The Stupid World of Girls Bathing Suits

My youngest four kids have all outgrown their bathing suits so I had to do some suimsuit shopping before we left for Spring Break. Being in Texas I take swimwear very seriously; in the Summertime the kids practically live in it. If the kids want to play outside when the heat gets oppressive (round about May-September), the only way it’s going to work is if there’s water involved.

You probably disagree with me but I find little girls in bikinis completely appalling (hey, pedophiles, check out my sexy 5-year-old!). A naked jaybird frolicking in the waves somehow seems less sexual than a child wearing a bikini. Don’t ask me why I feel this way, I just do. Especially for the older girls. I like a nice one-piece for my daughters (or a modest tankini) and lucky me I get to dress them however I like.

I’m seriously in the minority when it comes to preferring one-pieces so that means I have to get most of the girls’ swimwear online (one-pieces are like the red-headed stepchild of the swimsuit world). Unlike the rest of the year when I wait for deals, when it comes to swimwear I just bite the bullet and pay full price. Especially this year since we needed them at the beginning of March. Swimsuits sell out fast and with all the wear and tear they get, I feel like we get our money’s worth.

In the past we’ve been let down by the quality of swimsuits from the Gap. They have never made it a whole season without losing their stretch so I avoid them if possible. ┬áTarget bathing suits aren’t the best in quality but they’re cheap and pretty much available year-round so we always end up with at least one. They also do quite a lot of one-pieces. Arabella settled on a stripey Target bathing suit and a flowery one from Land’s End. Land’s End really makes the best quality suits. They’ll easily give you two years of wear, although it’s rare to have kids that will stay the same size that long. This year they dropped the ball and of all the suits Arabella liked, none were available at the beginning of March. She really had her heart set this flowery one so we ordered it just recently.

We did pretty well at Mini Boden this year. They always have plenty of one-pieces. Ada loves red and she fell in love with this suit:


Ada also went gaga over this suit from Children’s Place. It has a cute matching rash guard too. I love rash guards because kids with sunburns are the biggest babies of all time. If it’s between 11-3:00 my kids have got to have a rashguard on. Of course they’re slathered with sunscreen too, but rashguards keep sun exposure from getting out of hand.


And then there are the swimsuits for teenage girls. Good grief. India is pretty cool about wearing a modest bathing suit. She is not they type who: 1) cares about wearing the same exact thing as everyone else, and 2)doesn’t have that insecure teen-girl need to wear as little clothing as possible (I swear they’re thinking, “If I dress like a hooker maybe boys will like me more!”) The good news is that every year it seems like there are more and more tankinis in the Juniors department. I’m hoping this means that not every teenage girl wants to look like a skeeze. We wound up with a couple of cute tankinis from Kohl’s. Easy Peasy.

(Obviously modesty and good posture do not go hand in hand.)

As for me, I’ve been sporting the same bathing suits for the last four years. The thought of swimsuit shopping is enough to send me reaching for the Valium. I can barely handle trying on pants these days. My weight loss isn’t coming along as well as I’d hoped; I’m thinking of moving on to more drastic measures. Which do you think would work better: a tapeworm or tuberculosis?

Happy almost-swimsuit season!



8 thoughts on “The Stupid World of Girls Bathing Suits

  1. Thank you for posting about modest swimsuits. They are a rarity indeed and even here in St. George, UT, modest swimsuits can be hard to find.

    Thank you also for posting about the importance of modesty.

  2. I totally agree with you that bikinis for kids are gross. Making little girls look sexy is just so wrong. … and I’m not even a Mormon.. LOL

  3. I completely concur.

    Although we are settled in the dreary pacific northwest, I do have to be on the ball when purchasing swimsuits. It feels crazy to buy them in March when it is only 50 degrees out, but like you said they sell out fast.

    We’ve had great luck with Kohls this year, and also go with Target ones to supplement. I am finding it most difficult to find ones for Alice (age 12). She won’t wear a tankini (wants a one piece) but doesn’t want one that looks too juvenile.

  4. Yeah, I have 2 girls and buying them swimsuits gives me angst. I just want one that’s functional, cute and age-appropriate, and will last all summer. Target usually has about a million trashy options and one or two good ones. My kids also have fair skin and have a dad that had skin cancer at age 26, so we’re pretty paranoid about sun exposure. Sigh.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on trying to find good summer clothes for my girls. Trying to find shirts with actual sleeves (fair skin, remember?), shorts that aren’t hideous booty shorts (I don’t even care if they reach the knee, they just have to have an actual inseam), and sandals that aren’t clunky or strappy so they can actually wear them to play–drives me nuts every year!

  5. I found Kohl’s was great, once we had to move up to something with a decent lining last year for my 10-year-old. And tankinis are awesome for a teen girl who wants a 2-piece suit. I’m with you on the finding a new swimsuit for myself ordeal – I think I’ll just pull on my Lands End tankini from 2006 and forget about it. Nothing I find will cover the varicose veins in my legs.

    Except the burquini, of course….

  6. For fast and easy weight loss, the tapeworm wins hands down!! With a couple hundred years of skinny users (some of them on missions in South America) they are a tried and true method, advertized in most 1800s newspapers. The only problems are the thought of the squirmy things multiplying and dividing in your intestines, and maybe one crawling out of your nose if your gut is too full of them. Then, when you are nice and skinny (and ostracized from polite society for displaying worms) you simply take a worm killer pill, have a few terrible days on the potty, and VIOLA! Thin at last!

    But then you have to STICK to a low cal diet!

    (No, Virginia, there IS no easy way.)

  7. Doesn’t your Costco have the great 1 piece Speedo bathing suits for girls? We have lived in NC for many years and my daughters have worn those almost exclusively. This year will be the last year and I am sad and don’t look forward to having to find a new source!

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