So, when I started do this whole thing where once a year I put on a bathing suit and go in public, I thought, yes. This feels brave. This feels strong. And it was, until one day it wasn’t.
It doesn’t necessarily feel less strong or less brave, it just feels… normal. Which is amazing.
I’m a woman, I wear a swimsuit, I climbed the mountain. Rooooaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
But the thing is, I get bored easy, and mountain climbing… it’s addictive.
I needed a new mountain. Not necessarily for you, even though you’re all very lovely. This mountain was mostly for me. A bikini.
Now, this was a serious mountain, y’all. It had cliffs and caverns and stretch marks and gall bladder surgery scars and love handles and saggy parts and a belly button that was so totally lower than I remember it being before. Oh, and a stupid amount of cellulite.
But it turns out, putting on a bikini was so much harder than just, well, putting on a bikini. I had been so focused on the actual act, I never even considered the difficulty in finding one that fit. There is so much to consider, especially with a curvy body. I need a bottom that came up high enough to hide my pouch, and a top big and supportive enough to handle my 38DDDs. That made for slim pickings. Also, I’m not, like, 16 years old, so there’s that, also.
So I took to the internet, because heaven forbid us plus size gals need to try anything on in a store, and ordered an absolutely obscene amount of bikinis. Ironically, most of them ended up being quite obscene themselves, and the majority of them went back, but that’s the thing with any shopping experience. I easily had 42 breakdowns on my bedroom floor, but I took another shot of tequila and got back on the horse, because if I had just given up, I never would have found two looks that make me feel crazy swim suit confident and positively gorgeous.
I love this suit. Not only am I still totally crushing on all things navy, I really like to mix up patterns. This top made me nervous, because halters don’t typically work for me, causing neck pain and 24/7 back fat parties, but the double strap ties were super comfortable, and the thicker sides made things way smoother and supported. The bottoms are way lower than I assumed I would have liked. I am so used to jacking things up super high on my stomach, camel toe be damned, because it felt held in and secure. But, when it comes to swim wear, doing that makes this weird shelf above my butt, which is the opposite of appealing. So I tried a mid rise bottom, and I think it created a really great hourglass shape. I have hips and thick thighs and an ass, you know, girl stuff, and I might as well get to know them.
Beach Living V-Neck Top, Deep Sea Floral size 14, Lands’ End $49
Beach Living Mid Rise Bottom, Deep Sea size 16, Lands’ End $24
This cover-up felt very Jackie O to me, and at the time I ordered it, I was still reeling from the Taylor Swift/Conor Kennedy split, so I had to have it. It’s so flattering, easy to toss over the bikini top when you get chilled, and you can even swim in it. Horizontal stripes and a two piece? I think that’s one big fuck you to the rules of plus size dressing, don’t ya think?
Stripe Crewneck Swim Tee, Deep Sea Stripe size XL(18), Lands’ End $39
At first, this suit terrified me. Like, terrified. The strings and the youth and the oh my God, right? My boobs basically took one look at it and cackled all, girrrrl, I hope you like your nipples touching your navel, because this shit is about to happen. But you know what? I loved it. I really did. I loved the color, and it was really comfortable, and it legitimately held my boobs up. It’s a little showy, but it’s, like, a bikini? So that’s basically the point. I mean, they’re made for beaches and rap videos.
Ruffle Bikini Top, Purple size XXL, Old Navy $17
Tie Bikini Bottom, Purple size XL, Old Navy $17
I wanted to include another fun cover-up, and I saw Jennifer Aniston rock this look once, and always wanted to try it. Now, Jennifer Aniston I am not, but I picked up this worn looking denim button-up from Target a few months ago with the intent to wear it with a fun maxi skirt, and gave it ago. Verdict? Fun. Andy’s verdict? Not fit for print.
Women’s Plus Denim Button Up, size 2, Target
To some, this may not be beauty or strength. To some this may be gossiped about or pitied. Maybe even labeled gross or pinned as motivation for what not to be.
To them I say, get your own mountain. This one’s mine.