Saturday, May 29, 2010

Buying a Swimsuit: So Much to Consider

It must rank on up there with one of the least favorite shopping activities for women: trying to find the perfect swimsuit. It was actually easier when I was pregnant because I enjoyed showing off my bulging belly. Now I'll do everything I can to flatten it. But finding the right fit is just the beginning of finding a great suit.

First is the task of deciding where and when to shop. I don't know who decided swimsuits should debut in February and dwindle down to size 2's and 16's by Memorial Day, but I'd like to have a chat with them. Personally, I don't want to try on skimpy clothing if a coat is required from the car to the store. Can't they give us til at least July 4 to put swimsuits on clearance?

I thought this morning would be a great time to snag a deal at either Kohl's or Old Navy. Old Navy was having 50% off clearance items and through an email alert from Kohl's, I learned swimsuits would be 50% off and I could use a printable coupon for 15% off that. I was certain to get a good deal!

I started at Kohl's since they open earlier. At first glance, they seemed to have a good selection. I suppose it all depends on your size and preference for style. I go for the sportier two pieces. I want something I can swim laps or wakeboard in. Two pieces also let me get a smaller size up top than on bottom and they work better with my long torso. Another benefit is you can sometimes buy pieces that mix and match. I did find some styles I liked but only the tops or only the bottoms were in my size. A matching set was not to be found.

I begrudgingly looked near the suits that looked more suitable for grandmothers and found a Nike style that seemed like it was just thrown on the end. My eyes began dancing when I found a top and bottom in my size. Now we enter the stage: will it actually hide & flatter? Does it lift the ta-tas, cinch the waist, and forgive my child-bearing hips? Will it fit without being too tight? Is this something I'm willing to sport in public?

When I tried them on in the dressing room, I was delighted and disappointed at the same time to realize the top was too big. Running short on time and patience, I darted out still wearing the swimsuit and searched for another top. I didn't trust the sizes on hangers and checked every suit. I was starting to loose faith when on the last one, a light shown down and angels sang. Ok, of course that didn't really happen, but I was elated. I tried it on and decided to buy it.

Now, I hadn't even looked at the price yet. But at this point, I think I would have paid just about anything for it. Half off, it was $40. Do people really pay $80 for this suit? That's crazy! With my coupon, that made it $34, and buying a pair of shorts I desperately needed (the last pair of non-maternity shorts I bought were before I had kids--no kidding!), I was going to exceed the $50 to get $10 in Kohl's cash. Hopefully I can use that for a cover-up in a couple of weeks. So I was good with the price.

But wait, that's not really all the factors in deciding a swimsuit. Subliminally, I was checking quality all along. I'd rather spend more for something that lasts longer, both from an environmental stand-point and because I'd like to put off the task of doing this all again for as long as I can. Quality: check.

Then there's the issue of sun protection. Does this have any UV protection? Well, no, but none of the suits I saw in the store noted that. On the days when I really need extra protection, I'll wear my Dakine swim shirt that is UVF 50 protected. I suggest getting these online.

Are we done yet? Not quite. It occurred to me only when I was home to think of where the suit was made. Was I contributing to another overseas sweat shop? I was afraid to look. The tag said "Made in Indonesia." Is that good? Is that bad? I don't know. I wish it were made in America but we can't have it all I suppose.

Yes, the picture is the one I picked with the exception of a skirt style bottom, but I don't look nearly as good as the model. I wish I had found a few other pieces to mix and match, but at least I have SOMETHING. Let the summer games begin.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post! I have one planned about swimsuit shopping as well, lol.