When Did I Go From a Target to Nordstrom Swimsuit?

With swimsuit weather coming, I figured it was time to buy a new swimsuit. Being that I live in the mountains I don’t get a chance to wear a swimsuit that often. Yes, I do have a hot tub in my backyard, however, it’s buried under four feet of snow six months out of the year. So when I finally get up the courage (around February) to dig it out and take a dip I’m usually wearing my fleece thong accented by a mismatched Gortex bra. (Picture Victoria’s Secret Antarctica style.)

The last time I bought a swimsuit was back in 2008 when we visited my parents in Tortola, B.V.I. As I may have previously mentioned they own a hotel there, so when the kids were little we used to visit them every summer. But now that the kids are busy teenagers, my boys would rather stick pins in their eyes than hang out with their geezer mom on a beach while she sips frothy drinks until she thinks she can sing all the parts from A Chorus Line simultaneously (don’t ask). As a result, we haven’t been back in a while.

But when we did go, I do remember that in the Tropics people wear swimsuits to everything from weddings to divorce depositions (presumably so the plaintiff can show the defendant just what they’ll be missing) so it’s rather pedestrian to have limited swimwear. Which is why I had several cute swimsuits back in the day. And just last week I got one out and tried it on.

Holy mother of Cheez Whiz on a cracker what a horror show THAT was.

Back in the day, this was my world as far as swimsuits were concerned

Swimsuit Reality is a Bitch

When I looked in the mirror wearing these ridiculous little swaths of fabric, my body was not exactly how I remembered it. Let’s just say back then each thigh thought she was an orphan, but now they’ve grown to the point where they’re inseparable BFFs. The good news is my boobs are a little bigger, but when I lie on my back, they slide down into my armpits and disappear completely, leaving the swimsuit top to wilt faster than two tangerines that have been baking in the sun all day. Which is easy to ignore because the bigger problem is that my ass spreads out like an oil slick. I can just hear the seams in my swimsuit bottom pop to the tune of “June is Busting Out All Over.” (And by the way, swimsuit, my name is Stacy.)

Obviously, it was time to get a new swimsuit.

So I did what I always have done when I bought a swimsuit, I went to Target. Usually, I’d pick three or four swimsuits off the rack, try them, on and then buy the one I liked best for about $29.99.

They MUST be Making Swimsuits Smaller

But something has happened to Target swimsuits since 2008 because now they all look like they can’t fit anything bigger than an American Girl doll.

I think we all agree, she needs to get her swimsuit at Nordstrom

When I mentioned this to a girlfriend who was also of a certain age, she told me that I needed to shop for a swimsuit at Nordstrom. “They can fit anyone,” she said a little too enthusiastically, as she sized me up like a prize hog at the fair.

In the “Activewear” department at Nordstrom I did find several swimsuit tops and bottoms that I liked, but they were all separates. And when you added up the combined cost of both, the total was roughly the same as the down payment my parents made on my first car (which was a ’74 VW Bug, by the way).

And Then I Heard Angels Sing

But when I tried on the pricy swimsuits, I could see how they justified their cost. To sum it up, they had more structural engineering that the Golden Gate Bridge; under wires, Spandex, padding, belts, hooks, zippers, and maybe even nuclear fusion. I swear these swimsuits had to be developed in a linear accelerator. Honestly, they hid or strapped down every little bump or bulge so effectively, swimming was definitely not an option. But damned if I didn’t have cleavage for the first time in my life. True, it was in the back, my ambitious butt crack debuting itself as a result of my south end cheeks being packed into the bottoms like Spam in a can, but hey, I’ll take it.

I finally found two unrelated swimsuit pieces, took out a second mortgage out on my house, and bought them.

As I drove home I passed a Target, and thought to myself at what point did I go from rocking a cheap swimsuit to having to pass off a high-tech, costly girdle as “Activewear”? Okay, I admit I still look okay in the right clothes, but the body underneath has grown to be a bit robust and jiggly. What the heck happened to my body, and where was I when it happened? I decided then and there that my new comely figure was just my voluptuous personality bursting forth to bring my physical appearance up to speed.

I smiled at that thought and suddenly was at peace with that expensive contraption I called my new swimsuit.

Ah yes. Middle-aged delusion is such a comforting friend.


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Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.

For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.

13 comments on When Did I Go From a Target to Nordstrom Swimsuit?

  1. Haha….I think every middle aged woman in the world can relate to this! I have a picture of me in a bikini when I was 21 that I pull out once in a blue moon. It just makes sigh. What could I accomplish with that body now that I am so much wiser, stronger and sassier.. Sigh….. 😉

    1. I know! If only we could have both the smokin’ hot body and the wisdom to go with it. Seems like both are mutually exclusive of each other! How unfair is that?

  2. A good suit makes all the difference!!! I choose rushing to hide, prints to distract and ruffles to cover. I have this down and strangely, now that I think about it…all my suits look exactly the same. 😉

    1. Yes, I do love a good ruffle to hide the flaws. Spandex and underwire help a lot too. Come to think of it, a good swimsuit cover is worth it’s weight in gold, as well. Too bad we didn’t live in a parallel universe where jiggly, flappy bodies were all the rage. Except then I guess EVERYBODY would be hot, right? 😉

  3. Ha, for once I am kinda happy that I have never been a gazelle-like human being, not even in my teens. That way at least I had time to get used to not being able to squeeze myself into cheap beachwear. Plus, just when I went from ‘barely acceptable’ (in my own eyes of course) to ‘nah, better don’t go to the beach at all’ (round about the time I weaned my firstborn) I had moved to the UK, the country that comes top in the obesity statistics in Europe. Not only do I feel back to acceptable (if not better) in comparison to even average twenty-somethings, I also have a plethora of oversized swimsuits to choose from in a price range that suits me down to the ground.

    Don’t despair though, at least none of the 19-year old swimsuit models with their lettuce diets have such fun stories to tell as you do, which is why I follow your blog and ignore them completely. If that’s any kind of consolation.

    1. Thanks, Sandra. I love your comment for a couple of reasons. One, I never realized the UK led Europe in obesity. I always thought Americans had that honor hands down. Second, I really appreciate you that not only follow my blog and enjoy it, but that you took the time to say so. Thank you so much!

      Funny, I always associated the UK with Carnaby Street skinny models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. But considering that was many decades ago, I guess the only thing that “swings” in London now are saggy breasts and flabby tummies. How cool is that? (For the rest of us, I mean.)

      1. Hmmm, I guess the key word here is “Europe”. I don’t know for a fact how America compares to the UK but my personal impression is – badly. So sorry I have to take that away from you again…

  4. I might “think” of buying a swimsuit once a decade. Us guys don’t spend that much time and effort buying a power drill or even a big screen TV. In fact.. whatever we got we put it on when we need it… and that’s what the public gets to see.. take it or leave it… and if the image offends, that’s not our problem. (Well, ok.. I might bitch a little about that stupid netting in the suit that’s usually ripped to hell and back -literally- and doesn’t seat the jewels properly without considerable adjustment… and there’s always that risk of things slipping out into public view.. and revealing to others our shortcomings).

    Too bad, so sad, Stacy. I’ve got my own REAL problems. Pass me another beer. (burp) S’cuse me.

    1. LOL, Doug, I ALWAYS look forward to your clever, insightful comments. Forgive me for replying at such a late date, but the midweek holiday (along with some recent crappy life episodes that I’ll write about later) put me behind the curve.

      My two teenage sons say the same as you when it comes to clothes of any kind. They could go to school in Hefty garbage bags, for all they care. And swimsuit?!?! Who needs a swimsuit when you could just cut off a pair of raggedy jeans and wear those.

      Glad to hear the netting is the bane of your existence when it comes to strapping on a pair of swim trunks. It’s nice to know that those with the XY chromosome ALSO have to worry about the occasional wardrobe malfunction when it comes to “Active Wear”. 😉

  5. “What the heck happened to my body, and where was I when it happened?” – So. True.

    If it’s any consolation, merchandise is getting smaller as prices are staying the same. Even though I love Target, I’d have to buy five of the same bathing suit and layer them to get the same lassoing effect of high-end Spandex. I’m also bringing the muumuu back.

    1. Love the muumuu. Especially when it comes to all you can eat buffets.

      I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who thinks that Target (and all cheap swimsuits) are getting smaller, which is weird because humans in general appear to be getting bigger. Where’s the justice in that?

      Honestly, I can’t believe what they are getting these days for a swimsuit at Nordstrom or any high end department store. I guess someone has to pay for all the new high-tech engineering that go into making those suits. I think it’d be cheaper to give up swimming.

  6. what is it with manufactures that everything they produce has to become smaller! do they not realise that women do not want to buy a “larger” size that is in fact their old smaller size. Clearly men rule the factory and design world!

    1. I know, right? I knew I wasn’t crazy! Those cheap swimsuits ARE getting smaller. I swear $29.99 doesn’t buy what it used to anymore when it comes to a lycra bikini bottom and a couple of bra cups sewn into two little triangle squares held together with strings. Actually, that would not look good on me at all anymore. My pasty white body might also have something to do with that. 😉

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