Without doubt the most difficult purchase all year is for the elusive, perfect swimsuit. Style is timeless and ageless, that’s my mantra, but in the case of the swimsuit age factors in heavily. I’ve managed to maintain the same weight of my twenties and work hard to stay in shape, but despite my efforts, said weight has redistributed itself without my consent. There is also the undeniable evolution of the quality of skin. For as many years as I’ve been on this planet I’ve basked in the sun each summer like a cold blooded reptile storing it’s heavenly warmth for the winter. As a direct result my skin is a crime scene of sun damage. Of this I am sure. Where the sun doesn’t shine my skin is pristine, a passive aggressive rebuke for my self inflicted, ultra violet wounds.
Then there’s the middle area, which has never recovered from carrying two daughters to term. I’m not complaining it was well worth it, but one would think in 17 years of not being pregnant the midriff could forgive and forget. All the Pilates in the world and nothing short of a tummy tuck will change this situation. So what does all this have to do with finding the perfect swimsuit? Everything, these are the challenges to overcome when shopping for a garment that is all about exposing skin. There will be skin, there’s no way around it. So how to maintain a sense of style, beach cred (like street cred but at the beach) and dignity (while parading in public in what could essentially be your underwear)?
I’ve boiled it down to three easy to follow rules:
- Stick with solid saturated colors, the darker the better, or go with a warm bright that compliments tanned skin (I never learn and still tan).
- Cut is everything; a good suit should cover what needs to be covered. I can’t tolerate a swimsuit that bares too much of the derriere. Many an otherwise fabulous suit is rejected for this reason. Also if there’s draping, twists or ties make sure they sit correctly on your body without constant adjustments. Trust me once you’re at the beach or the pool you’ll forget all about adjusting, I’ve been there. Later either by tan lines or photos you’ll see just how out of whack you were all day. And if you like to swim like me, especially in the ocean, make sure the swimsuit stays on. An easy test for this is to stretch your arms high overhead like your life depends on it. If the suit stays put it’s a good indicator that it’s water friendly.
- Keep it classic and fairly simple. I don’t believe a swimsuit is the place to show your fashion chops. Go for something timeless, a well cut tank or halter always looks good. Show your highly evolved fashion sense with accessories, go for that beach turban I’m always harping about or wow them with a super wide brimmed straw hat à la Jacquemus. Want drama? Get a beach caftan. And for the love of God don’t get a giant logo suit. Their popularity this season I find very alarming. If in doubt just ask yourself if any one of the Holy Trinity of Style would wear this.