Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reviews: Exploring my Swimwear Options.

Most of the time when you see a swimsuit post, the author (and I have done this to in the past, to be fair) will wax poetic about being nervous about showing it all off.  Well, I personally am over it.  If I can walk around in a bikini in front of strangers at the pool, I can certainly bare the belly here at the blog and not stress out about it.  I am turning a "special" birthday tomorrow and I am leaving all the insecurities of my last decade behind. I figure it's about time.  ;-)

Of course I chose my "preview" photo to be the most conservative of all the images, so maybe I am teensy weensy not over it, lol.

So presented without apology for any of my bodily bits--a review Boden's rash guard, bikini set, and J. Crew's Ruched Femme swimsuit.

Rash Vest and Mix and Match Short.  (Vest Product Page here and Short Product Page here.) Guard is size 6 and the Short is a size 8.

I love rash guards.  As a swim coach who on the regular spends time in frigid indoor pools in the winter (heated my butt!), these save me from over-freezing.  The kids I coach warm up through exercise, but I usually stay fairly motionless, which means I really do have to stay warm through other means.  This guard is exactly right for that.  It wasn't especially super hot the day I modeled it, but I could only wear it in the pool for a brief few minutes before it got too hot.  I ended up leaving it off for the rest of the day.

The size on the guard is fine, I wear a size 6 in most of Boden's tops, and this fit like those did.  If I had a preference, I would take a 4 at the neckline and bust and an 8 at the hips, but they don't make things exclusively for me, so the 6 is a good compromise.

It rides up a touch in the water, but if I tuck it into the bottom, the guard does stay put pretty well.  It is a bit long on me, so I think that is part of the issue.  For most of you with regular length torsos, you should be fine.

The short is wonderful.  They are almost a boy-leg brief and usually those look just terrible on me, too low in back, too wide in front, and really focus the eye on how much bigger my bottom is than my top.  With the guard on, you can't even tell that I am wearing bikini bottoms on the lower half, but even with the bikini top, they still manage to be fairly flattering.  I think it is the combo of longer rises on both front and back with the busy-ness of the print.

The 8 worked out fine.  Eventually they will stretch out and I will have wished I had bought a 6, but I think as long as I sew in some elastic in the waist to cinch it back up, I should be okay.  Of course it could take years to stretch out (my hope) and I will be over this suit by then.

(Reminder--always hand wash in cold water, NO soap, your swimwear made of either nylon/lycra or poly/lycra.  After rinsing it out--I usually take about two minutes per piece--hang it to dry.)

Ruffle Bikini Top. (Top Product Page here.)  I initially purchased this top in a size 4 since I am very tiny in my bust (32B) with a narrow back, but it ended up being too small in the band.  The cups were more than fine, as well as the strap length.  I did read that other ladies suffered the same fate, so I decided to exchange the 4 for the 6 and am glad I did, as it fits much better. 

I love the ruffles for me as it gives my ladies a lift and draw the eye up from my hips, so silhouette wise, it flatters my shape.  It also has a hint of padding.

If you have more up top, you may want to think about one of the other bikini options, especially since this one does not feature any extra support in the form of boning at the sides or underwire.  (The St. Lucia Top, which I also ordered as an alternative look for this bikini, features boning.  I ordered the 4 in that, and it was more than big enough, btw.)

I never wear a rash guard without a complete suit underneath (I assume everyone else does, too, but maybe some people wear the guard without a top under it?).  So even though I could have gotten away with just the bottoms and the guard, I wanted a complete suit for under it.

And with the weather around here, that makes sense, since we rarely get cool in summer, so my need for a rash guard is winter only.

For those of you wondering, the sunglasses are the Selina sunglasses, also from Boden, and the sandals are the Malta crackled leather sandals in green. 

Side view.  You better believe I am sucking it in, lol.  :-)  I don't walk like a robot at the pool, though, hand on heart.

You can really see how nicely covered the bottoms are from here.  I love this bikini bottom.  Good job, Boden.

Back view.  The bottom nicely covers my larger posterior, and the bikini top has a very secure closure on both the neck and back.  I detest tie backs for bikinis, but the ones at the necks don't bother me.  I think I just worry the tie at the back of a bikini top won't stay secure and I will show off more than I care to, so I always bypass any that don't feature a proper closure (looking at you, J. Crew!).

Tropical Fern Ruched Femme One Piece Suit (at right).  I have been purchasing these suits for years now.  The one on the left is from last summer, fwiw, but is in great shape and can still be worn.  Both suits fit my frame well, but they are two different sizes.  Last year's is a size 6, and this year's is a 4.  They fit exactly the same, so if you are used to this swimsuit, go one size smaller.  I did purchase the fern one in a size 6, too, but the straps are too long and only fit marginally better in the bottom, so the 4 stayed, and the 6 is being returned.  I ordered the regular in both, they also have D-cup, and long torso options.

What I love about this suit style is the coverage without looking frumpy, the cute prints they usually use, and the fact that my ladies up top are covered but feature no boning or underwire.  I don't need boning or underwire, so I actively look for suits that don't have them.  I do understand the need for them, and if you have ladies that are ample, this may not be the right suit for you.  (I don't know if the D cup features undewire or boning, if you do, definitely chime in at the comments.)

I also love the ruching at the sides.  It adds even more detail to draw the eye upward, which I desperately need.  I imagine the ruching would be very flattering on someone with a larger waistline, too, but I have no proof other than the fact that I *think* it would be flattering.

Up to 50% off + free shipping on orders $49+
Okay, before I go, I saw this banner over at Boden this morning when hunting for the links above.  So yay on a sale!  But not the bikini bits or the guard (at least not the color I bought).  Anyhow, definitely go and enjoy the start of the big summer sale.  If you see low stock for any of your choices, now is the better choice for purchasing than later.  If you see all of the sizes are fully stocked, you might be able to wait.  Mini Boden is another deal, though, that line typically sells out and fast during sale time. 

Have a great Tuesday.  Brave that bikini, friends!