So I'm going on vacation next week, to my family reunion in upstate New York. After a few days shuttling around to places like the Edelweiss and Bob-o-Link Hill, a good chunk of my extended family is heading to a local lake and renting two neighboring cottages. The water will be just feet away, and while it isn't an ocean (my body of water of choice), I'm still looking forward to swimming as much as possible.
Naturally, I want a new swimsuit; naturally, I don't really need one. I have a reliable stable of mix-and-match bikinis and a nice Speedo one-piece for swimming workouts, and for the last year they've been gathering dust in my closet. It is very possible, baring any trips to Coney Island or Jones Beach in the next month, that this trip will be the only time I wear a swimsuit until next summer.
But that isn't going to stop me from checking out my options. Here's what I need: a swimsuit that's cute but very PG-rated. Besides my parents, there will be aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins--none of whom are within 10 years of my age. There is no one there I need to worry about impressing, and no one there is interested in seeing my cleavage. But that doesn't mean I need to be a total matron.
I really love this red one-piece from Mossimo, $19.99 at Target. It's adorable and flirty, so I could definitely wear it if I ever went to the beach with my friends. The color is bombshell but the cut is modest, which is a nice compromise between my dualing instincts to show-off or hide.
This J.Crew Watercolor Stripe halter top, $19.99, and bottom, $29.99, shows a little more skin, but I think the sweet pink and white color scheme makes it more tame. It makes me think of the bikini your babysitter would wear when she'd take you to the pool, and you'd just dream about the day when you'll turn 16 and be able to look just like her in a cute swimsuit. Unfortunately, the top is only available in x-small and small, and the bottom is only available in large and x-large. Never have I wished to be pear-shaped so badly.
Back to Target: Converse One Star has a great sporty swimsuit that's on clearance. In Federal Blue, the tankini is $13.98 and the bottoms are $11.88. I'm a big fan of water sports, and this swimsuit will stay in place for many games of Marco Polo or a long kayak ride. The boyshort cut of the bottoms is adorable in a tomboy way, and the white piping gives it my beloved nautical vibe.
Ok, so this photo makes it hard to tell if this bikini is the right choice for a family lake vacation; I'm leaning towards no, but I'm including it anyway because it's a freaking cute suit. From Victoria's Secret, the Beach Sexy Striped adjustable triangle top is $13 and the bottom is $14. Any swimsuit that involves actual knots to stay on is usually not good for being low-key, and the adjustable aspect of the top (you can tie it was a halter, around the neck, or a bandeau, around the back--this is great when you're trying to avoid tan lines) makes me think it's not going to stay in place when I'm having a splash war with a 10 year old. But the stripes, the cut-out rings, the big hip bow: I can't resist that sort of easy, sporty glamor.
Almost as essential as the swimsuit is the cover-up. J.Crew to the rescue! I can throw on this Linen Getaway dress, $29.99, over my damp swimsuit, and sit around roasting marshmallows until bedtime. It's loose, soft, effortless--the only problem is that I'll want to wear it when I'm back in the city, and that'll bring up a whole undergarment dilemma of its own.