A swimmer's dilemma: the battle between one- and two-piece swimwear
With beach season quickly approaching (and aren’t we lucky in New York that it comes months later than in other parts of the country?), the time left to batten down the hatches and prepare to bare all in a swimsuit is short. Women everywhere are flocking to their closets to determine what works from last season, what needs to be tossed – and most importantly, what still fits.
Te battle of the bulge goes deeper than a few extra inches on the hips. The ability to be comfortable in a swimsuit – essentially, one’s own skin – is crucial to enjoying summer months. Some bikinis leave so little to the imagination that one can’t imagine wearing it past the confines of a fitting room; some one-piece styles are better left with the wading pool crowd at a retirement facility.
One problem I have, as a former swimmer, is a long torso. A Speedo racing suit, the requisite uniform for my swim team, left little for the middle, meaning that I often had to buy one that was multiple sizes too big to get the length I needed – and then have the straps and back taken in so that it wouldn’t fall off of me otherwise. When the option to wear a two-piece style was introduced, I happily accepted, and kissed goodbye my uni-tank ways. Even now, I have to pass on cute maillots and other retro styles because they’re simply not long enough. String bikinis have worked well for me – you can adjust the straps as you need to, and coverage is usually decent with the styles I buy from brands like Becca, Vix and H&M – and the style lasts, season after season.
On the other hand, women with normal and short torsos (darn you) will appreciate the leg-lengthening effect that a high cut maillot affords; women with longer torsos who don’t feel entirely comfortable in a two-piece swimsuit can rest easy under those umbrellas by knowing that some manufacturers are aware of this phenomenon (Lands End and Victoria’s Secret have heard our call) and offer long torso options on certain styles. A tankini is also a cute alternative for women with tummys of any length, shape and size.
As we approach the brink of the summer solstice, what swimsuit styles get you to the pool – and which ones stay to the end-of-season clearance rack
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