The Do’s and Don’ts of Finding Your Unicorn Swimsuit


Swimsuit season is officially here, and we ladies are having feelings about it one way or another.

Whether you’re displaying the fruits of hard work or trying not to quibble over a jiggly bit here and there, it’s D-Day. Time to strap on the spandex and face the music… or the harsh light of day.

If you already have your suit hanging in the closet, ready for its debut — congratulations. But I’m willing to bet that while most of us have swimsuits, UPF 50 rash guards and cover-ups for our kids, we haven’t even given a thought to our own swimwear.

The neglect of this part of our wardrobe is partly selfless in typical mom-style of putting everyone else’s needs first. But let’s be honest: our lack of swim apparel mostly boils down to procrastination and denial.

The thing is though, don’t we owe it to ourselves to feel good in an article of clothing designed to expose so much of our body? If you’re like me and have never really liked a suit you’ve owned, why not change that this summer… and learn from my mistakes in the process:

Examine your existing suit with a critical eye.
Don’t just immediately tell yourself last year’s suit is fine. Look it over for wear and tear; dry-rotted elastic on the shoulder strap of your ten-year-old tankini may indicate it’s time for at least a new top. If you decide to chance it, there is a strong possibility the strap could snap and expose a breast or two.

Don’t take your kids swimsuit shopping with you.
Amidst the complaints of being hungry and bored, you will also hear, “Mommy, why is your belly jiggling?” and “What are those holes in your legs?” This WILL test your newfound body acceptance. It could potentially rock it to the core.

Don’t underestimate your size.
This is not the time to be idealistic; you need concrete facts and numbers about the circumference of your hips and chest. Do not try on a size four bikini “just for fun” if you’re a size eight. It will not end well.

Do splurge a little.
Yes, I know you’re on a budget, but you get what you pay for. Swim sales are a beautiful thing, but also remember that the cheaper suit with no support will ensure your breasts hang mid-waist, right on top of the post-baby tummy (which, incidentally isn’t hidden by fancy ruching because — you guessed it — you went cheap).

Be accountable about online purchases and returns.
In theory, ordering several swimsuit options to try on in the comfort of your own home seems like a good idea. However, be accountable with someone about actually making the returns. This prevents a pile of unusable suits taking up room in your closet and a hefty Visa charge that you may or may not have to explain to your spouse.

Enjoy it.
You searched every store within a 50-mile radius; you shed blood, sweat, and tears while trying to shimmy into each failure and success; and you finally found the one — a suit that supports, flaunts and hides everything it’s supposed to. Now go strut your stuff poolside, and enjoy feeling fabulous.

Tell us your favorite swimwear fails and successes in the comments.

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I am a Dayton native who vowed to pack up and leave for bigger sights but never made it further than Centerville. I've been married to a fellow Daytonian for five years, and we currently play house in the Englewood area. I have two bonus kiddos - a daughter (13) and a son (11) - and one daughter (3). When we aren't playing soccer or hockey, our family enjoys checking out our Metroparks and visiting local farms that host family events. To detox from life's stressors, I love running, eating mass quantities of chocolate, and praying -- sometimes all at the same time.