Swimsuit Shopping: My Favorites

Okay, first of all… you guys are so freaking awesome. I ordered a few swimsuits online (in various different sizes because OF COURSE you can’t just wear the same size everywhere…) and decided to post a photo so my followers on Facebook and Instagram could help me decide which ones to buy. You guys were AWESOME. Not only did you totally follow directions and give me your votes, but everyone was NICE. So, it tipped me over the edge to do a blog post… on swimsuits.

I’ve had a bit of a love affair with the Modcloth swimsuits over the last few years because they are retro inspired and cover my butt without giving me a wedgie. I first bought the Beach Blanket Bingo suit in red polka dots, wore it for 2 or 3 years and then bought another one because mine was looking quite worn. I also bought the “Fruity Suity” swimsuit in black, which is basically identical but has red cherries on a black background.

I wore them both on last year’s family trip to Universal Studios with a skirt (and fanny pack):

Here is the polka dot version (sizes 4 – 34): Beach Blanket Bingo swimsuit
Here is the cherry’s version (sizes 4 – 34): Fruity Suity swimsuit

This year, I have a lot of beachy goodness coming up.

I’ll be spending a long weekend at the beach with my soon-to-be sister in law for her bachelorette weekend. Then, I have two more weeks down at my family’s beach house in Ocean City spread throughout the summer. There are a couple long weekends in OC in there too. One of Jack’s friends lives three houses away and they have a pool that we may visit. And then, one of my sisters is getting married on a cruise in December.  So, if I add them all up… it totals 30+ days of swimsuits. THIRTY DAYS between now and the end of the year.

I’m a lucky, lucky girl!

But I also really needed a couple new swimsuits!

OH and I apologize in advance for the crappy mirror photos. I wasn’t actually planning to do a full blog post with photos of me… but you guys were so cool that I decided to just do it. And frankly, I wasn’t going to go and stand out in my front porch in a swimsuit to take photos in 50 degree weather.

Anywhoo… I started with Modcloth, of course.

Modcloth Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit in Aquarium
Price: $89.00
Size I’m wearing: 14
Link: find it here

I love both of the swimsuits I have, but they are starting to look a teensy bit worn. So, I checked out other patterns and found this one with colorful marine life all over it. I mean, how could I resist a swimsuit with jellyfish and octopuses?!

This swimsuit fits exactly the same as my black cherry version. So, keep in mind if you are ordering any of the ‘bathing beauty’ or Esther Williams swimsuits that you will need to go up one or two sizes. In normal life I tend to wear a size 10 or 12 in clothing and I needed a 14 in this swimsuit. It is nice and fitted everywhere without being too tight, and the back area keeps my butt all tucked in as well. And yes, I’m aware you can see my butt in the other mirror. The pattern is super playful and the halter straps are supportive.

Based on my thoughts and your comments, I was 98% sure I was going to buy this one. BUTT (pun intended), a few people in the reviews mentioned that the back seemed a lighter color than the front because the front has a double-layer. So, I had my husband weigh in by staring directly at my butt for awhile and he agreed that it does look lighter… almost as if my butt was stretching it too much.  I knew that this would bother me, so with a heavy heart this one want into the return bag.

Boden Amalfi Bandeau Swimsuit
Price: $98.00
Size I’m wearing: 12
Link: find it here

As much as I love Boden, I had never tried their swimsuits before. I saw this one ages ago and fell in love with it, but some reviews said that it wasn’t made for those with larger busts. I receive a 25% off coupon in the mail though, so I decided to try it out! I normally wear a US10 or US12 in Boden, leaning towards the US10. Since all the other swimsuits I’d ordered fit small, I decided to try this suit in both a US12 and a US14.

The US12 fit great and I feel like the solid panels on the sides are very flattering. The straps are detachable, so you can wear them as shown, criss-crossed in the back, or remove them for a strapless look. The interior design has some kind of magical thing going on along with some boning in the bust, so even without straps this baby is staying put. This swimsuit also has full butt coverage that doesn’t give me a wedgie. On Instagram and Facebook, this one was the crowd favorite and I’m going to have to agree that it is a winner!

Boden Rhodes Swimsuit
Price: $98.00
Size I’m wearing: 12
Link: find it here

I saw this swimsuit when I was ordering the other one and decided to just add it to my shopping cart since I had that 25% off coupon. This one is already sold out of some sizes, so I only ordered it in a US12, which fit perfectly. I like the print of this one and the fact that my butt isn’t trying to escape. It is not as supportive in the bust though and I feel like I’m showing off a lot more cleavage than I typically would like.

This one got some mixed reviews on Facebook and Instagram, and my husband’s eyes basically bugged out of his head when he saw it on (in a good way). I might have kept it, had I not had one more option with a similar neckline and more support. If I were a bit smaller in the chest I may have kept this one, but as it is it went back in the box for Boden.

Lands’ End Women’s Perfect V-Neck One Piece Swimsuit with Tummy Control
Price: $99.95
Size I’m wearing: 14
Link: find it here

This is the one option I didn’t include in my collage, because I had ordered it a couple weeks earlier and already decided to keep it. I received a postcard in the mail from Lands’ End for 40% off any full-priced item, so I decided to check out their swim offerings. I was drawn to this suit because I like the mix of patterns and the halter top that I could tie as tight or loose as I liked. It has some great interior bust support (without boning) and also “light control lining” to smooth your tummy a bit… which sounds good to me!

When I clicked on this particular style, the website my ‘true fit size’ was 14… so I just went with it. It fits great and is super comfortable. I didn’t find the control lining different than most other one-piece swimsuits, but it certainly does keep things smooth and not bunchy. The bust support is fantastic though, as it holds the girls where they should be without any droopy action. I feel like this suit is well-made and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was a keeper!

Final Decision Time
I went into this with the idea that I could really use 1 or 2 swimsuits to add to my collection for the summer. I really loved the Modcloth aquarium print suit, the Boden Almalfi suit AND the Lands’ End suit after trying them all on at home. All in all, I decided to just buy the Boden Almalfi suit and the Lands’ End suit because they fit great, held everything where I wanted it to be and were comfortable enough to wear all day long.

If you decided to do your own at-home swimsuit try on (which I HIGHLY recommend over going to the store and fighting swimsuits in a dressing room), order a couple different sizes and don’t feel bad about sizing up. Nobody can see the size inside your clothing — unless you post it on the internet, of course — so keep an open mind and pick the one that looks and feels the best on you!

I did get a request to link to some less expensive options, but unless I actually see them in person and try them on, I don’t feel good about recommending something. While they certainly have lots of cute swimsuit options at Target and Old Navy for just $30… I’ve found personally that I’d rather pay a little more and get the interior construction that I need in a suit that lasts a few extra years.

Let me know what you thought of my swimsuit post! Do you think I made the right decisions on what to keep?


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2 thoughts on “Swimsuit Shopping: My Favorites”

  1. Thank you for this post! I’ve been looking for a new suit and I swear, I’ve had all of these in a cart at one point or another! It’s so good to see them on a real person in real lighting. I was leaning toward the Boden Amalfi, and you have proved my instincts correct. Thank you!

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