Could Someone Please Pass My Cover-Up?

Memorial Day is of course the day we pause to reflect on the sacrifices made by the men and women in our armed forces.

It is usually also the first time my body attempts to don a swimsuit each summer season. This day is one of the hardest because there just ain't no pretending what's been going on all winter and spring once I squeeze into my suit (I'm a fan of Land's End tankinis and swim minis). It's not just the squeezing, random necessary lifting, tucking and pulling that assaults my fragile self-esteem, it's also the blinding white skin that hasn't seen too much light of day in many months attempting to make its debut. See, I'm a firm believer that even flab looks better tanned, so I've got to make more dates with Mr. Sun soon (yes, with sunscreen). And of course continue my dedicated balanced diet and exercise regime. Ahem.

Thank goodness today was just family.

I still made Scott suffer through The Conversation. You know the one. "What do you think of my swimsuit? Do I look like Moto-Moto? Should I wear the other one? Am I offensive? Yada yada..." Bless his heart, he tries to say the appropriate answers that will pacify my anxious state yet not set me off on a hide all the sharp objects ranting rage. He walks a very fine line.

Today, as Annelise made her third trip to the restroom followed by laborious tugging to pull her one piece suit back up and untwist the straps, Peggy said I needed to get her a two piece. I nodded rather absent-mindedly and kept trying to untwist straps. Then I started thinking about it, two pieces are easier and I could probably find a modest tankini style at Land's End. And yet. Still. I have to admit I'm scared to go down the bikini road, my rationale being if I don't want her to wear bikinis as a tween/teen I probably should not introduce the possibility now. Whatever guidelines we hope to have for modesty as a tween/teen we need to lay the groundwork now I suppose.

So, being a naturally curious person and also quite indecisive, I'd like to know what you think about my one piece vs. two piece self-imposed dilemma for Annelise's next swimsuit. Let's discuss...


  1. I'm always surprised when mom's are "upset" by their daughter's lack of modesty as a teen- when they were the ones dressing them immodest from the get go. Or the mom herself was the bad example...

    You are so right- If she's comfortable in a bikini now- she'll be comfortable in a bikini later-
    There are a lot of modest tankinis out there & I think some are great options-
    good for you for setting the standard high!

  2. I felt the same way! And I still tell Chloe she won't wear a bikini, but I have to admit to giving in to the tankini. It covers the midriff, and doesn't say "hey look, I cover less than a bra!".

  3. We have a teenage daughter (13) and she's worn tankinis for several years now. I think they are fine. I feel for you on your own swimsuit situation. I have yet to even try mine on for fear of the flab. And I've always worn bikinis...I am tall and for some reason one pieces just don't work for me. I've been joking with the ladies in the neighborhood that they might not see me in a suit this year...just the coverup. And also joking a roast beef does look better when it's brown.

  4. "Roast beef looks better when it's brown." Hahahahaha...good one Jillian!

  5. Our rule for Hannah (age 7) is that her belly cannot be showing. I get her cute, modest tankinis and she doesn't even question it. When we're at the pool and she sees anyone in a bikini, she comes over and whispers in my ear that they're not being modest.

    We've had good luck with landsend and Old Navy (surprisingly).

  6. I agree with wanting to set a standard now for when she's a tween/teen...

    I have found very modest tankinis at lands end...

    Tankinis are just so much more practical for younger kids who struggle with the awkwardness of trying to get a wet bathing suit back on after going to the bathroom...

    I like the idea of as long as the belly button doesn't show...

  7. I am with you. No bikini's at any point. I always look at my girls as teens in embryo. I feel like every day I am laying the groundwork for what kind of teens they will be. I think tankini's are fine. It's easier to go to the bathroom. They just don't show their bellies and it's fine.

  8. we have also always laid the ground work for the teen years early. not only did we not allow two pieces, we also made our girl wear shorts over a one piece. so it's been extra hard to find anything modest. so we spent extra on swim suit and board shorts. last year at 12 that was very hard to do. this year, we did go a two piece route. we bought boys speedos swim shorts and a lined sports tank-no belly showing. it is working well though I think the shorts are a little too short.

    as for me, I go w/ a lined sports tank and biker or longer type volleyball shorts for swimming. or a skirt.

  9. I can't believe I'm facing another summer with my body in this lumptastic form. When will I learn? They don't make a suit that covers everything that needs to be covered on me!

    We are big on modesty around here (though Whitney's post-shower wanderings indicate otherwise) so I only buy one piece suits for her.

  10. I am totally a fan of Land's End suits! And I think they are very modest for girls. A tankini would probably be fine for Annelise, after a talk about the different modesty levels of tankinis. We're allowing tankinis, as long as they cover all midriff.

    Call me old fashioned, but I don't want my teen/tween girls looking like Slut Bunnies.

  11. I love that you're setting the standard early and keeping it consistent! I'm trying, too, and sometimes wonder if i'm being to freakish about it. So thanks for making me feel more balanced!

    We rock! heehee

  12. Of course it's a personal decision, everyone has his or her own standard of modesty. I must confess to wearing both in my teens and young adult years (bikinis for some things, one piece for others). Now that I'm an adult and a mother, I see it differently then I did then.

  13. what a great day!!! :)

    oh man- so far i'm lucky to have boys...who will hopefully not want bikinis. :)

    i don't know. i was allowed to wear a bikini as a child- and there's no way i would have as an adult or teenager- but then again, i don't have a bikini body!!!

    i would likely opt for the one piece. which is rough. my friend has 2 little girls a's age and they are the cutest things. their standard of modesty at their house is totally set and she said they got so excited to wear their ballerina costumes for a dance recital and kept saying, "we get to be immodest!!!" too funny. they pick stuff up even at little ages. maybe you're planting a seed.

  14. btw- i agree with the tankini. it's a nice compromise and easier, i think, to get on and off of oneself and therefore, must be easier for wrangling off of a kid.

  15. Like many other commenters, my daughter is also not allowed to wear a bikini. The tankini does seem like a safe option with the belly covered.

    I got in a swimsuit this past weekend too. Every year I think, maybe next year I'll be more firm in this jiggly places. Not so much.

  16. I had the EXACT same conversation with my husband on Monday when I donned MY favorite Lands End tankini and prepared to take the walk of shame on the first day of pool season.

    It never gets easier, does it?

    As far as little girls' swimsuits are concerned, I do let my little girls wear the 2-piece kind, although I don't get the ones that leave a lot of skin showing. This summer, they actually have more skin showing than usual; it wasn't intentional; I didn't realize when I bought the suits. but they were on the spendy side, and they are matching and really cute, so they wear them.

    However. My philosophy, and I intend to institute it NEXT year, is that 2-piece suits are great for the convenience factor, but I prefer the tankini styles so they are on the modest side of things.

  17. Thanks everyone for your comments and thoughts. I ordered a tankini for A. from Land's End that I think will be just right with coverage and convenience too.

    Happy swimming y'all!

  18. I allow Luci to wear bikinis (although Kim is against it) when we are at the beach or the neighborhood pool, etc. At summer camp though the rule is one piece only (the camp's rule, I mean) and I think that is a good rule to have. I tend to lean towards tankinis although Luci did have a zebra print bikini last year for the beach that I thought was adorable.
    Have you noticed how hard it is to find a cute one piece?! At places like target, etc. it seems there are 10 skimpy bikinis for every one decent one piece!

  19. i'm all for a land's end tankini! it will certainly be easier! i never htought i'd got for a 2 piece for my daughter, but i thanked God for that tankini!!! now, at 15, she has a real bikini... that she covers with her land's end swim shirt... her choice :)

  20. Natasha: I agree about seeing more bikinis than one pieces (at least at Target) for little girls. Why is that? I don't think I've seen a tankini style there either.

    Christie: Thanks for the tip about Old Navy--though I might be too late for this season.

    The Lands' End tankini came in today. I had ordered a 6, but it's a little short in the torso, so I'm returning it and trying a 6x.
    Fingers crossed!


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