General chatter - Bikini to burkini, what's your ideal swimwear?




kaplods
03-22-2014, 08:19 PM
I love swimming, but hate shopping for swimwear. Anything less than hideous never comes in my size. I've even considered custom swimwear that costs nearly as much as my wedding gown.

This year, I decided to try my hand at making my perfect swimsuit (or if not perfect, as good as anything I've ever been able to buy).

I ordered a convertible, underwire swimsuit bra frome Onestopplus. The straps are detachable and can be attached at different points for different suit strap configurations. This way I don't have to build a bra into my suit.

I started looking at online images of swimwear for ideas. My first search (using the search terms "modest swimwear") and found everything from navel-covering 50's style bikinis to longsleeved burkinis for muslim ladies (think full scuba gear without the mask and with a dress over the top of it all).

I did like some of the short sleeved, knee-length (just above, or just below) swim dresses.

It's not about religion for me, I just like to have my upper arms and thighs covered. I don't mind a low-cut suit, because I actually like my boobs and even my neck and shoulders. Heck I'd even rather bare my midriff than my batwings.

I saw a cute plus size bikini once in the early 90's in a plus size fashion magazine. It had a cropped lycra, short sleeve t-shirt with a short-but-not-too-short pleated swimskirt that just covered the navel, but barely (and I think it had suspenders). I would have bought it if it had come in deep shades of navy or royal blue rather than dayglo orange and pink, and if the pricetag weren't $350.

I'd like to make a suit that's flattering, comfortable, and covering without looking too strange.
Shorts sleevers probably won't work, but cap sleeves might. Knee length may be too long, but I think I can get away with mid-thigh.

Hopefully my sewing and design skills are up to the task of making something presentable.


PatLib
03-22-2014, 10:20 PM
I like one pieces and then wearing board shorts that are more like shortie shorts. My arms are okay but my thighs have stretch marks that I am just not comfortable showing.

AwShucks
03-22-2014, 10:47 PM
The tops of my thighs are my worst problem when wearing a swimsuit. I have 2 one pieces that have little skirts attached, but they don't cover it all - they just skim the top of my thigh. I'd never wear a suit with just regular leg openings. Just. can't.

I like a one piece suit, though. That's showing enough skin for me. I'm not thrilled about my thighs and arms either, but I'm working on them and they're much better than they were. I like the look of a sarong skirt over a suit when not in the water.


Pattience
03-22-2014, 11:04 PM
Its my bum and thighs i don't like showing off but i don't think my situation could be improved by any other version of swimsuit.

I think it could be a good idea for you to try the mid thigh suit. But are you still going to use the usual swimwear stretch fabric?


I think sleeves could be ok too. and if you don't mind exposing your belly, then why not try a top to just below the bust and shorts to mid thigh and around the hips.

I don't think a skirt is a particularly great idea, unless you have it as a skirt over shorts. This is a style that women wear in some sports already.

The neckline for the top should be wide and low. And low at the back as well.

You could also have the shorts part right down to below the knee like the yoga pants. In fact you could probably try adapting a yoga /gym outfit or using it as a pattern.

The sort of fabric you want should have a high elastane content. Also known as lycra or spandex.

If print were an option, i'd go for a busy print.

I"m a sewer by the way but i have still a lot to learn and i'm trying to teach myself pattern making too.

Make sure you line it all in the right parts.

I don't know how you'd go at figuring out a pattern without one to start from unless you buy one from a sewing shop.

alaskanlaughter
03-23-2014, 01:46 AM
I've only owned one swimsuit in my life and I bought it a year ago or so just for the hot tub....a long time ago I borrowed a swimsuit from my SIL and never gave it back...I liked it, it was an athletic-style swimsuit and I used it for water aerobics...now it's just way too big, I tried it on last year and it was so indecently big that I couldn't wear it in public...so I had to buy something else

I bought from the mix n match section at fred Meyers...I bought a boy-cut black swim shorts and a black polka dot top that covers my stomach...it ties behind my neck and provides decent bra support but not enough where I could play water sports or anything...it looks good and i'm covered enough...

I actually tried on a yellow bikini last year when I was shopping and didn't look horrible...my DH thought I looked fantastic lol....but I myself was not comfortable enough in that to wear it in public so I didn't buy it...

yoyoma
03-23-2014, 07:36 AM
I have chipmunk-cheek-like bulges at the top of my inner thighs. I've always had them, even when I was literally underweight and my tummy was super slim. So, I bought one of the one-piece swimsuits with an attached skirt and it does a good job of covering up the bulges.

time2lose
03-24-2014, 09:06 AM
I have not been in water since my teenage years. A couple of years ago, I found myself yearning to get in the water with my grandkids at a water park. I always felt like I was too big to be in public in a bathing suit. Now, I am embarrassed to show all my hanging bits.

Even though it will be expensive, I am considering buying swim capris or shorts with a 3/4 length swim shirt.

http://hydrochic.com/chlorine-proof-swim-shorts-with-accent-piping.html or
http://hydrochic.com/land-sea-swim-capris.html

with

http://hydrochic.com/wrap-swim-shirt.html

I found a cheaper swim shirt too - http://www.koshercasual.com/Swim-Shirt-1246_1246_p.html

amandie
03-24-2014, 09:19 AM
I wore a 2 piece for the first time last year but with a mesh coverup so it didn't show off my unsavory bits. It was nice not worrying or stressing.

I had thought about making my own but it was cheaper to get the swimwear on clearance, less than 2 bucks each.

One day, I'd love to get a high-waisted bottom with regular top or a monokini since both can cover up my lower stomach. My arms and thighs are fine save for a little loose skin, doesn't bother me as much as my stomach.

Munchy
03-24-2014, 09:25 AM
I bought my first bikini last year since having my six year old. It's retro and high waisted to cover up the wrinkly mommy skin. I haven't worn it yet and try to avoid wearing bathing suits as much as possible!

nonameslob
03-24-2014, 12:24 PM
I had a tankini I really loved - the bottoms were shorts. I am not exactly thrilled by my thighs so that hid the parts I don't enjoy so much! I'd love to one day be comfortable with my thighs - I think at this point I'd be more comfortable showing off my stomach, even at this weight! Maybe it will fit again this year...

The shorts were like these: http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1551458/nike-board-short-bottoms.jsp

I can't imagine ever wearing a bikini. Well, at least not a teeny tiny one. But I'd love to wear a proper two piece eventually :D

I'd get much too hot in a swim shirt or anything that covered my arms!

nonameslob
03-24-2014, 12:26 PM
I have chipmunk-cheek-like bulges at the top of my inner thighs. I've always had them, even when I was literally underweight and my tummy was super slim. So, I bought one of the one-piece swimsuits with an attached skirt and it does a good job of covering up the bulges.


Oh my gosh, this! I didn't see this before I posted but this is exactly my issue. I just hope it goes away with a little hard work.

kaplods
03-24-2014, 01:53 PM
Its my bum and thighs i don't like showing off but i don't think my situation could be improved by any other version of swimsuit.

I think it could be a good idea for you to try the mid thigh suit. But are you still going to use the usual swimwear stretch fabric?


I think sleeves could be ok too. and if you don't mind exposing your belly, then why not try a top to just below the bust and shorts to mid thigh and around the hips.

I don't think a skirt is a particularly great idea, unless you have it as a skirt over shorts. This is a style that women wear in some sports already.

The neckline for the top should be wide and low. And low at the back as well.

You could also have the shorts part right down to below the knee like the yoga pants. In fact you could probably try adapting a yoga /gym outfit or using it as a pattern.

The sort of fabric you want should have a high elastane content. Also known as lycra or spandex.

If print were an option, i'd go for a busy print.

I"m a sewer by the way but i have still a lot to learn and i'm trying to teach myself pattern making too.

Make sure you line it all in the right parts.

I don't know how you'd go at figuring out a pattern without one to start from unless you buy one from a sewing shop.


I agree with everything you said. I actually did buy a pattern to start from. Butterick 5795.

I prefer two-piece suits, because they're easier to get into with my fibromyalgia and arthritis.

I actually own two bottoms that I feel reasonably comfortable with. One is a wideleg short in polyester/lycra (almost like short culottes) and the other is a short skirt with attached panties in nylon/lycra. Both are black. Ideally, they'd be a bit longer, but they're acceptable.

I hate the top (an unflattering tank) because it has no support and the hem falls at the widest part of my belly (the humpty dumpty look). It was my hatred of the top that inspired me to try to make something more flattering. If the top turns out well, I will use my existing bottoms as a pattern.

I bought three different fabrics to experiment with. Two solids (black and burgundy) in poly/lycra and a print (it is kind of busy with splashes of neon colors on a black background) in nylon/lycra.

I think I'm going to make a longish A-line tank with "cold shoulder" sleeves - really just 3-4" wide tubes of fabric to cover the problem area of my upper arms. I probably wouldn't even have to attach the sleeves to the suit.

Ideally, I'd like to have 2-3 mix and match sets, so I can swim every day without having to get into a damp suit.

kaplods
03-24-2014, 02:07 PM
I have chipmunk-cheek-like bulges at the top of my inner thighs. I've always had them, even when I was literally underweight and my tummy was super slim. So, I bought one of the one-piece swimsuits with an attached skirt and it does a good job of covering up the bulges.

I have those bulges too, not only on my inner thighs, but also on my upper arms. One of the arm bulges is actually a "fatty tumor" (encapsulated scar tissue) from where the seat belt cut into my arm in a car accident about 25 years ago.

Ironically it's the scarred arm that bothers me the most. The rest is "just fat," and I'm ok with that. Even though no one else would probably be able to tell the difference between the scar lump and the fat lumps, I know the difference. Body image is a weird thing.

kaplods
03-24-2014, 02:14 PM
I have not been in water since my teenage years. A couple of years ago, I found myself yearning to get in the water with my grandkids at a water park. I always felt like I was too big to be in public in a bathing suit. Now, I am embarrassed to show all my hanging bits.

Even though it will be expensive, I am considering buying swim capris or shorts with a 3/4 length swim shirt.

http://hydrochic.com/chlorine-proof-swim-shorts-with-accent-piping.html or
http://hydrochic.com/land-sea-swim-capris.html

with

http://hydrochic.com/wrap-swim-shirt.html

I found a cheaper swim shirt too - http://www.koshercasual.com/Swim-Shirt-1246_1246_p.html


I love hidrochic suits.

Sanctuarie is another neat brand. It's a very small custom-clothing company, but they have a cool website (sanctuarie-net.stores.yahoo.net) also has nice suits and you can customize the length of bottoms.

canadjineh
03-24-2014, 02:31 PM
Some ideas: swimsuitsforall.com
theswimmall.com I like the aquafitness unitard and when I used to teach aquafit I just wore spandex sport shorts mid thigh under my regular swim suit which is a cheaper version of the unitard. I also wore a little lycra swim shirt (like surfers use) if I didn't feel there was enough coverage up top. Not that I was ever really big, but we had a dress code for instructors so there wouldn't be any 'wardrobe malfunctions' or 'sneak peeks.'
I sew my own spandex/lycra shorts for cheap and they don't have to be lined if worn with your 1 piece swimsuit.
Liana

:swim:

kaplods
03-24-2014, 02:37 PM
I had thought about making my own but it was cheaper to get the swimwear on clearance, less than 2 bucks each.

Almost all of my previous suits were bought on clearance, but in my size range clearance prices are never that low, and usually can only be found on line, so there's always shipping to deal with. I think the least I ever paid was $20. Every year the prices keep getting higher and the selection (and appropriateness) keep getting worse.

The last two suits I bought have been absolutely hideous, but they were the only suits in my size that came down to a price I could afford (I checked my favorite websites every day).

This year, I finally have gotten to the point that I figure I can't do any worse myself.

For less than $40 total, I got enough fabric (all on sale or clearance) to make up to three swimsuits.

Even if I only get one decent looking swim top out of it, I'll come out ahead.

doingmybest
03-24-2014, 06:54 PM
I got so sick and tired of trying to find a bathing suit that I like, one day I just put on a regular short sleeve t-shirt and shorts and it works great. It is comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and covers me without limiting my ability to swim.

kaplods
03-24-2014, 07:07 PM
I got so sick and tired of trying to find a bathing suit that I like, one day I just put on a regular short sleeve t-shirt and shorts and it works great. It is comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and covers me without limiting my ability to swim.

Our YMCA does not allow "street clothes" in the pool, although I don't know if they would make a fuss about it. They didn't say anything when I wore my swim bottoms with a 3/4 sleeve babydoll top (it was made of a lycra, synthetic "swimwear" type fabric).

I wish I had saved it to use as a pattern, when it got to be too big, but I was kind of glad to be rid of it afterca little self-conscious when a little girl asked me why I was swimming in my regular clothes.

I'm normally not self-conscious at all, so I'm a bit surprised that I let it bother me so much, but I hate the idea of "standing out" when swimming.

I actually like the look of suits like those on simply-modest.com (short sleeve mid thigh length t-shirt style A-line dresses over knee-length capris, made from lycra blend swimwear knits in all sorts of colors and patterns), although I would be fine with slightly shorter capris and a lower neckline.

I'm not sure I'm ready to wear something so nontypical though. I don't mind wearing quirky or even outright bizarre street clothing, but for some reason I balk at the idea of unusual swimwear (even if I consider it more flattering to my body than ordinary mass-produced swimwear).

I'm hoping to create something flattering, but not too far from ordinary.

Elladorine
03-24-2014, 07:39 PM
I'd always been a one-piece with a skirt kind of gal, especially after seeing what my weight gain (and loss!) has done to the tops of my legs. I'm extremely self-conscious of my batwings as well and actually plan on a brachioplasty once I get to goal and show I can keep it off, but for now I just deal with the fact that 99% of suits out there expose the upper arms.

I've been extremely lucky to find some great tankinis and swim shorts at the thrift stores, typically $2-$8 each. I'm especially fond of skulls and found some really cool designs with them! I initially dreaded the thought of tankinis and was annoyed they seemed to be taking over the plus sizes, but once I realized I could find some that wouldn't float above my stomach and also had great support for my bust, I got hooked. :)

CanadianCutie
03-24-2014, 07:41 PM
When my hubby and I had to live out of a hotel for a few weeks, I had to get a bathing suit, and it was either pay upwards of 40 to 60 dollars for one, or get a pair of running shorts and a racerback tank top. The later option came to less than $25. It was comfortable, looked like a swimsuit, and dried quickly. For my swimsuit this year, I'm using the two swimsuit tops I have from previous years, and I just ordered a pair of compression running shorts, so I have a spare pair.