Here we are in mid-June, firmly pressing into summer. The annual ritual of warming up, slowing down, and taking time off is upon us.
- Sunscreen: check.
- New summer read: check.
- I-Pod loaded with beach-themed music: check.
- Well-fitting yet comfy swim suit: Ugh. Damn.
This happens to me every year. I’ve promised myself in the winter months I’ll work out more, eat less, shed a few pounds and buy myself a new swimsuit. And, if I’m being honest, every June I look at myself in the mirror and utter; “Well that didn’t turn out so well….”
The media certainly seems to want to be helpful; at every turn I find magazines touting the miracles of the perfect bathing suit. Everyone is offering an ultra slimming; look ten pounds lighter; show off your best assets miracle suit. Just look at this sample that I came across today:
- Ladies Home Journal: “Perfect Fit; Bathing Suits for Every Body” http://www.lhj.com/style/fashion/clothing/perfect-fit-bathing-suits-for-every-body/?page=1
- Women’s Health: “The Best Swimsuits for Your Body Type” – http://www.womenshealthmag.com/style/womens-swimsuits
- Glamour: “Our Ultimate Swimsuit Issue” – http://www.glamour.com/magazine/toc/2013/04/index_20130402
I’ll give More magazine props as the publication that most earnestly tries to hit all the highlights in their “Best Swimsuits for Every Age, Size and Budget” – http://www.more.com/swimsuits-every-size-age-budget , with fifty-two pictures included!
For us middle-aged gals, how to dress for the beach, lake, or pool becomes a little bit more onerous each summer season. OK, before I get all the hate mail from the love your body – love yourself – screw everyone else crowd, I get that there are women out there who can let it all hang out. Just last week I saw a woman of about 50 at the local farmer’s market wearing a spaghetti strapped tank with no bra and she could have cared less what anyone thought of her sagging girls. To her I say, with genuine feeling and zero snarkiness:
For the rest of us in the middle-aged cheap seats, here are a few suggestions to get us through these next summer months:
10. When trying on swimsuits, take the time to try on many different styles. Your assets may have shifted a bit since last summer.
9. Accentuate the positive: a little waxing; a nice pedicure; and a great beach bag will serve you well.
8. I can’t pull off a two piece, but if you can – you go girl.
7. Wear the right size. My feeling is that your correct swimsuit size is usually at least one size larger compared to your normal size …
6. Ruffles at our age are probably not going to work. But I’m on the fence about this one. Thoughts?
5. Just say no to frumpy.
4. Coordinating cover-up; yes. Flowing moo-moo; no.
3. Similar to the LBD, when in doubt go with a black tank one piece. I also hear navy is very “in” this year. Can anyone out there pull off white? Anyone?
2. Even the flattest of middle-aged gals is gonna need some support – unless you’ve discovered a miracle cure for gravity.
And Kimba’s #1 suggestion for getting through the summer swimsuit season:
1. Wear a big floppy hat. It’s a great distraction.
How about you – are you ready for swimsuit season? Any advice for your sisters in suits?
Carol Cassara saysJune 18, 2013 at 9:19 am
I just saw a photo of Nigella Lawson in a burkini with comments that this seems to be some new trend and I thought "No way!" Of course, it's one option, but the real deal is that we need to accept ourselves as we are.
Kim D saysJune 19, 2013 at 11:01 am
Even at my skinniest I never really liked the way I looked in a two piece. You're right, it's all about feeling comfortable in your own skin – be that a bikini or a one-piece.
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Rand Ayn saysJune 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm
Why is it that chimichangas taste so good? especially when you're sunbathing in Southern Florida with a middle-aged woman that has a collection of figurines? Chimichungas taste good!
Debbie Kesley saysJune 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm
My motto to myself is "Well Ole' Girl…….you are not as good as you once were…..but in many areas you've got it going on….." and then I just keep moving on……..and enjoying life as me…..all of me and the whole of who I am. In the daytime last year on the lake I sported cycle pants that breathed, a full black hat and sun glasses while on the jetski during the day to protect my Irish skin from the sun. At night by the moonlight I shimmied down to my birthday suit and swam in the lake under a moon light sky with my bestfriend for a solid hour and appreciated the beautiful un-perfect woman I am and the water and world that surrounded me 🙂
Kim D saysJune 17, 2013 at 11:23 am
I love the vision of you skinny dipping with your best friend. Have put that on my bucket list for upcoming 50th celebration with my gal pals.
Vicki saysJune 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm
The last time you were in Florida & I saw you in a swimsuit, I thought you looked pretty darn good. I was very self-conscious in mine on the cruise…but I saw much worse & no one seemed to care. Like the idea of shorts if you aren't going in the water & definitely agree with the SUNSCREEN. Enjoyed the chuckle, as always!
Kim D saysJune 17, 2013 at 11:19 am
I know you were one of the cruise's most fabulous batheing beauties!!
marquita herald saysJune 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm
I love your sense of humor Kim! This will be the first summer in awhile I won't be avoiding the beach – oh, no "bathing beauty" illusions, but no bumps or overlaps either. I experienced the most amazing thing this winter – I shrunk back into all my favorite clothes – without even going on a diet. It wasn't intentional – which I have a feeling is the key. Happy or sad, I've always been an emotional eater. I've just been so focused on writing the past few months I didn't even realize I'd been shrinking until I pulled on a pair of shorts and they were so big one tug and they fell off. Oh joy!
Kim D saysJune 17, 2013 at 11:18 am
Love that you've been a "shrinking lady" without even noticing! Enjoy the beach!!
Terry Hanley saysJune 14, 2013 at 11:27 am
Are you trying to say board shorts & a large t-shirt is not a good look ?
As always, thanks for the laugh.
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 11:40 am
LOL Terrry, I know you rock the board shorts!
Kate Lindsay saysJune 14, 2013 at 11:04 am
Heck I am only 35 and I know that doesn't fit into middle age categories but I also hate swim suits. Since I don't do much actual swimming but walking around I have gone with the beach shorts and bathing suit top look for a while. I call them beach shorts becasue they are biity shorts technichally. WAY shorter than any other pair I would ever wear anywhere, but they are a little more coverage and a little less tight than the bottoms of the suit. OH, and an awesome hat that makes people look up and any redirects any potential finger pointing to my head.
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 11:41 am
I'm liking your idea of the beach shorts. Might have to try to sport that look and see how it goes…
Shannon saysJune 14, 2013 at 11:03 am
Haha well we're just going into winter here in Cape Town, but I like the idea about the floppy hat!
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 11:39 am
I guess in the winter it's more of a big furry or woolen hat, eh? Same principle. Thx for stopping by.
Suzanne Michelle saysJune 14, 2013 at 10:42 am
Oh, the bathing suit dilemma! We have all been there, for sure. I like your best suggestion about the floppy hat. Problem solved!
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 10:59 am
Floppy hat + sunscreen = fewer wrinkles! It's a two-fer!
Flo Bradley saysJune 14, 2013 at 9:57 am
I actually just went bathign suit shopping for the first time in 3 years, since having my son. It was painful as my body is changing and I can no longer wear the Jr. bathing suits that I love because they are half the price. Unfortunately, they are also half the material and while I am very toned and fit, as a mom of two with kids tugging at me, I just am still concerned about letting too much fall out as boobs are out of control. Anyway, thanks for the tips. . .and resources.
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 10:51 am
Flo, I so understand in the "boob department" (ala # 2 on my list). Been having to wrangle in my girls since they showed up in high school.
Nathalie Villeneuve saysJune 14, 2013 at 9:46 am
I LOVE this HeHe…The past couple of das I've been doing some shopping and bought great jeans, shoes, a great dress for a June wedding we are going to attend, a bra and underwear…yeah…all done…Nope! I've been glancing at the bathing and couldn't convince myself to do it. I think it's because it takes me so much time to decide on the style and all…Your tips anf the links you shared are great! I think it's all I needed to see to get the motivation. Women are B E A U T I F U L!! Gosh! let's stop this non-sense about looking the part! LOL …Hey! Here a thought…Let's all go buy a white swimsuit 😉
Great post Kimba!
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 10:48 am
You know Nathalie, I truly believe that you could, in fact, pull off that white two-piece!!
Terry saysJune 14, 2013 at 9:10 am
Very good points ! Trying on bathings suits can be very " trying "
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 10:43 am
Well Terry, guess we just need to keep a sense of humor about it all, right?
Louise Edington saysJune 14, 2013 at 8:41 am
I am sometimes thankful I don't live near the beach and don't even go there. However, this is the summer to get back in shape for me. Remind me of that in the fall….
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 10:34 am
Well Louise, the Virgo in me wants to help you develop a five point plan for getting into swimsuit shape. Shocking, I know.
Suzie Cheel saysJune 14, 2013 at 8:38 am
Thanks for the laugh, have just been in my swimmers today- yes it is winter here and the water is still warm so I went swimming.
I know how you feel and these days having changed how i eat ( alkaline) the gift of 20 plus less pounds or so makes me feel great- I still hanker for the day maybe will I wear a bikini again- dream on
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 10:32 am
Suzie, I bet you could sport a two-piece and be fierce! And congrats on dropping 20 lbs!!
Michele Anderson saysJune 14, 2013 at 8:31 am
We could have a funny conference about this topic!! Love your ideas, a lot. 🙂 Wish I knew the answer… because I live in Florida. xo
Kim Dalferes saysJune 14, 2013 at 10:29 am
Michele, I'm from Florida! Spent first three decades there. DON'T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN. Guess that should have been listed somewhere on my top ten.