Our summer here in Tucson is hotter than hell, but one of the sweet sweet consolations that comes with this weather is the absolute necessity of pool time. We love our cool pool time here in the desert. And with that pool time... comes some serious bathing suit shopping.
Before we continue any further, I must warn you: I bitch about plus-size bikinis A LOT. Or rather, I bitch about the scarcity of them.
A couple of years ago, I began my first quest for a plus size bikini in town. And I found nothing. Absolutely. Nothing. It sort of repulsed me and I believe my exact words that summer were: bathing suit season is chunder worthy. It was obvious to me that by refusing to stock bikini options retailers were (not so) subtly body shaming by reflecting what society says about large bodies without saying a word. Fat girl swimming options were strictly limited to one pieces, tankinis and skirted suits; all created to hide, tighten, slim, trim, and cover.
And guess what? If you do a basic search for plus size swimsuits online, you'll find the exact same thing:
Well, I'm not havin' any of it! I'm a huge advocate of consumer choice, and so I set out on a mission to find bikinis for the fat girl; fatkinis as they are affectionately called. Last year I found you guys 15 great suits, but this year I've outdone myself and collected my favorite 18 BIKINIS for your belly baring pleasure!
Over the summer I taught you "How to Get a Swimsuit Body in Less Than Five Minutes!", and I'm going to challenge you to quit waiting until you lose "x" amount of pounds and rock a suit that makes you feel like a vixen now. If you're not up for bikinis, thats okay. There ARE some cute one pieces out there. However, the first time I EVER WORE A BIKINI was the moment my body love journey's trajectory skyrocketed. It changed the way I felt about my body like nothing else had before. It was so empowering, and I felt sexy as fuck. And guess what? Not a single person lost their vision after seeing my stomach, as I had anticipated. Truth.
If I could wear 18 bikinis at once (and I definitely want to try this), I would choose the following:
ASOS didn't impress me like they did last year, but I did fall for this floral suit (top/bottom). Tess rocks the cherry bikini so hard, it makes me wanna try too. And ModCloth does swimsuits right (top/bottom). So so right.
I love indulging in my nautical inclinations, so I've given you three fabulous options for this summer! Black Cat Bikini's are made to order, and go up to 6x. I LOVE this polka dot number (top/bottom). Good god. ModCloth also has a top with a white bow that looks pretty damn supportive (top/ alternative bottom with buttons!). And wanna lounge on a yacht? This white bikini (top/bottom) was made just for that.
The majority of my wardrobe has polka dots and leopard print. There's no reason this can't extend into my swimwear! Swimsuits for All has this high waisted baby which I'm drooling over. Tess models another sexy Black Cat option in leopard. And I don't know your moral stance on Walmart, but they sure know how to dress a fat girl on the cheap.
H&M suprised me with their options for plus size bikinis. This paisley one (top/bottom) was my favorite. And this purple suit (top/bottom) makes me think of both a mermaid and a disco ball. That's definitely not a bad thing. Black cat also has a vintage throwback gingham two piece which is kitschy as fuck.
This white Black Cat suit (top/bottom) is probably my favorite of them all, most likely because it nails the Marilyn Monroe look on the head. Walmart also sells separates (top/bottom) and that boob support looks mighty fine. And Hot Topic has some adorable (and affordable) options, believe it or not! This skull suit (top/bottom) was one of my favorites.
ASOS offers us the little black bikini (top/bottom) that is beyond sexy, m'girl Gabifresh has created this geometeric Midkini (more pictures here), and if you're feeling extra summery, well, here's a colorful blue suit (top/bottom) that will do just fine.
NOW there is something you need to know about the plus size clothing industry: plus size women have a lot of buying power and manufacturers are only now starting to realize that. So we ARE seeing a liiiiiiiiiitle bit of an increase in fashionable clothing, but not enough. And certainly not enough in the swimwear department. However, some of this rests on us. I am convinced that a contributing factor to the lack of "skin flaunting options" is the fact that we're STILL not as comfortable baring our bellies as we are covering them. The demand for slimming-tucking-trimming suits still outweighs the let-it-all-hang-out suits, and this wont change until we use our buying power to show otherwise. We need to show that FUCK YEAH WE LOVE OUR BODIES AND WE WANT ALL THE SEXY OPTIONS. One way to do this is to rock a fatkini this year. Show the world. Work it. Flaunt it. Love it.
It will change the way the world sees large bodies and as a bonus, it can be an empowering experience for you. Trust me on this one.
So lets buy a million bikinis (!!!) and show the world that we are confident in the fact that our bodies are perfect just the way they are. And y'know what? That's the goddamn honest truth.
Where do you like to buy swimsuits? Do you have a good shop to share, or recommendations for a website?
And are you going to try a bikini this summer?