There's nothing like shopping for a swimsuit to take you down a few notches.
The board shorts I've been wearing for the last couple years have apparently resized themselves in my drawer each winter. The waistband has gotten progressively smaller and the length isn't hiding the stretch marks on my thighs as well as it used to. I've also never been a fan of my halter-top tankini. To hide some cleavage, I sewed in a piece of fabric when I first bought it; but I still always worry that the tie behind my neck will come undone or stretch to unacceptable lows.
A month ago I saw a billboard for Lime Ricki modest swimwear directing me to check out their retail site. They do a lot of online business, but given the option, I thought I would rather try on a few suits to avoid the process of returns by mail. While I was in Salt Lake County visiting a friend who had come into town, we made a stop at the swimwear store.
I learned two things:
1) Lime Ricki's target audience is teens. Maybe young women in their early 20s. Not so much women in their mid-30s. They must be in cahoots with my board shorts at home because they somehow mislabeled all their sizes. Their patterns were cute, but their cuts, although modest, still...
2)...revealed flab between my neck and torso that I hadn't known existed. I guess when everything is being squeezed in the middle, the excess is bound to spill out the top and bottom. (This suit looks cute on the internet; not so much on me.)
I did fall in love with the store's board skirts, which hang down to mid-thigh. And I settled on a tankini top that matched the skirt, the operative word being "settled".
Lucky for me, Wal-Mart came to my rescue. When I stopped there for groceries on my way home, I noticed a tankini top that would match the board skirt I'd bought, and it had wide shoulder straps. So I went through the trying process of again trying on spandex and discovered two more things:
1) Wal-mart knows its customers well.
2) The suits were much more forgiving and the size I like to think I wear fit me at Wal-mart.
I went to a second Wal-Mart last night to help #2 buy herself a swimsuit; at least, that was my excuse. After that third round of fittings, I came home with a second swim set: a cute skirted bottom almost as forgiving as the board skirt and a tankini top that has wide shoulder bands and a high, scooped neckline. Yes!!!
All that remains in this battle of swimwear is to make the returns. And maybe to skip my late-night bowl of ice cream a little more often.