In my last post, I discussed why modesty was important, and the bottom line is this: modesty is about respect, plain and simple. Especially now that I am a mama, I want to make sure that I am communicating respect, but I also know that I need to have a swimsuit that is practical more than itsy bitsy teensy weensy.
For the first time in my life, my number one priority will not be relaxing, laying out, and catching some good ole' Vitamin D (while properly sunscreened, of course!). This year, I will be chasing my sweet boy, who will be 11 months old and is full on. All.the.time. I'm sure there will be plenty of sandcastle building, running around, and playing with toys, so I need a suit that can keep up and STAY UP, y'all!
So, as promised, I've rounded up a few modest swimsuits that are functional and still cute! Modest does NOT have to equal frumpalicious, people!
One of the more popular and well-known modest swimwear lines is Rey Swimwear, whose muse is Audrey Hepburn and some of her more iconic film characters. Jessica Rey, the designer, has the motto, "Who says it has to be itsy bitsy?" I'm inclined to wonder the same thing! Check out these gorgeous swimsuits (the ones pictured happen to be my favorites of hers)!
Are these not awesome? I love the vintage, throwback vibes and naturally, the classy portrait these suits portray! The only drawback for me is the price, and while I can completely understand paying for quality, I am soooo thrifty and frugal that it's hard for me to move past the dollar signs on these beauties!
I also really like the customizing ability that swimsuit line Divinita Sole offers! One of my favorites of theirs is pictured above. Basically, they are a line of tankinis that have SO many different color choices and patterns, and they have different silhouettes that they've divided into the fairly general body types, so you can mix and match and play to your body's strengths. They have different bottom styles for each top, as well, so you can control the look and the coverage you want. I think that's great! They're still a little pricier than what I feel comfortable spending, but I also can agree that quality is more important than quantity, so if you're in the market for a great suit, they might just be for you!
I actually went shopping and bought this bandeau-style tankini with removable halter strap (to keep things extra secure, although the top fit well enough that I didn't feel uncomfortable without the halter).
It's a MUCH brighter orange/coral in person (as in I was a little hesitant to purchase because I'm going to the beach, not trying to prevent a hunting accident), and the top does not fit quite as loosely as it does on the model in the picture. Luckily, my husband told me that he really liked the color and didn't think I'd startle any deer on the beach! Haha! Another thing I liked is that the back is not completely open like a handkerchief top, which apparently must be making a comeback in popularity based on what I saw in the store.
|Source same as above|
Call me crazy, but a) who makes the handkerchief/bandana back?!?! b) why do people want to feel "breezy" in the back? -AND- c) I can't imagine that would feel comfortable after swimming - like a wet curtain hanging off the front of you? I'm definitely not here to judge, and am genuinely open to understanding the appeal, so if those style suits are your thing, please feel free to enlighten me...I digress. Back to business, though: the suit I bought again fit me a little differently than the model's fit - my keyhole in the back is definitely not as large, which I actually like. That adds to the comfort.
The bottoms are sort of a modified string, if you will. They have thick strings that do offer coverage, and of course, even though modesty is my goal, I do appreciate the ability to resize your bottoms. Have you ever had the experience where water either makes your suits shrink or stretch? That gets awkward if you don't have the ability to adjust, so I can get down with that. But, by and large, the BEST part of buying this swimsuit? The price! The top was on clearance for $9.99 and the bottoms were on clearance for....wait for it....$5.99! Add to that the fact that I had a 25% off coupon that could be used on clearance items, and we've got ourselves a score, y'all!!! (I'm pretty sure this is the main reason my husband loves me. LOL!)
I also scored some swimming shorts, which I've also never owned before, but can absolutely see the use value in! Now, before you laugh like a hyena (although you may be doing that already), my sister gave me a hard time about these "mom shorts" as she called them. All I ask is that you hear me out before you judge me! ;) They look much cuter on than this picture, they're neutral so they can be worn with pretty much any solid or patterned bikini or tankini top (or shirt, for that matter), and they're SUPER comfortable, you guys! Basically, they're shorts that are made with water-friendly material. You can swim in them, and they have a built in bathing suit bottom, so you don't have to worry about giving folks a show! But, unlike boyshort swim bottoms, these come down further like normal shorts would, they're attached to the bathing suit bottom ONLY at the waistband, and because of that, they're not suctioned to your thighs. As one reviewer commented, she can wear them all the time, like "pool, yard work, etc. and still feel somewhat covered to answer door or welcome guests for a cookout."
So, I am pretty excited about my finds, and I am WAY more excited that I didn't spend an arm and a leg to accomplish my goals. I will say that I was asked this question by a girlfriend of mine, and I felt it was appropriate to post here. She asked, "Do you feel that it's immodest to wear a bikini?" I hadn't really pondered that before, and so I thought on it for a second, and here is my genuine answer. I, personally, do not think wearing a bikini means that you are not concerned with modesty, nor do I think you are necessarily disrespecting anyone by wearing one. I will go on the record and tell you that if I were to ever say "yes" to that question, I'd be the biggest hypocrite alive. In fact, what started me on the journey to find more mama-appropriate options is the fact that all I owned were pretty small bikinis in different forms, apart from my one maternity tankini! When you are as pear shaped as I am, it can be a challenge to find a one-piece that fits you properly, so I've generally stayed away from them for most of my life.
I, personally, believe that you can still wear a bikini that communicates respect for yourself and others and it lies in this: you should NOT be concerned with losing your top or your bottom or having your chest or bum spilling out. If you have to constantly be worried about showing too much skin or getting arrested for indecent exposure, you probably shouldn't be wearing it, no matter how good you may look in it.
My personal rule of thumb is that if I'm honest with myself and I look in the mirror, if it is obvious to me that I am promoting my chest or bum (i.e., those parts are highlighted and/or spilling out/not covered properly), I know I need to make a wiser choice. If you're in touch with the Holy Spirit, it really isn't that hard to distinguish. If your goal in choosing a swimsuit is solely to promote how sexy you are, you're wearing it for the wrong reason. Truthfully, if you're wearing ANY type of clothing to draw sexual attention to yourself, you're choosing to play a game you could lose and you're most likely not going to receive the type of attention you actually desire.
Let's take back our focus and try something different! What would happen if we chose to allow God to fill up any insecurities we have (and we all do) with the reminders of how "fearfully and wonderfully made" we are? We were created in His image - His PERFECT image! This was not a mistake! He loves us and He's for us! Because of that, we don't have to "be" anything! We are cherished, just the way we are! Believe me, I preach that to the choir all the time (and by choir, I mean ME)!
Have you found any other modest options that are still cute? What are your thoughts/tips on showing respect to yourself and others in general?