly 40s in shape, and it makes me feel feminine, yet sexy-tough. Nothing is too extreme–leg holes, overall exposures, but it’s not boring, either. I bought mine larger than I’d usually wear (but then, I’m nearly 6-feet tall), and I love it. The blue is super-flattering, but they have black and some pinky-purply colors, as well. Best of all, it’s good for serious swimming, or for swanning around the pool in a gauzey cover-up. Ha, not like I’d ever do that.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      The link you posted isn’t working for me, but that’s great that you found a suit you like to wear! And I am jealous of your height. 🙂

  • Reply Stef Noble July 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I was very anti-swimsuit too until about a year ago-ish? My issue was (mainly) with the bottoms. I used to be much more concerned with the top, but, long story short, I have no issues with that now. When I was in high school long ago it was ALWAYS the swimsuit with the t-shirt over the top. I finally got a pair of little “trunk” like shorts that cover enough to make me feel comfortable and paired it with a separate tank-like top. And they are earthy green shorts and a brown top, so I’m not festooned with flowers and such. We’ve actually been swimming a lot this year and it struck me the other day with how much less fraught with emotion the whole swimming thing was since I found something I’m comfortable wearing.

  • Reply Jayca July 20, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I just had to say that I love your “Sometimes you don’t want to put on a swimsuit” line.

    There are some really excellent comments so far about bodies and working with them and working on your view of them/your own and that’s all fine and great, but honestly? We have a pool, and my honey asks me- you know, weekly– “When are you going to swim with me?/Don’t you know I think you’re gorgeous?/What reason do you have to be so down on yourself?/Don’t you know no one else will see you?/etc” and your line is just going to be my answer from here on out.

    It either has nothing to do with some sort of body mania [doubtful], and that I don’t like my options [because those two swimsuits are, sadly, not in my drawers], and that sort of thing – or maybe today I just don’t want to put on a swimsuit. End.

    PS – I’m with Knirkus, am a total sneak around these parts 🙂

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      Oh, I totally get what you’re saying!! It’s not about people seeing you, really…it’s the fact that you’re walking around in a swimsuit. It’s kinda weird, even if you’re alone!

  • Reply Hayley July 20, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Sounds like you set yourself up for a Summer ’11 swim challenge, no? I used to be very uncomfortable with wearing a bathing suit- then something happened around 30, and post-baby where I really don’t care. I know I don’t look like those models above, but I am totally ok with that, and even happy about it. It is all a mindset thing. I rocked one at the Ace Palm Springs and had a blast by the pool. Totally worth it.

    I get what you are saying about dressing for style, and not body, but with a bathing suit you may want to find a compromise. High-waisted looks and “boy shorts” bikinis highlight round tummies and full thighs. If you are uncomfortable with showing those body parts I would stay away. I recommend this style bathing suit from Target: [link] It has attachable straps and full coverage. Might be a good starter bathing suit. Cheers!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      But there’s nothing wrong with round tummies and full thighs!

      That kinds of thinking—disguising and hiding perceived “flaws”—is exactly what I’m trying to move away from, see. It’s the notion that I’d have to wear some kind of special swimsuit and not what I really like that keeps me from putting one on.

      The swimsuit you linked to is great for someone who likes old-fashioned swimsuits, shirring, and polka-dots, but that’s not my style. See what I’m saying? I have to make it about the garment and my love of it, or else I’m just waiting for Godot…

      • Reply elisabeth July 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm

        “The Non-Conformist Rising,” is what I would call this post. I think its funny that when I point to either suit with my mouse, the words” nuh, uh” come up. I am not sure I like either suit, but based on all you have posted on this blog about yourself, it is no surprise to me that you would be drawn to either one. The suspendered suit is more compelling to me, in a clock work orange, caberet beach blanket bingo kind of way, but it is not flattering on the model and I think it is really a hard suit to pull off. So, my question is, are you saying that if you were to wear this suit, you would wear it because you liked it, regardless of whether or not it looked good on you? If so, props to you! I mean no offense by this post, the suits just arent to my taste…and in the end, it is not my taste that is at issue here. Understand?

        • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm

          Well, I guess that’s the point of my post….I think both of these suits look fantastic on the “models” in the photos, so yes, it really is subjective. It’s not about being a “non-comformist”! It’s about knowing your personal style and dressing accordingly.

  • Reply Melanie July 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    When I was young I spent entire summers in swimsuits, never really thinking about how I looked even though I usually weighed more than my other girlfriends. All we cared about was listening to Lionel Richie and the Xanadu soundtrack, deciding what kind of airbrushed t-shirt to buy at the mall, watching Grease twice a day, and getting a “good tan.”

    Now I’m a 41 year-old mom of a nearly one-year old boy. When I look in the mirror while I’m wearing a swimsuit my eyes hone in on the flab and stretch marks. Maybe if I didn’t love Nutella and French fries and hate exercising so much, swimsuits and I could actually be friends.

    Next Wednesday my department at work is hosting a pool party for us and our families. What could be worse than wearing a swimsuit in front of your boss and co-workers? Ugh. But my son LOVES to get in the water, and so far I haven’t been able to experience that with him because I didn’t own a swimsuit that still fits my post-pregnancy body. So I broke down and ordered one from ModCloth. It covers enough and I feel as comfortable as I can feel in a swimsuit.

    My hope is that when I get into the pool with my son, I won’t even notice the twenty-something skinnys in their cute bikinis. Given Nathaniel’s level of extreme cuteness and his super happy squeals when he’s “swimming” with his dad, I don’t think my wish is too much of a stretch. 🙂

  • Reply Matilda July 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I like both swimsuits and I think being in the water is worth the discomfort to suit wearing. Swimming was a lifeline for me at a lonely, uncertain time in my life–it gave me time to be alone with my thoughts, to get my nervous energy out, and eventually, when I joined a Master’s swim group, a new circle of friends. (Also, pool trips cooled me down: I lived in a stiflingly hot apartment with no AC.)

    Personally, I think all bodies can be beautiful–I’ve taken years of figure drawing classes and looked at many naked bodies, old, young, fit, obese, and I always thought the most interesting bodies were old or a bit heavy. All the perfect, thin dancer types were lovely, but a bit…boring.

  • Reply A Different Sarah July 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I know Anna you are less into the retro styled ones, BUT for everyone else, they do not make your round tum look dumpy! I have one and it tucks all that stuff and is adorable.

    As for general swimsuit wearing, being on swim team cured me of that for all time. I think there is something to the idea that “I am wearing this so I can play a sport — it makes me fast and is ‘my uniform’.” The functionality, if you will. And then seeing all sorts of people in suits (and then naked) makes modesty and everything else a little less assertive, I’d say.

    Anyways, good luck!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      Yep, I can definitely see how viewing a swimsuit as a “uniform” would take away a lot of the discomfort/self-consciousness. I had a conversation about that exact subject last week with a friend who used to be a competitive swimmer.

  • Reply LH July 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I suppose they’re interesting for the retro factor, but I don’t find them cute. To me, it looks like granny panties and an impractical top that flattens but doesn’t support. Personally, I like suits that I can do a dive in and not worry that the top will end up around my neck or waist.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      Hah! I see these suits as the opposite of “retro” actually. Of course there’s a nod to modesty past with the cut of the briefs, but I find the overall styles very modern and fresh.

  • Reply Kathy July 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Love these suits and I completely share your anti-swimsuit sentiment! I had to get past that to take our daughter swimming… but I am still self conscious the entire time!

  • Reply Grumble Girl July 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    You’d rock either of those, dollface… truly. You just gotta own it.

    And yes – like a Cabaret emcee… especially the dirty, dirty Alan Cumming version. (RAWR – god, I love him…)

  • Reply Liz July 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I like them in photographs, but I don’t know how flattering high-waists are on a swimsuit. I remember seeing some photos of Ke$ha {ew} wearing a suit similar to the one on the right & she looked like a granny dominatrix. *shudder*

  • Reply Sarah July 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    You should go for it – those are super cute. My 51-year-old mom just put on a BIKINI for the first time since I was born – almost 28 years! She doesn’t have the typical ‘bikini body’ and i was so proud of her for just rocking it!

  • Reply Simone July 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I grew up in sauna’s because my mother loved going to the sauna. You can throw any body (penis, vayayay, set of boobs) at me and I am fine with it. This has been further enhanced by the nude model drawing classes I took in college. At a certain point every body and sagging boob has it’s own kind of beauty and drawing it helps you see it.
    When we used to swim we would swim about 100 meters from the beach and then take of our suits (while swimming) and swim on naked. We’d get dressed at the same point on the way back. But now we have to stay by the shore make sure our childeren won’t drown.
    Glad you’re back, I’d go for the black and white bikini.

  • Reply Jessica (Goodbye, Small Heart) July 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    The one on the left is really neat but that top could be a challenge. I think you should get a suit and go swimming, for sure. It will help you be at peace with yourself, plus nothing feels better in the hot-ass summer than going for a swim. I’m sure you’ve already looked but J Crew actually has some really beautiful, flattering one-piece suits that are like modernized retro. They are not “cute” which I think is often the problem with retro-styled swimwear. Also, they are supportive up top!

  • Reply Lori E. July 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Does it ever strike you weird that a bathing suit is approximately the same coverage you would get from your bra and panties but underwear would be completely unacceptable to go out in? I usually feel slightly, barely ok in my suit until I go into the water and come out and it is all clingy and soppy wet and suddenly it seems to fit even worse than it did dry. Ick. But like the above poster, I have learned it is more about my kiddos having fun than worrying about my body. But the weird thing is, I won’t swim at the Y with my boys but I will go to the public pool. Now make sense of that one…

  • Reply riye July 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I live in Hawaii and nobody really cares about how fat/thin, tan/untanned, etc. you are–we just go to the beach anyway. I don’t care for the two featured suits but mostly because I can’t imagine swimming in them. Plus I’ve seen a lot of bathing suits here and the stylish ones sometimes don’t work in real life. I still remember the poor tourist whose bandeau top became a cummerbund when she got out of the water.

    If you really like them though, go for it! But do a trial run and twist yourself in as many ridiculous positions as you can while wearing your new suit to avoid, ahem, wardrobe malfunctions.

    Have fun! 😀

  • Reply cajeta July 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I love swimming in the ocean especially, but definitely not the *long walk* from the sand to the water! My yearly “bathing suit” ensemble is a sports bra in combination with shorts and a sports tank. I need a bra in my bathing suit, no halter tie or padded cups are gonna do it. I don’t get why bathing suit manufacturers don’t get that? I love the bathing suits from the 60s Bond movies, especially the black and white one in Thunderball.

  • Reply Rachel Kay July 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I love the black one on the right! Unfortunately, I look pretty rubbish in any swimsuit. I used to love swimming as a kid. Body image issues hadn’t kicked in yet. I last swam regularly as a 11 year old. 18 years later I have started again (literally last week!). I’m going to a pool that is pretty quiet, and everyone there is there to work out and pays no attention to anyone else. So, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who pays attention to my tummy, thighs and cellulite 🙂
    Swimming in a pool full of other pastey white Irish people is okay, but going to the beach somewhere abroad where tanned bodies parade around is something that gives me nightmares! I’d love to not give a crap, but it’s not always that easy

  • Reply Erin July 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I loved this post and the comments 🙂 I’ve been reading forever (back to Absolutely Vile) and I’ve learned that you are always so far ahead of me on the style curve that I believe I might think these suits are way cool in about 6 years from now! And when I saw them I immediately new they were your style -like your house and everything on this site they go together in unexpectly awesome ways.

    So I guess now that you’ve found them I’m hoping you will go for it and enjoy them. For me one thing that has made me more swimsuit amenable it this post about loving your body for what it can do: http://www.sherylyvette.com/2011/06/body-image-and-reality-check.html -I want to do more with my body and whatever clothing can do to help inspire me (whether better function/or form) I will take! Thanks for showing us the suits!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      Wow, if you’ve been reading my blather going back to the A-V days, then this post probably sounds familiar. I’m pretty sure I wrote something verrrrry similar about 7 or 8 years ago, which is pretty sad!!! I even bought a swimsuit back then (from Land’s End) with the intent to go swimming…but…I never did. :

      That blog you linked to is great. I love a woman who works out in full makeup and rad hair!!

  • Reply Reva July 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    How about one of these: http://www.ahiida.com/Sportz-Fit-Swimwear/

    seriously, I am tempted. 🙂 My main issue is that I HATE shaving that high, but grrrl, honest, it’s kind of a must for me. 😛

    but as much as I hate it, this won’t keep me out of the water, as i loves me some sun and sand.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      HAHAHA. I actually just tweeted a link to a “swim burqa” a few days ago. 😀

  • Reply ilyana July 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I say pick one, buy it and hit the beach! If you like the bathing suit, who really cares what anyone else thinks. I just hope you go swimming this summer. It’s one of my favorite parts of the summer, and I just couldn’t imagine not going to the beach or the pool at least once during the season. There’s nothing like sitting in the sun wrapped in a towel eating a sandwich 🙂

  • Reply Heather Jo July 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I hear ya on that one! Bathing suits kinda suck. But have you seen Modcloths? They’re so cute- just like these that you’ve posted!

    http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Womens/Swimwear

    • Reply Heather Jo July 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      Oh! Oops!! I didn’t have the patience to read the other comments right away and now I see that these are a bit too retro for you.

      Anyways, I hope you end up going swimming soon despite the bathing suits blues…

  • Reply Kristen July 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Well, after a refresher on “I’m OK” I want to respond in the thread above, but cannot figure out how to do that. I assume all photographs of models are airbrushed, hence my use of the dreaded “real woman.” Of course, you are in a field where you may recognize the linked photos as unadulterated, and if so I stand corrected!

    I make clothes, so to me a garment is nothing more than a handful of connected slices of fabric. It becomes something more than abstract when there is a 3-D form inside. Otherwise it is, at best, a piece of art, and always something entirely different than a person IN a garment. So while you strive to judge and choose garments independently of their wearer, that’s not something I have ever really tried to do.

    I am nursing a baby, so while the suits you linked to are stylish, they would be totally unpractical for me, and unattractive on me. Is it a shame or a sign that I think I’m “Not OK” to say so? Hmm, I’m not so sure of that. I am not going to be gazing at my bathing suit, unworn, in my drawer. Aside from laundry time my whole experience of the suit is going to be while wearing it. So why wouldn’t I evaluate it in those terms?

    You have, however, given me reason to pause with your comments regarding “right for your type” dressing. I have avoided the entire trend of belting sweaters or shirts at my natural waist because that is not at all flattering for someone with my build. But I love the femininity of it, the idea of it. I love how it looks in photographs and on other people. So yes, I see why this is a shame. Something to think about, especially given that I have a daughter.

    Great post(s), great comments. I love your blog!

  • Reply Melanie July 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Oh, do it, get a suit! It makes swimming so much more comfortable – since I stopped the whole T-shirt swimming thing, I have realized that being in the water is a LOT easier when you’re not encumbered by all that fabric (so I guess you could just skinny-dip…). But it’s worth the hell of bathing suits, floating in the middle of a lake, looking up at the trees and the sky and feeling like you’re in the most perfect, beautiful place in the world, all buoyant and free. You deserve to feel that, too. 😉

  • Reply Nubby July 20, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I love that you used the term “modern lederhosen” in this post.

  • Reply Femke July 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Have you seen this post by Jordan? http://ohhappyday.com/2011/07/swimmy/

  • Reply Joy July 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Anna, I encourage you to go swimming. The suit is just the required gear, like any boots one might take camping, or a parka worn in a blizzard. There is no human experience equivalent to the buoyancy of bouncing around in the ocean, and no more refreshing way to cool off in the summertime.

    This is probably a secondary factor, but going to be the beach is also one of the cheapest and greenest ways to stay cool in the summer heat. I take the LIRR out to the beach about once a week; I can save on air conditioning costs and have a (very) slightly smaller impact on the environment. It’s fun preparing my lunch the night before, too.

    I hope you do get to swim this year, because it’s bloody hot outside!

  • Reply Kim July 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Love, love, love! I say do it. You only live once.

  • Reply Annie Hall July 23, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Love them! I tried on a similar Orla K bikini a couple of years ago and it looked awful on me. Highwaisted and ruffles on the bum did not work on me! But I say go for it and screw body image.

  • Reply Momo July 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I would suggest the first one by Grey Ant – totally rad, Anna. I want one! I don’t care if it is ‘flattering’ to my wild post-twin-pregnancy bod or not (‘flattering’ is a byword for ‘boring’, I think). IT IS AWESOME NUTS-O.

    I find it wonderfully fascinating how so many of your posts draw out debate among the masses. JUST PUT ON A SWIMSUIT, PEOPLE, AND ROCK-LOBSTER THAT THING!

    [End nonsensical slogan shouting.]

  • Reply Caroline, No July 26, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I’ve come to this post late but just have to say – please go swimming! As a keen outdoor swimmer, it is truly one of the world’s great joys! Please don’t let body image or other issues put you off. You are just one of billions of human bodies, no different from anyone else. Wear a plain black all in one, classic and flattering. And just dive in. Please?

  • Reply AnneinPortland July 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Friends my age (50-something) REALLY like these suits (I, myself, wear an old one-piece from Nordstroms 10 years ago because I cannot stand to go bathing suit shopping). http://www.popinaswimwear.com/

  • Reply Kim July 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I think retro suits are cute, but I’d feel really ridiculous. I don’t mind shopping for or wearing a swimsuit, but I can’t swim and thus rarely need one.

  • Reply Fiona September 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Hmm, I like the idea of these, but I REALLY don’t think they would work for anyone but the very tall and willowy.

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