Is it a flattering season for mom swim suits?

I went bathing suit shopping Sunday afternoon and for the first time in several years I didn’t cry through the experience. (I didn’t have any little people with me which helped!)

I tried on probably 20 suits and didn’t hate any of them. Some looked better than others but none were horrifying as in years past.

I couldn’t decide if I had actually lost weight or if it is just a particularly flattering crop of swimsuits this year?

I’ve decided it’s a little bit of both. I have lost six pounds lately, but I also think swimwear manufacturers have finally figured out what helps disguise a woman’s figure flaws without shoving them into a granny suit.

For example, I love ruching on the fronts of suits. It helps disguise my tummy poking out. I also love a twisted top on the suit and a sweetheart neck. They are very flattering and draw the eye up. I like the little ’40s style skirts that barely cover your butt. It gives a little more coverage without looking old lady.

I am not a fan of the Miracle Suit-type suits because they just feel sooo tight. But I do like name-brand suits with some quality lycra that holds you in.

I really wanted to go with a color this year. I have several black suits because black is slimming, but it’s also boring for every suit. I wanted to get red but when I tried on a bright blue I decided I liked it better.

I tried this one on and I like it but I though the one-piece made me look slimmer and longer than the tankini.

This is similar to the one I went with but it has straps.

I think after 10 years of being a mother,  I have figured out what styles are flattering on me now. I remember the first summer after I had Rose I was just appalled. Nothing I used to wear looked good, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

Here are my mom tips for buying a swim suit:

I think you have to go alone, be patient and try on a lot of different suits.

I think one-pieces actually make you look longer and slimmer than tankinis, which cut you right at your tummy and bring attention to it poking out.

Black is always slimming.

Ruching on the stomach cover up bulges.

High legs slim the middle and draws attention away from your tummy.

Sweetheart necks draws the eye to the boobs and again away from my stomach.

Cleavage is not a bad thing and is generally something mothers have in abundance. Use your assets.

What are you favorite styles and brands for bathing suits? Have you looked this year at all? Do you think they are a particular kind crop to moms? What are your favorite tricks to hide figure flaws?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania. I have increased my Twitter activity. I am sending out great stories for moms each day focusing on health, fitness, sex, entertainment, food, travel and obviously parenting! So follow me on Twitter at @AJCMOMania!)

28 comments Add your comment


April 18th, 2011
12:50 pm

I am appalled at the cost of a swimsuit. I just can’t bring myself to pay $80 for less than a yard of fabric……

Tonya C.

April 18th, 2011
1:07 pm

What JJ said. The really nice ones go for upwards of $75+.


April 18th, 2011
1:09 pm

I’m with JJ, I would not give that much for a suit..If I did, it would have to make me look great for several years..

$80 for a swimsuit...

April 18th, 2011
1:12 pm

…go to TJMaxx and get the max for the minimum (pun intended)…

$80 for a swimsuit...

April 18th, 2011
1:21 pm

…and, oh yeah, ANYTHING that “draws the eyes to the boobs” is flattering…


April 18th, 2011
1:50 pm

I don’t wear em. I am not comfortable having my body exposed like that anymore. And I’m in pretty good shape – wear a size 4/6. Just ran a 50K race this past weekend.

Just….not comfortable in a bathing suit anymore. When we go to the beach or anywhere there’s swimming I wear my running gear.

I know…it’s weird. I have no idea how I got this way because I used to rock bikinis.


April 18th, 2011
1:51 pm

Have you ever tried Land’s End suits? They offer lots of different fit options and you can find great deals in their overstocks section of their website. I love buying their suits. Never full price though, as their stuff is a little pricey.


April 18th, 2011
1:58 pm

I don’t think being a mom has anything to do with what kind of swimsuit you wear. It’s about form, fit, and function. I don’t like one-piece suits because I don’t want to get completely undressed just to use the bathroom (and no, I don’t just pee in the pool…LOL). Spiegel has some nice swim suits in their Shape Fx collection. It’s spandex/lycra in the construction that sucks you in. I haven’t gotten any swim suits but I did buy a dress in that collection and you’d be fooled into thinking I had a flat tummy the way that lycra sucked me in. :-) I’m going to look into the swim suits if they have 2 pieces (tankinis…South Beach diet is working but I’m still never going for a “real” bikini ever again).


April 18th, 2011
2:04 pm

I get the best swimsuits at JC Penney outlet. The ones that sell for $80 can be found for $35.


April 18th, 2011
2:06 pm

Ugh, I hate swimsuit season and am thankful I am not at a pool very often since my child goes to day camps most of the summer. I have a Land’s End suit that actually covers everything I want to cover. I may check out their site for another since mine is several years old now. And agree with Denise that being a mom or not has nothing to do with what swimsuit you choose. I’d have the same body type if I’d never had a child…unfortunately!


April 18th, 2011
2:16 pm

I hate swim suits too. I prefer the tankini style to a one piece though for those trips to the restroom!! I have such terrible stretch marks on my thighs from my first baby that I don’t feel comfortable without a skirt or shorts over it though. The tiny ones that barely cover your behind are just silly to me. I guess if you have a size 4 behind they are cute, but in my size, not so much. Guess I’m stuck with the ugly versions of the “mom suits”!


April 18th, 2011
2:30 pm

I haven’t noticed any new trend in ‘mom’ suits for the past several years. TWG- maybe you’ve grown more comfortable with your mom-bod and are willing to buy a mom-style suit instead of trying to wear the cutesy stuff that only fits curveless teenagers? :)

@iRun, have you tried Nike’s Tankini-style suits? I bought mine from Kohl’s last year and love it for times when I want to cover a bit more (like on youth trips). The top fits like a Nike tank top and I bought the skirt-styled bottoms so it covers a little more my rear as well. They even have swim shorts to match if you don’t want a skirt.


April 18th, 2011
3:18 pm

I actually purchased the tankini in the first picture but I went with the skirted bottom. I felt that the suit was made for me! I had a small heart attack when I saw the price, but I decided my self esteem was worth it!


April 18th, 2011
3:19 pm

I have never nor will ever be someone who is admired in a swimsuit. Guess what? I do not care!

I try to find something that looks suitable :0. and just move on. Not something I waste time worrying about. I will not pay $80 for a swimsuit. I own at least 5 or 6 and have not paid more than $25-$30 each for them. I am a big fan of Ross, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx …$80 swimsuits for less than half price…they may be last year’s style but I do not mind. I would rather have a few options than just one or two suits.

I go to our pool as much as I can and catch up with the other teacher friends in our neighborhood.
I will probably be at the beach 3 or 4 times this summer.

RJ…once, I got an awesome comforter at the JC Penney Outlet…it was such a bargain, I bought two! I rarely get there now but recall they have great deals!


April 18th, 2011
3:20 pm

By the way, Swim & Sport at Perimeter Mall has more of the La Blanca line than Macy’s. My sales lady, Monica was awesome!


April 18th, 2011
3:39 pm

I like tankinis, halterkinis, bikinis…NOT a fan of one pieces. I’ve also been known to frequent the nude beach on vacation abroad; no tan lines and no wet swim suits! :o) Don’t like what you see?? Don’t look. My body is not perfect, never will be, but I am sure not the worst one out there on the beach or in the pool. :o)

I don’t like the straps that tie into a bow/knot around your beck and back though; that gets uncomfortable when paired with the skin suit and scuba gear.


April 18th, 2011
4:03 pm

I paid $80 apiece at Swim & Sport for a tankini top and bottom that actually (finally – with a 32H top and Size 4 bottom I had just about given up after years of wearing ill-fitting suits) fit me and make me feel good around the pool. Well worth the expense. I am not out of shape, but I am also not a hardbody so no “true” bikini – besides, I think my 13yo son would be aghast if Mom wore one. LOL The pool is in my backyard, so anyone who doesn’t like the way I look can kindly leave. :)


April 18th, 2011
5:16 pm

Maybe I will venture out and try again. I tried on swimsuits this past weekend and every one was more ridiculous than the one before. I’m a fairly small person (size 6) but now that I’m mid-forties, what little I have has decided to go south. Everything I tried on “fit”, but nothing “looked right”. Thanks for the store names. Maybe I’ll try again next weekend….maybe.


April 18th, 2011
5:53 pm

I just wear what I like and hope it doesn’t look horrible. haha No, I generally pick mine up at Old Navy, but can’t seem to find bottoms that will stay on. My weight shifts around by about five pounds, so I have two sizes I keep on hand. I keep in really good shape and workout all the time, but I have extra skin that sits on my sixpack and bags around my knees, but whatever. Life is short and as long as my friends are honest with me, I’m fine. I will be out there having fun in the sun with my daughter.

BTW, I have a one piece that I wear to the indoor pool since I am really swiming and not just playing and working on a tan.


April 18th, 2011
6:08 pm

Btw JJ, I LOVE your response.

Ladies, wear what suits your personslity. As a man, if you’re a one piece or a bikini girl, wear it. Because when we get home, if LOVE it and think you’re georgeous, it won’t matter.


April 18th, 2011
6:15 pm

If you’re a one piece woman, it’s fine. If you’re a tankini woman, it’s fine. If you’re a bikini woman, it’s fine.

Enemas for Easter

April 18th, 2011
7:42 pm

If you hate the way you look in swim suits, then lose some weight. Whining about having to buy swimsuits is stupid.


April 19th, 2011
5:23 am

Best article! Best place to find and print coupons of major brands during holidays is “Printapons” search online and find.


April 19th, 2011
7:33 am

Jeff, thanks for a man’s view on things. My spouse always thinks I am “working it” when we are out at the pool, but thinks it’s great to know that his wife still has it.

Enemas, it’s not always as easy as losing weight. You try being a mom where every minute of your life is taken up by some activity or another. Some bodies don’t bounce back from having children, I am a small 4 and I still have body issues. Just give us a break and since this is a blog for mom’s, it’s kind of our safe place to vent about it.


April 19th, 2011
8:19 am

Hahaha Jeff, thank you. I guess Theresa never saw our email requests…..I haven’t heard back from her.

I wear a one piece, and I always have. I think they look better on me, AND they leave more to the imagination….

Enemas for Easter

April 19th, 2011
9:17 am

No one made you have kids. I think it is selfish that you blame your weight problem on raising children. Really…..Think about what you just said. You are in charge of your life. Stop blaming others and fix this yourself.


April 19th, 2011
11:34 am

Argh – Theresa – what are you doing? I’m anxious to see how the JJ and Jeff meet-up goes, and you are not helping the situation! If soap operas are all gone, what else will SAHMs and SAHDs have to do!!!

Wait – Jeff and JJ? DJ Jazzy Jeff?


April 19th, 2011
2:49 pm

Kat – LOL……