Trips to the beach, camping in the mountains, barbeques and family picnics… there are so many things to love about summer. Everything that is, but shopping for a new swimsuit. Taking a look at this summer season’s swimsuit offerings is great fun (as long as it’s from behind the privacy of our computer screens), and while some of us don’t usually turn down an excuse to go shopping, when mixed with “swimsuit”… we say, not so much. But, with the sun beaming, temperatures rising and the cool water beckoning, it’s time to make the dreaded outing. Here’s an account from one of our very brave WYSK team members in search of her perfect swimsuit.
Trying on swimsuits really stinks…the mirrors, fluorescent lights… just thinking about it puts me in a bad mood. Let’s face it, shopping for a swimsuit just isn’t any fun; there’s even research that proves our disdain. Yes, an actual “study” released earlier this spring from Flinders University in Australia, confirms what we already know – “that trying on swimsuits makes women feel anxious and depressed.” No shit! But, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. So, I headed out to the nearest department store where there are fewer sales staff following you around than in a teeny boutique, and a larger selection of styles and sizes… it seemed like the lesser of two evils.
I step off the escalator and carefully scan the department, eyeing the sales ladies and quickly turning the other way, while simultaneously avoiding eye contact with the women in the bikini area with their looks that shout “you don’t belong here”. Scanning the floor for the one-pieces, I hone in on the Miraclesuit and Spanx collections (one needs all the help they can get). Slowly making my way over to the rack, I quickly grab what I can in my size (ok, maybe in a few sizes) trying to avoid the ones with the little skirts and boob inserts that remind me of the ladies from my grandmother’s pool at the retirement home in Hallendale, FL. I carry a dozen or so bathing suits over my arm as I make my way to the torture chamber, or more commonly known as “the fitting room”.
They really should consider offering cocktails in this department… a Mai Tai would really get me more in the mood. My anxiety is at its peak, but I’ve cleverly avoided the sales woman and am almost there… ok, I’m in! I lock the door and survey my surroundings. The unidentifiable wet looking spot on the carpet is a little concerning so I keep my shoes on, now wishing I wore a pair of sexy heels instead of my Converse sneakers which will only serve to make me look short and stocky while trying these swimsuits on. I am standing under the most horrible lighting on the planet. I wonder why retailers haven’t figured out that skinny mirrors and good lighting would be an asset in trying to sell a woman a bathing suit, but here I stand. A fitting room is bad on a good day, but when you’re in your bra and panties, pale and missed the last few months of spin classes, it makes me look like a loaf of Wonder bread.
I am finally here, so I may as well just slip one on and see if this Miraclesuit has any miracles left in it for me. Hmm…it feels okay and actually gives the illusion that my stomach is flatter like it promises, the Miraclesuit is living up to its name. Although, the material is so thick I may die of heat exhaustion wearing it, I’ll chance it as the fit is pretty good and dare I say it’s comfortable? I do a few knee raises, jump up and down, and bend over, making sure there are no wardrobe malfunctions in my future. It stays put. I’m trying on bathing suits and I haven’t passed out or gone weak in the knees. Mission complete! Why go on trying more? It’s not like a wedding dress where you want to try every single one just to be sure you found the best! This Miraclesuit works for me; it doesn’t squeeze me in the wrong places and my bits are locked and loaded. Although it may not be the “perfect” swimsuit, it’ll certainly do. I grab my new suit leaving the others behind and open the door to freedom. I feel like I just won the lottery.
As my heart stops racing and I make my way to the register, I think about all of the women who have traveled this path before, and wonder why we put ourselves through all of this mental anguish just to find a new swimsuit, but then I remember, it’s all in the name of “science”. Next year, you can be sure, I’m ordering online!
The internet is filled with tons of expert, so-called “tips and tricks” for a saner swimsuit shopping experience, here’s some of our laugh out loud favorites:
- Get your body beach-ready before you hit the stores
- Be sure to glam up, full makeup and hair
- Get a faux tan
- Focus on why you are buying a swimsuit, the fun things you plan on wearing it to
- Don’t go shopping hungry
- Bring a pair of sandals with you no matter what time of year you are shopping
- Try on suits that are too big for you
- Cut down on the number of times you cringe when gazing in that full-length mirror
- Don’t pick on yourself