This summer, I have spent $115 dollars shopping online for bathing suits, bikinis to be specific, which DID NOT FIT ME. Sure, some of them I could get on my body, but inevitably, all of the trendy size 24/F21+ 3x bikinis I bought did NOT FIT.
Last summer I spent a mere $8 on swimwear, buying only a lap suit at a local plus size retail store - intending to wear it to water aerobics. I have worn this suit a lot, and now it has a TINY HOLE IN THE BUM. I keep wearing it because people swear they can’t see it. SHHHH. No one look at my bum hole!
The summer before last, I spent $105 on four pieces of swimwear - one bikini from evans which turned out to be too big all around, an Old Navy longline bikini top in a 3x that turned out to be too big for my boobs (but I wear anyway), an Old Navy XXL tankini top in some weird green with polka dots that I really THOUGHT fit me in the store but turns out to be HEINOUSLY uncomfortable IRL, and a pair of hot pink old navy bottoms in a 4x that I scored online for $15 during a super sale (yes, that is a SUPER SALE for plus bottoms. I know a whole bikini costs like $15 at target if you can wear S/M/L/XL etc).
You know what I’d really like? To be able to shop for swimwear IN AN ACTUAL STORE. Actually, let me rephrase that. I’d like to be able to shop for fashionable swimwear in an actual store (not even Lane Bryant carries swimwear in stores here in Austin, Texas where I live. This is Texas, I need a lot of swimwear). In my ACTUAL size. That’s a size 26/28 for those of you who are playing along at home.
I do not think that is too much to ask.
You know what else I’d really like? To be able to talk about my swimwear woes with other superfat people. people with a quirky aesthetic who don’t want to just buy something from the “extended sizes” (fuck you very much) section of the Avenue (SWIM DRESSES ONLY). Bonus points if these people are queer or understand my complicated gender/aesthetic. Hit me up if this describes you. I know you have a lot to say.
In my dream want world, we (the superfat quirky ones) would all pile in the car and go shopping together! In a real store! one with tons of spandex for us to wiggle into. Big bold colors! I just want to walk into a store and flounce out with something fabulous, you know?
Since dream land doesn’t exist, I’d really like for less-fat or not-fat people who also occupy the online spaces I spend A LOT of time complaining about my swimwear woes in to do a couple of things for me.
#1 - Stop suggesting swimwear that does not come in my size. Check the fucking size chart. I KNOW there are hella cute options out there for up to a 3x/22/24 this year. I’VE ALREADY TRIED TO MAKE TOO MANY OF THEM SUBMIT TO MY WILL. People have benefitted from these swimsuits failure to comply to fitting on my unruly body. We all know.
#2 - Stop suggesting I get something made custom by someone who lives far away and does not understand my rolls/cannot fit me in person. This is not what I want. This is not what I should have to do to buy swimwear that meets my requirements (which for the record are: brightly colored, friendly to small boobs and lots of back fat, preferably a tie back top). I do not need a sparkle princess glamourkini. I should be able to buy off the rack.
#3 - Start reaching out to retailers to advocate for fatter fats. Do you buy things from swimsuitsforall.com (which stops at size 24), F21+ (stops at a 3x which measures out to about a TWENTY TECHNICALLY SPEAKING), Rue107+, ASOS, etc? Well, next time you do, drop them a note to let them know that your fatter friends would enjoy their fabulous garments just as much as you do. (this suggestion comes from the amazing Afrotitty). Be an advocate. People are going to listen to you more than they listen to me.
Don’t you worry. I may have a lot of complaints, but I haven’t given up the fight. I have two more swimsuits coming in the mail next week.
In the meantime, I’ll be keeping it aggressively fat in clothing optional swim situations.
I just wrote a post about this same problem. I ordered the F21 bikini and one from Walmart. I like the bikini, but I really do need a larger cut and more support. If the bottoms were a tad larger and the band was bigger on top I would wear it. The band provides most of the support for the chest, so a thin band just won’t cut it.
I like shopping online because it’s more convient for me to just search for what I want and have it show up at my house. But I guess I’m also accustomed to never finding anything in my size at a brick and mortar store. Because I’ve never really been able to shop in one, like ever.
For this summer, I settled on a one piece. No real bust support, but it’ll work. I wrote all about this here: http://plumppinup.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/the-great-fat-grrrl-bikini-quest-of-summer-2013/