Monday, July 11, 2011

On the Hunt: Functional Bathing Suits

I need a functional bathing suit. Not one that works for sitting in a beach chair, or by a pool, but one that could be used for actual swimming and would not be inappropriate to wear with a group that includes teenage boys.

As it stands, I have this bathing suit in four colors:

Cute. Fun. I've gone with this style for the last five years (and OBVIOUSLY I do not look like this in them - I like beer, cheese and more than 1000 calories a day, thank you very much). But this is not good for, say, body boarding or a swim challenge. I believe I accidentally flashed beach patrons in Strathmere two weekends ago when I tried to jump over a large wave. For that I sincerely apologize.

Maybe if I looked like that, I wouldn't mind hunting for a new, functional bathing suit. But I do not. I liked my friend Joy's suggestion to go with an empty stomach except a glass of wine, but since I'm driving, that's out.

Here's the type of stuff I'm looking for:

Simple, functional, still a bikini, not outrageously priced - at least not on If I don't find anything else, this'll be my choice. I considered buying it in red, but I'm not a lifeguard and, for the safety of all, should not be mistaken for one.

I like this one, too, especially for the swimming challenge portion of why I need this bathing suit. I'm going to through a bit of a Xanadu phase, too - at least when it comes to music I'm listening to in my office - and the crazy colors seem to fit that. Also, not outrageously priced, and doesn't look like a swim team uniform.

This one was suggested to me by @gretchtables:

But Holy Tan Lines, Batman. I have crazy strips as is on my back from my running sports bra. How'd this work out? (and, yes, I wear SPF 30, and I re-apply, but I still get tan. Been that way since I was a kid. Baffles my mother still).

Normally, I'd look at Athleta, but they're not on my Do Not Buy list. They have a very backwards return policy that involves touting FREE FREE FREE! shipping and exchanges, but charging you if you want to return something. What a gyp. Never again.

So tonight I'll venture out into the strip mall lands of Cherry Hill, NJ and see what I can find. I'm leaning toward something along the lines of the first option, but if I could find that on a deep discount rack since stores already have winter coats out? Gold.

I'd also take any of these, except for the fuzzy one. That doesn't look too functional.

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Debbie said...

Jen - I just bought a couple suits from Lands End. They're having a sale right now - 30% off the sale price and free shipping if you spend $50. You can get the code on their FB page. They have some cute stuff and it's very functional! I can't say that little bikini you posted would be so functional on me - especially since I'd need to wear a big 'ole coverup on top!

Jill said...

I agree with Debbie. Lands End would be a good place for you. The larger Sears stores will carry them. You can mix and match as you please and they last.