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Oh the horror!

March 21, 2011
by Erin B

Ok.  So it wasn’t that bad, but shopping for swimsuits is on of the trials of womanhood.  Nevermind the tiny change rooms, or the bad lighting or the bizarre sizing or the problems of needing a one piece when your tops and bottom are different sizes.  The swimsuit industry has tried really hard to correct that if your are looking for a, well, let’s call it a beach suit.

However, if you are planning on being in the pool 2-3 times a week and your don’t want a “wardrobe malfunction” when you try to do an in pool turn (fail, btw)…  It’s a whole different matter.

I consider myself a fairly average North American Mom.  I’m about 20 pounds over my high school weight, but some of that is post baby belly and I didn’t really get boobs until college.  The rest is a gentle, all over coating with a couple of extra layers on my hips.  At 5’4″, I am sort of on the line between normal clothing and petit, but I usually take a petit through the torso.

They don’t offer petit sizes in “competitive” swimwear in my city.  I tried.  I went to every sporting goods store I could think of and several department stores that have swimwear sections.   Which meant my choices are to buy one that fits in the bum and have the crotch hangs about an inch or so too long.  Not socially acceptable.  Or I buy on that is too tight, get the sausage effect around the back strap and the waist and have the lack of coverage drag the crotch up to an acceptable level.

I don’t really like either option.

But neither does anything to address the the problem of... the shelf bra!  Oh man, the shelf bra.  I don’t know about you, but for me there should be horror music playing as I type that.  The Shelf Bra (da da DA!)

What were they thinking when they build the shelf bra?  Yes, I understand the idea the well endowed women could use it for cleavage support.  But really, chesty women are not going to get enough support from a stupid little piece of elastic.  They have their own horrors of the swimsuit store.  Personally, I always wonder why the hell it always, ALWAYS, hits me right below the ribcage.  I’ve breast feed a baby for two years and my boobs still aren’t that low.  Never mind that even if they hung down that far, that they certainly wouldn’t be getting any support from an elastic way down there.

I’ve always understood that the bottom of your bra strap, in a properly fit bra should be about half way between your elbow and your shoulder.  So why do swimsuits put the shelf bra even with my elbow?

But if you look for a swimsuit that is fully lined with out a shelf bra, you get a choice of… two.  The black one or the other black one.

I chose the black one.  It’s OK.  It doesn’t fit all that well.  I will avoid looking in the mirror while I wear it.  But it is the least uncomfortable of the 50+ suits I tried on Saturday.

Nothing is more demoralizing than shopping for swimsuits.  Seriously, having a herd of six interns check out my peritoneum after my daughter was born and one of them saying I was so bruised I looked like I have been kicked wasn’t nearly as bad.  Even when they all poked at my stitches.

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