It’s that time of the year again. The sun is shining, the snow is disappearing, and kids are trading their snowboards for boogie boards. Summer is around the corner. Long gone are the shortened days, big sweaters to hide in and hot cocoa in front of the fire while the rain or snow covered the ground. Now there will be barbeques and pool parties, beach days that end with bonfire night, and not to mention a small weekend vacation camping in the mountains or swimming in a river.
Along with the sun and sunscreen comes the ever dreaded and always hated chore of bathing suit shopping. Each and every year around Memorial Weekend, the invitations for pool parties and cook-outs roll in and I, along with many other mothers out there, begrudgingly accept.
We mark it on our calendar and sigh. As we put down the pen, our hand goes to our tummy, which is not as flat as it was once pre-child. Then our eyes snake down to the rest of our body as we take in what we perceive as a deformed figure of epic proportions.
Well stop right there! Let’s get a hold on reality and stop beating ourselves up. Yes, we all cringe and nearly become nauseous at the idea of taking our poor, pale bodies out of their jeans and sweats to slip into a skin-tight swimsuit. But it does not have to be torturous. Let’s look at our options before we run from our kitchens with bags of cookies and hide under the sheets.
We all have that one girlfriend that has been beside us through thick and thin. She was there when we were a size eight in college and she’s still there in our postpartum years and wearing a size twelve. Call her up, grab your keys, and meet her at the mall.
Shopping with someone else can help lower your stress and boost your confidence. Having another pair of eyes with a more objective opinion sitting in front of you will give you insights you may never have appreciated shopping on your own. And remind her that you are still in your “winter skin.” She’ll understand and appreciate your honesty.
She may even help you laugh at yourself as you model one horrific trendy bikini after another before you give-in for a nicely fitted but more conservative styled suit. There is nothing better than a friend to lean on when you are worried about how you look.
There is merit in shopping online. It can save you gas, money, and time. Some sites even offer preferred shipping and sales on certain styles.
Before even laying down your MasterCard, shop around a bit. Find a store that suits your style and decide on the type of swimwear style you prefer. If you are not ready to show a lot of skin, wearing this bikini by Roxy won’t fit your needs. Staying away from the trendy youthful sites catering to the twenty-somethings with a washboard bellies will not only save you time and money but it’ll also save your ego.
A great site for stylish suits that are more modest and gives one a lot of cute options for covering is Lands End. They offer wide variety of suits and cover-ups that are cute, fun and functional.
Most online companies have great return policies and even offer free shipping if you do need to send the items back. Make sure you read all the fine print in regards to packaging and paperwork before placing your order. And keep all emails and receipts until you are sure you love the items and won’t be returning them.
Third: Bathing Suit Swap
If all else fails, call in the ladies. It is time for a clothing swap. Getting friends together to swap suits not only saves money, but it can also be a fun bonding experience.
Make a party of it. Have them bring a gently loved, washed swim suit and a food item. Then gather together, throw the suits in a pile and enjoy a party like atmosphere while you trade secrets to each swim suit.
In the end, just remember this: there are many of us moms out there feeling the same way you do about the beginning of bathing suit season. So many of us feel unhappy about our appearance after the long winter months that when those first summer parties by the pool arrive and we don the dreaded swimwear for the first time, we all make the same promise: to hit the gym everyday that summer!
So, be kind to yourself and have fun shopping.