For my daughters…in case I never got around to actually giving you this heart-felt mother-daughter speech. Sorry guys, this one is for the ladies. Avert your eyes until next week!
When you go swimsuit shopping, go alone. Your sisters and your girlfriends love you, but they will also distract you. If you have to ask…you already know the answer! Go to the mall on a Wednesday morning in April when you actually have choices and no crowds. Stay focused. Ignore the sales rack of cute blouses and the shoes calling you across the aisle. Know you are going to try on a zillion suits until you get it right. But please. Get it right. When you find the exact right suit, be willing to pay anything for it. Because it’s all that is going to come between you and the staring-but-pretending-not-to-look humanity at the pool and beach.
For what will you be wearing this scrap of fabric? A crochet, beaded, or fringed suit is not good for sitting on wet concrete. Deep colors are going to fade in chlorinated pools. Please, I’m telling you right now, but you are not listening, do NOT buy a white suit. You can’t get it wet in the dressing room. So you will not find out until WAY too late that it becomes entirely see-through in the water. Yes, even the lined ones. Sorry. You’re going to want to rethink the skirt-suit. You think things are going to be covered a bit more…until you jump into the water. Skirts float ya’all. They float up. Now you look like a jellyfish.
I hope you’re being sensible and trying on suits in a size or two larger than you think you are. Suits are sized wickedly by the fabricators in Indonesia where the average woman is 5’ tall and 85#. American women are big and beautiful, thank you, so own it. Labels be damned. We’ll rip them out later.
Your new suit will have to pass the trial by fire in the dressing room before ever you take it home: you put it on and do some major calisthenics and several good jumping jacks. Bend over and pretend to pick up a seashell. Now stand up, turn around, and look at your backside. Can you see it? Test failed.
Do not wait until you join an impromptu volleyball game or a rogue wave knocks you over to discover that you will have a swimsuit malfunction.
I’m not going to be hard lined about the one piece vs two piece suit debate. I’ve seen great looking suits of both kinds out there and I think wearing athletic clothes to the beach or shorts or skirts is fine, too. Err on the side of modesty and self respect. What matters is does it fit everywhere and could you conquer the world in it if you had to?
My mom speech is almost over. I want to finish with the most important part of your outfit.
Skin cancer is nasty stuff. I had it on my nose, ME, the queen of sunscreen. If I can get it, anyone can. It does not discriminate; your youth is not a preventative. Don’t ever ever ever take your pretty skin out into the sun without wearing sunscreen on every inch of it. Find yourself cute hats with wide brims, movie star sunglasses, filmy breezy cover-ups, and hard core sunscreen. Wear it all. You are avoiding cancer, wrinkles, brown spots, cataracts, and headaches.
Rest assured you will still develop a tan. It just won’t try to kill you.
Thanks for listening. I love you.