Leave A Little To The Imagination, Darling

As with clothing, I feel a swimming suit should be flattering to your body type and should make you feel good about yourself and feel comfortable. However, in more recent years it seems there’s a general attitude about suits that is far from that idea.

Over the years, suits have gotten smaller and smaller with the progressing societal changes and more liberal and freeing thinking. While there is nothing particularly wrong with that, very few people look good in a string bikini. Regular bikinis have become the norm, they are seen on the beach everywhere and on everyone. If you’re comfortable in one, and look stunning, or just don’t mind all your bits hanging out, more power to you, but I feel like there’s pressure to wear a bikini. This is the fashion now and you’ll look frumpy, silly, or uncool if you wear anything but.

I live near the beach, so I can attest to seeing all shapes and sizes of women in bikinis, and some not looking that comfortable or good about themselves. I’m here to say, it’s okay to wear a one piece. It’s okay to cover some skin at the beach. It really is! Though I know most males will disagree with this sentiment. And you can still look cute, or sexy, or unfrumpy-like doing it.

Luckily in the last several years retro swim suits have made a come-back. Of course, with my love of vintage and nostalgia this is a resurgence I embrace whole-heartedly. Because I, personally, prefer to not have my bits hanging out for all the world to see, leaving a little something to the imagination is a good thing.

If you think you can’t look good in a one piece, let’s consider some spectacular one-pieces from the past. Marilyn Monroe wore many different kinds of swimsuits, but she was often seen in one-pieces. I don’t think anyone would say she looked frumpy in one. She was the epitome of sexy and covered those famous curves to taunt the male eyes.

Elizabeth Taylor was another woman who wore one-pieces often. She was a completely different body type than Marilyn Monroe, yet she too looks glamorous and sexy in one. Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity sports an amazing suit that I would love to wear today. It almost looks like a romper with a belt, but it is so chic.

Let’s not forget Farrah Fawcett’s famous red suit that was the fantasy of many an adolescent boy in the 1970s/80s. This was a time after bikinis had made their debut and surge as a style to be worn, yet her red one-piece was still considered a sexy choice, and became an iconic picture.

A one-piece can cover all the needed areas while showcasing all the right ones. It can give a sense of security that you won’t have a “malfunction” while trying to swim or play Frisbee or sand volleyball. It can make the wearer feel sexy, glamorous, or beautiful without felling like she is revealing too much.

Or a retro style suit can just be fun to wear, and harken back to days of pinups and a more demure but still sizzling day at the beach. Throw on some white shades, a big floppy hat and it might let you escape for a while to another era.

I would hope women of different shapes and sizes would feel like they could break away from the bikini burden, if they would be more comfortable in something else. There are plenty of places you can now get lovely one-pieces or vintage inspired swimsuits. ModCloth is a great place to start. They have several options in varying sizes. My dream suit (and hopefully one day I will own it) is the Lacy Days Swimsuit in Afternoon (right).

If two-pieces are the only suit for you, they also have some great retro styles in those as well.  They provide a little more coverage while still showing more skin than a one-piece. I really love the Chevron the Boardwalk Suit (below). They have several pages of suits to chose from that would suit most anyone’s needs. There are different styles, colors, patterns, and as I mentioned before, sizes.

I’ve also found some great pieces at antique stores. They’re usually a little more iffy, considering they have been worn by who knows how many people. And let’s face it, wearing someone else’s swimsuit, especially someone you don’t know is a bit on the ick side. However, they are authentic and originals, and you get a true sense of what a suit was like from a different decade.

I found these two suits at an antique store, and reveled in their beauty. Though I question the comfort of the material and such on the original swimsuits from the 1950s and 1960s. These looked as if they might be a bit scratchy or strange against the skin.

I encourage women out there to not feel ashamed or uncool to wear a one-piece. Just because you’re not showing butt cheeks and a ton of cleavage does not make you any less sexy or less beautiful. Wear something that flatters your body, makes you feel comfortable, and that you can feel beautiful in.

Enjoy the sun and warmth of the summer season!

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About lovelyshadesofnostalgia

I wear my 1950s inspired dress drinking out of fingerbowl champagne glasses while listening to Perry Como records. I watch Rita Hayworth movies, Fred Astaire makes me want to get up and dance, and think Robert Redford must be the most attractive man to have graced the planet. I love a variety of eras, from the 1920s through the 1960s, even some inspirations from the 1970s and 1980s. I believe in courtship, words like "swell" and "swoon," privacy over publicity, dressing up each day, mystery, quality over quantity, manners, and sentiment. I still utilize a Polaroid camera at times, type on my 1960s Remington typewriter, wear one piece swimsuits, sit and sort through my vinyls, and peruse antique and vintage shoppes. I read ferociously. Real books. Because I love the feel, the weight, the smell, and the sound of a book. I paint. I take photographs. I bake from scratch.
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4 Responses to Leave A Little To The Imagination, Darling

  1. seakist says:

    All fine and good, but I’m a petite woman and bikinis are the only swimwear that DOES flatter my shape. I’m so tiny, I get lost in a one-piece! Being only 5’2″ and a size 4, a high-cut bikini bottom gives my legs a lot of length. My stomach is super flat and showing my stomach also gives me some more length. People that don’t know me and see bikini photos of me think I’m at least 5’7″!

    Plus, covering my stomach with a one piece not only makes me look shorter, but makes my stomach very cold after coming out of the water. Those damn one-pieces never dry!

    I live near a beach too and honestly, I see a lot of women with one-pieces that don’t look flattering. The material clings to you and you can see everything! (So talk about leaving nothing to the imagination!)

    What I would love to see — especially for older women, or teens that still have their baby fat — is something even more old-fashioned that what you’ve shown, like the swimsuits with the pantaloons. THAT is what I would wear in say 10 years when I’m in my late 50s if I start getting varicose veins and saggy knees.

    Swimming is such good exercise, no one should be exempt because they don’t feel good in swimwear. Designers need to make more choices — not just bikinis and one-pieces. They need to truly think out of the box!

    • emisformaker says:

      What are the choices beyond one or two pieces? Three? Oh no, wait – the no-piece bathing suit! Of course, everyone has one of those. Wink!
      That said, I do adore the style of vintage suits, and would feel far more comfortable in one than in a couple of triangles on a string. Or a no-piece. No one needs to see that on me.

      • seakist says:

        LOL! I like the idea of a no-piece (but not for me, I’m shy!) I like how women, of all ages, go topless on the beach in other countries (again, I wouldn’t, but that is just me).
        Last night I was on the beach with my husband and I was thinking about this blog. I saw a woman who was in a bikini. She was young, beautiful, and had a huge belly with a big scar under her belly button. I thought she was sexy as hell! Even though there was a beautiful girl sitting next to me who had a shape like a model and resembled a young Christina Applegate — I thought the girl with the big belly and scar was so much hotter! I started looking at other women in bikinis and no matter how old or what shape they were in, they all just looked amazing — just because they were women and all women are beautiful. I’m sure you look super too in a bikini, but you just don’t realize it, yet! *wink*
        P.S. — No disrespect to the blogger, but I’m writing a pro-bikini post tonite. *smiles*

  2. Craig Wetzel says:

    Very nice post and I agree wholeheartedly: some women should not wear bikinis. I could also do without men wearing those tight little briefs. If everyone would follow my simple guidelines, I wouldn’t have to cover my eyes so often at the beach. Nor do I think all women are beautiful, any more than I would suggest all men are handsome. I’ve known plenty of both who were downright ugly.

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