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!