Saturday, July 19, 2008

Swimsuit season

You will never see a picture of me in a swimsuit here (or anywhere else for that matter). I respect the blog-reading world too much to subject anyone to that, plus I don't want to scare anyone away.

But this being summer, swimsuits tend to be on one's mind. I am always looking for the "perfect" suit. Now, my perfect swimsuit would make an Amish person happy. I basically prefer to be clothed from neck to knee (by way of the elbow, if possible). I look very closely at ads for board shorts, wetsuits, and sarongs.

Technically I have no need for any new swimsuits, as I have a large collection of Nautica pieces I bought a couple of years ago (in a typical display of excess; I couldn't decide which top I liked best) (so I bought them all) (most of them) (then the rest when they went on sale at the end of summer). (And I misplaced some of them for a year, so many are still unworn.) The tops are all tankinis in various colors and styles (at least I think they're tankinis—they're certainly tanks, although there's nothing eeny about them) (but maybe the bottoms are supposed to be the "inis"?). The bottoms include (yes, I'll admit it) a skirt and a couple pairs of shorts, and a normal pair of bottoms, which I hardly use.

But even with my vast supply, I still dream that the perfect suit is out there for me. The perfect suit would combine the spandex sleekness of my favorite running pants with the modesty of a turn-of-the-century bathing costume. This navy number, at left, is a good start. Or for a more formal approach, the nice bathing dresses worn by the ladies in the postcard on the right could be worn both to church and the beach! And ideally, throw in the glamour of this 1940's bathing suit and Grace Kelly's elegant poolside suit from High Society. Preferably with Grace Kelly's lovely face and figure as well. (This clip from High Society* shows the suit and also the charming True Love duet by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly.)

For that last requirement, Oprah pointed me toward her favorite suit, the Norma Kamali "Bill" suit (why it's called Bill, I don't know). I have to agree with Oprah, this is one of the most beautiful, glamorous suits I've seen in modern times. Notice how the gathered skirt can be pulled down over the thighs? Oprah likes that too. Understandably.

While I was browsing the Norma Kamali website, I ran across this outfit which claims to be a swimdress. It appears to be a dream come true—a knee-length dress for swimming! Would I look like a lunatic prancing around in it at the pool (or worse yet, the beach)? Very possibly. But I would be a lunatic with fully covered-up thighs!

If I really, really needed a swimsuit, I might consider one of these. If I could, I'd get them both and be both glamorous and covered up. But at $350 each the two suits would cost as much as a laptop computer, or this bike that I've been coveting!**

My reluctance to wear a swimsuit in public, by the way, is one reason I haven't dabbled in the world of triathlons*** (which seem so popular amongst runners lately—it seems like everyone I know is doing one). I have, however, scouted triathlon-wear websites in search of my dream full-coverage suit. I've also taken an interest in the new swimsuits developed for the Olympic swimmers—not for their speed-enhancing properties, but rather for their compression and coverage abilities.

See how the diagonal lines narrow the waist? And the full-length legs? I'm sure just putting one on would give me a body like Natalie Coughlin (ha!). But I'm also sure that the price tag on one of these babies would make the Norma Kamali suit look like a Walmart bargain.

So what brought on this swimsuit-analyzing frenzy? Probably my upcoming weekend at Rosario, for which I'll want to dig out a swimsuit in case I want to try out one of the two pools. And what do you want to bet, despite my vast collection, I'll still have a hard time finding both a top and and a bottom! Since I won't be dressed as a glamour queen or Olympic athlete, I guess I'll just have to avoid the paparazzi cameras and keep a low profile. Guess I can manage that!

*High Society was a musical remake of the film classic Philadelphia Story, starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra, with a score by Cole Porter. It's very delightful and I just put the new DVD version in my Amazon shopping cart! This duet by Bing and Frank is a kick.
**Which could very easily lead to the shopaholics rationalization—I'm not getting the suits, so I've saved $700—I can afford the bike!
***That and the fear of drowning.


Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Maybe you should take the opposite approach and go prance around in a tiny bikini or go skinny-dipping. :) Your body is capable and strong; it doesn't need to be hidden. We're not ashamed of it for you, and you needn't feel that way, either. :D

Kristin said...

Nice of you to say that... but I still think I'd be happier in a turtleneck! :)