(Swim)suit Up!

This post is underwritten by Old Navy. Whether you’re looking for a tankini, bikini, or a one piece, Old Navy has you confidently covered at a great price.

I’ve talked about my fake-it-’til-you-make-it bikini confidence before. I spent years living in full-coverage tankinis and strategically colorblocked one-pieces that did nothing for my self-confidence (nor for my tan lines), constantly telling myself that “one day” I’d be thin enough, gorgeous enough, confident enough to strut my stuff on a beach in a bikini. Well, as it turned out, “one day” was evidently not soon enough. As I began to lose even the slightest bit of weight, my confidence rose skyrocketed. Even though I wasn’t (and still am not) at what my former self would have considered “bikini weight”, I started to care less and less. Why shouldn’t I be able to rock the adorable patterns and silhouettes that seem to be almost exclusively reserved for two-piece suits? Why shouldn’t I be able to get a tan stomach and back? (It helps hides the stretch marks, after all! Hahahahaha.)

IMG_1670.jpg
 

So last summer, I really took the plunge. I had lost a considerable amount of weight, my prior swimsuits no longer fit particularly well, and I finally starting to really see myself in my new body. It wasn’t anything quite as poetic as purchasing my very first bikini, putting it on, and strutting out with all my confidence shining. No, I had already clandestinely purchased one or two bikinis in the past. I think I had maybe worn one of them in public one time before self-shaming myself into tucking them into the back of my underwear drawer, and trying my best to forget about them. But I did take the plunge in that I picked out an adorable halter-topped ‘kini from Old Navy, put it on, and actually felt good about myself in it.

 

And that’s how it all began. I know, I hardly have the “ideal” bikini-wearing body. I’m still curvy and squishy and soft, I have stretch marks on my stomach, and I have sometimes seemingly untameable bazoomas… but I also have long legs and a lean back and skin that gets beautifully golden brown. Surely those latter attributes deserve their time in the sun (heh), even if society might not think the former ones do.

Sure, there are still times when I feel too bloated or too self-conscious or have some other excuse for not getting out there in the swimsuit I really want to be wearing. Luckily, I have a couple of cute and flattering one-pieces for those days. It took a little while to come to the realization that don’t have to resign myself to “old lady suits” just because I’m not feeling the ‘kini on a particular day either.

 

I was absolutely ecstatic when I got an email from the Clever Girls Collective, notifying me of a sponsored post opportunity from Old Navy swimwear. I actually had just come to the realization when I was in St. Maarten last month that every single bathing suit I own is from Old Navy. So you see, I was already a convert long before this opportunity arose and thus my opinion is all the more valid, no? Ahaha. I firmly believe that any woman, no matter what her size, can look beautiful in a bikini as long as she has the confidence to go along with it. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true! I also believe that said confidence comes not only from learning to appreciate your body as it is, but also from knowing that you’re in a flattering and supportive bikini for your body type.

IMG_9194.jpg
 

I know from one horrific dressing room experience that I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be able to wear a triangle/string bikini. Even trying one on was a serious mistake, hahaha. I think that thick-banded halters like the paisley, zebra, and navy tops above, tend to suit (heh) my body a little better, but as far as style goes, I really love retro-styled bandeau tops like the yellow polka-dotted one above. If I was looking to supplement my swimsuit wardrobe any more this summer (I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t, I really shouldn’t… right?), then these current styles would be the first ones in my cart:

plaidbandeautop uringbandeautop
uringbandeaubottom
 

My personal aesthetic tends to stray towards fun patterns, like polka dots and paisley, bright colors, and hardware. I’m a big fan of anything with a touch of vintage, and for bottoms, I am all about a wide band. Not too wide, though: I find boy-short or hipster-cut bottoms are incredibly unflattering on me. If the sides are adjustable, even better!

Nobody’s saying you HAVE to wear a bikini. It’s not as if I’m trying to say, “You only wear one-pieces, therefore you must be ashamed of your body!” Please. No. I’m just saying that if you WANT to wear a bikini, but for whatever reason have always felt like you can’t, or shouldn’t, or both… well, I’m just saying that’s a fat load of crap. You can, and you should! I bet you’ll look gorgeous. No matter what your preferred swimsuit type, it’s really just about wearing what you want: something fun, hopefully flattering, and that makes you feel beautiful all summer long.

Thank you again to Old Navy for sponsoring my post. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.