Finding a new swim suit in spring

Bathing suit 1MSpring is here again and many of us will go to the stores with a dangerous purpose: finding a swim suit. With our white bodies in these dreadful fitting rooms. Being over 40 makes matters worse.

The text you are about to read is a fun article which was sent to me by a friend. I have no idea who wrote it but it killed me laughing. I have published it twice before, but because it is so hilarious, I am posting it again. For those faithful readers who have read it before, sorry… but I hope it will make you laugh once more. Illustrations were kindly made by Anja (see her travel blog Curly Traveller).

Quoting the writer of this fun story:

When I was a child in the 1950′s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.  

Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

The mature woman has a choice: she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney’s Fantasia, or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

Bathing suit 2MWhat choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared! Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, “Oh, there you are,” she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I replied that I wasn’t so sure and asked what else she had to show me.

I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring.

I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear  them.Bathing suit 3M

Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.

When I got it home, I found a label that read, “Material might become transparent in water.”

So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I’m there too, I’ll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!

Bathing suit 4M

You’d better be laughing or rolling on the floor by this time. Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain, with or without a stylish bathing suit!

You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.

Be strong ladies. And don’t give up.


No Fear of Fashion



  1. Gee
    11 March 2018 / 18:21

    Love love love it! And Anja’s illustrations. I’ve seen those expressions before – in my mirror!

    • Greetje
      11 March 2018 / 20:08

      I have shared this story a couple of times, but I can still read it again myself and laugh, so I thought what the heck, I got new readers over the years, they might see it for the first time.

  2. 11 March 2018 / 18:31

    This search always works better after some wine and in the company of good friends, who can make us laugh. Otherwise, the search becomes depressing…..

    • Greetje
      11 March 2018 / 20:09

      It is hilarious isn’t it? The woman who wrote this really knows how to write. I wished I could give her the credits.

  3. Mary
    11 March 2018 / 20:18

    So funny! May I recommend Krinkle suits? A number of women in my aquaerobics class wear them and they look great. Thanks for the good laugh!

    • Greetje
      11 March 2018 / 20:48

      I will have a look whether they are available in Europe. I did find a good bikini the year before last, but my ever expanding tummy might force me into a bathing suit….

  4. 11 March 2018 / 23:24

    Consider me to be dancing in the rain. This was such a funny story- I did double up in laughter. Oversized napkin indeed ! You can tell from my recent post that I also don’t like wearing bathing suits.. beach attire, sarongs and halter tops for me… with another sarong for the top half!

    • Greetje
      12 March 2018 / 06:05

      I even have a bikini (no shame I know), but my recent weight gain has to be gone before I put that one on again.

      • 16 March 2018 / 21:23

        I do as well, but I doubt I will ever wear it !
        Once upon a time I had muscle tone. Lol!
        Hopefully we will both one day wear them again.
        Have a fabulous weekend!

  5. Marilee Gramith
    12 March 2018 / 04:44

    Your closing philosophy was very Zen Greetje. I think developing a cheerful attitude about our bodies in the aging process is difficult but essential to mental health. Anja’s illustrations and this well wtitten swimsuit, shopping spoof help us to build a community of women, laughing our asses off. Powerful stuff! :-0 :-0 :-0

    • Greetje
      12 March 2018 / 06:06

      Laughter is such a good medicine. For so many things. I love laughing. Loud and long.

  6. Carol
    12 March 2018 / 08:26

    Really, really loved this and laughed out loud …but where were the photos?? Krinkle suits sound interesting but I think thats what I
    actually look like without one!
    Haven’t worn a bathing suit for years and I obviously never will now!!
    Thank you for such a funny post, made my day.

    • Greetje
      12 March 2018 / 12:18

      The story is too good to not publish it. No outfit photos this week. Sorry. But you laughed! And that is worth a lot to me.

  7. 12 March 2018 / 09:02

    So funny Greetje! The light in changing rooms makes me look like the undead. My mum had to wear a woollen swimsuit that my nan had knitted! Can you imagine how saggy that got when wet?!

    Emma xxx

    • Greetje
      12 March 2018 / 12:19

      Oh yes I can. I had a swimsuit when I was little, which wasn’t made of wool, but it did sagged. A lot. When it was wet. No swimming in that one.

  8. 12 March 2018 / 10:12

    This is such a cute post Greetje – it certainly made me fall off my chair and roll over laughing to say the least.
    Personally I hate the way todays bathing suits mostly make your boobs evaporate into thin air so you look like a plank instead of woman 😉

    Have a wonderful week dear!

    xx Yvonne

    • Greetje
      13 March 2018 / 06:08

      In my case I have too much belly fat to look like a plank, but I get your point. I suppose I look like a snake which has just eaten a rabbit haha.

  9. Karen Ball
    12 March 2018 / 18:02

    Oh what a brilliant post, really cheered up my dark wet day in the North of England ( the total opposite of a ‘swimsuit’ sunny beach scenario !) Loved the pictures that went with it, can totally see myself in those illustrations. I hate with a passion trying on a swimsuit and fortunately have so few beach type holidays the same two swimsuits have lasted me a couple of years …phew ! All I can say is hip hip hooray for sarongs, pretty wraps and beach dresses !

    • Greetje
      13 March 2018 / 06:10

      I looked for a bikini for two years before I found a decent one which was very expensive. “A bikini??” I can hear you say. Yes I know, don’t know whether that is wise, but there you go. I am trying to get rid of the belly at the moment but whether I will succeed??

  10. Marianne
    12 March 2018 / 20:59

    I too used to find the yearly search torturous, thankfully now I can always find one I like made by Fantasie. Colourful, not old ladyish and with good support to “ hold the girls up”.

    • Greetje
      13 March 2018 / 06:11

      Oh Fantasieis a lovely brand. I have 4 bras with briefs from them. Thanks for the tip. I will have a look.

  11. 13 March 2018 / 02:21

    Bathing Suit shopping is a nightmare, plain and simple. I have managed to avoid it for many years because I don’t swim and rarely go to the beach. A friend let me borrow a one-piece suit a few years back for a trip to the beach, and it actually looked pretty good on me, so she let me keep it, not that it has seen the light of day since.

    • Greetje
      13 March 2018 / 06:14

      I know what you mean. I am the same, but I have a group of (BVA) friends who want to go to Spain for a week to sunbath. And although I don’t really want to go to the beach, I don’t want to be a spoil sport and tag along. Bought a new bikini, after a long long search. That will do me fine for the rest of my life. Very sweet of your friend to donate you the swimsuit.

  12. Carol
    13 March 2018 / 08:03

    Hi Greetje, I think you misunderstood me when I said where are the photos, I meant of you trying on the swimsuits….I was just trying to be funny, I wouldn’t be seen dead in one let alone a photo. Loved this post.

    • Greetje
      14 March 2018 / 08:13

      Hahaha, well, it could have happened, photos of me in swim suit as I know no shame. Two years ago, when Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb hosted a “join me in showing the world women over 40 in bathing suits and bikinis”, I did join and sent in a photo of me in bikini, with no make-up and hair looking terrible, desperately trying to keep my belly in for the photo 😂.

  13. Trish
    14 March 2018 / 10:22

    Exactly my problem and I love the drawings! I now feel like a heffalump in the itsy bitsy bathing suit offerings. Most of them aren’t good to swim in. And I have the added problem that because I’m short waisted, they wrinkle in the middle. I’m going to go for the cut-offs and t- shirt 😁 Thanks for posting this again, I don’t think I’d read it.

    • Greetje
      14 March 2018 / 19:50

      It is such a recognisable story and it still makes me laugh even though I have read it at least 8 times.
      Anja had just started to draw on her iPad in December 2012 and she made me a couple of drawings for my blog plus this series for this particular post. If you type Anja in the search box, you will first see the post about my orange sweater, but right beneath that, there are about four posts from 2012 with funny drawings by her.

  14. 16 March 2018 / 04:57

    Still funny and Anja’s drawings are superb!

    • Greetje
      16 March 2018 / 15:52

      I can still laugh over that story as well and I have read it multiple times.

  15. 26 March 2018 / 21:09

    This is certainly worth sharing with all my girlfriends. So funny, but so terribly true as well! My swimsuits are all functional, meaning that my boobs are always plastered to my ribs and rarely spring back up again. I don’t check out how I look for fear of the truth.

    Anna x

    • Greetje
      26 March 2018 / 22:22

      Hahaha. I think you look fine in your swim suit. I couldn’t stand on your shadow (figure wise). But the story is very funny. I wish I knew who to thank for it.

  16. Karen
    7 April 2018 / 19:37

    Hahaha this story is super … my favourite bit was the left boob cowering … I know that feeling so well and I’m under 40 (well just barely 🙂 I now look straight for the cups but I’m stuck with my really old addidas racer back because I haven’t found a decent replacement. Maybe this year 🙂

    • Greetje
      8 April 2018 / 13:58

      It takes a lot of searching (and sometimes a fair amount of money) before you find a decent one.
      Glad you liked the story. I have read it at least 6 times and it still makes me laugh.

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