As long as I can remember, I've never felt comfortable in a bikini. It isn't because of some demoralizing beach incident during my tender years, or because I harbor a secret modest streak. I just don't particularly enjoy the sensation of the sun beating down on my incandescently white belly. This also explains how it is possible that I can dislike bikinis but love the way that I look and feel in beautiful lingerie.
Two years ago, I took a trip to Brazil with one of my travel cronies. After casually disclosing my lifelong appreciation for one-piece swimwear, I was lectured about how I could not be seen on a Brazilian beach in anything but a bikini. I packed a couple of two-pieces and an ordinary suit with every intention of relying on the suit. Of course, anybody who knows anything about Brazilian beaches knows that my friend had it right. I'm not sure what would have garnered more attention: My snowy skin or the (apparently) MASSIVE quantities of fabric wrapped around me.
In Rio I was told that I should replace my bright red halter bikini with a string bikini...as it was STILL too old-fashioned and stuffy for the beach. Indeed, every woman and child roughly between the ages of 5 and 90 was wearing one of these bizarre creations. Yes, bizarre is the word I choose. I'm pretty sure--no, I know that I'd feel more comfortable stark naked than wearing a nipple's worth of fabric designed to detach and float away at any wave's caprice. Also, is it just me, or do string bikinis kinda flatten the girls out? They seem to drift east and west, as if in disagreement. I'm sure I could find an obliging pair of conch shells and a shoelace that would provide more support!
So that takes me to today, a week before a vacation to Costa Rica. Darn you, tropical vacations. Why do I have to want to take you???? *Queuing violins*
Sure, I could wear a bikini again. I'll certainly pack one. But a couple of weeks ago I decided to experiment with another option: The Tankini. That lovely compromise of a tank top with a bikini bottom...exposing just a tantalizing stripe of midsection, while providing maximal bosom support! Hooray!
Truth be told, I already own one, but even I will capitulate to it's ugliness. A high neck and boob-deflating level of spandex make it a great swimmer but a terrible bore at parties.
Here's what I discovered: Victoria's Secret swimsuits are awesome. They are very sensibly priced, and what a selection! They make lots of tankinis. Tankinis with animal prints (Raaaaaar!) halter necks (meow!) and best of all, the kind of hardware, ahem, that you'd come to expect from lingerie people. Although I kinda hate their crappy bras. Moving along....
I ordered two: A chocolate brown halter tankini and an aqua blue tankini with a sweet little bow. I diligently took my measurements and chose sizes accordingly.
The aqua is definitely a keeper. Fits like a glove and I would wear it fearlessly. Bravo!
Halter top is ill-fitting. The cups are too small and the waist is all loose and goofy-looking. So much for their handy measurement charts! Moral of the story: Order two sizes and send one back.
Here is the one that I'm keeping:
Why yes, this is my attempt to promote the potential sex factor of a tankini. Just try and stop me.
I will post a picture and detailed review upon my return. Pura vida awaits....