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One piece or two?

Posted in fashion, and Style & Travel

elle macphersonI read, aghast, in an interview with Elle MacPherson, that the supermodel once nicknamed The Body, will not dream of wearing a bikini anymore, now that she has reached 50. Elle MacPherson? The same Elle MacPherson who still looks glorious and gloriously unretouched? I was taken aback and, for a long moment, I wondered whether it was time I re-thought my bikini policy.

A large part of me feels that, at 50, we have bloody earned the right to wear what the heck we want. But then I will look with disapproval at any older woman sporting a mini-skirt. The fact is, I cannot reconcile the fashion conscious Italian and the feminist in me. So I will still wear some outlandish, or very colorful outfits, but will not show knees anymore, will not dream of wearing something revealing without a bra and will stay away from too tight clothes that risk making me look like a sausage. But I don’t own a one-piece swimming suit.

Sicilian beach
On a Sicilian beach

While discussing this with sofagirl, she pointed out that, on Italian beaches (in fact, on beaches all over Europe) women of all ages wear bikinis or go topless without anyone taking a second look.

Still, in the interest of possibly purchasing a one-piece swimming suit for this Summer, I took a look around at what would be flattering on a 50 + older woman and  wouldn’t break the bank. I am sure I can find fabulous offerings at La Perla but with out-of-reach price tags.

My friend Luisa, an avid swimmer, is perennially complaining that buying swimming suits in the States is just as hard as buying tights, and she is not entirely wrong. That mid-price range so common in Europe is harder to come by here: it’s either cheap and cheerful (and better suited for a 20-year-old) or high-end.

I scouted my usual swimwear hangouts (ok, one is British) and this is what caught my eye.

black one piece swimsuit

This is the classic one piece, from cocodune.com, a new online company that specializes in swimwear, with the added advantage you can order up to four pieces, try them at home and keep just want you want. This piece also comes in bright blue and burnt orange and will set you back $122. The drawback is that, if you are full chested, it doesn’t offer much support.

 

Both from Boden, they come in many different colors and patterns. The one on the left features a supportive bust cup and tummy control, which made me wonder if it feels like wearing Spandex at the beach.

From JCrew. I like the adjustable shoulder straps on the floral one-piece. And I had to add a nice bikini too: I like the top, that offers a lot of support and lifts the breast up.

Boden

I like this idea from Boden too. Never a big fan of shorts – I feel they shorten the legs – but this tank top/rash guard is mighty cute.

And where do you stand? Bikini or one-piece?

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18 Comments

  1. I prefer one pieces or tankinis (bikini bottom with a tank top). Like Ellie who commented earlier on this post, I am very well-endowed upstairs, and now that I’ve reached a certain age, all that upstairs is trying to migrate downstairs. Very few bikinis are designed to help me continue defying gravity, but I can usually find a nice one-piece or tankini that has a built-in underwire bra in a D cup. The Land’s End catalog is great because they have mix and match tops and bottoms in all size ranges and bra types.

    Also, I just try to avoid the whole problem by being on the beach as little as possible – my preferred summer hangout is on a sofa in an air conditioned room with a good book and a glass of tea!

    June 28, 2016
    |Reply
    • WordPress.com Support
      WordPress.com Support

      Long gone are the days when I would fry on a beach for hours on end. How on earth did I do it? You couldn’t pay me enough money now. But I do like to dip now and then. And I have the opposite problem: I am rather flat chested and always trying to boost what I have!

      June 29, 2016
      |Reply
  2. I NEVER wore a bikini until I moved to Italy. Never.

    I see grandmother’s in their 80s wearing them here. I have said bye-bye to one pieces. Two pieces are a lot more comfortable and are more flattering for my short, athletic body.

    June 25, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Isn’t it interesting how some choices are purely cultural?

      June 28, 2016
      |Reply
  3. Ellie Toffolo
    Ellie Toffolo

    It depends on a person’s shape, but if I’m thinking what’s more elegant I would vote for the one-piece – over which I always drape a sarong. With me it’s to do with playing down large boobs – I think the smaller variety are much easier to manage, more elegant and don’t draw attention!

    June 24, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      The sarong! A brilliant invention: it’s sexy and it covers a multitude of sins!

      June 25, 2016
      |Reply
  4. silvia
    silvia

    The feminist in you should definitely get rid of the fashion conscious at least for this matter. It is so liberating watching people on the beach wearing anything without bothering. If you’re going to buy a one piece suit ….

    June 24, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Ok, I will stick with the bikini…but that red suit is really cute.

      June 25, 2016
      |Reply
  5. No bikini since I was 23…. A very long time ago as a runway model at 103lbs I gained 50lbs and had a 10lb baby! …. An overload of skin….. I never wore a bikini again! I’m 70 now…. Why not??? I live n france 5 months of the year…. And look better than most!

    June 24, 2016
    |Reply
    • Je suis d’accord avec vous.

      June 24, 2016
      |Reply
      • camparigirl
        camparigirl

        French women are like Italian women: way less self-conscious. I miss that.

        June 25, 2016
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    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I believe you! I am actually amazed at how women’s bodies have changed in the last twenty years, probably because we take better care of ourselves and age much better. And good for you. Vive la France!

      June 25, 2016
      |Reply
  6. I’m certainly no style guru, but I gave up bikinis several years back. When on holiday in the mountains I used to swim in streams and rock pools so it was practical to wear board shorts over my costume because sitting on (and climbing/falling over) rocks damages the stretchy fabric easily. Board shorts look better with a bikini top than over a one-piece.

    I have to say, though, my whole life I always felt more comfortable in a one piece, even in my youth. Something to do with having a pear-shaped body and never finding the perfect bikini unless I bought the pieces separately in differing sizes.

    This year, however, I finally went “old lady” and bought a two piece that consists of what looks like cycling shorts and a top that covers not just the top but the middle and half the bottom as well. It’s a bit like your final picture but longer and not as sleek or sexy. Still not too sure about it. Next summer I’ll probably buy a larger size bottom for my larger-sized bottom because I’ve put on weight since then. From there it’s a short jump to a neoprene wet-suit to hold all the saggy bits in the right places…

    June 23, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      No neoprene suit girlfriend. Reading all these comments, I realize how much time we all spend evaluating our bodies, probably in front of a mirror. I might give the shorts and top a try too: those look sleek and sexy because they are modelled by 20-year-olds. Good luck trying to find pictures of swimming suits on older models.

      June 25, 2016
      |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I am in good company then. But I do love the red one too.

      June 25, 2016
      |Reply
  7. Sadly with my body self image, only gunny sacks will do. 😉 I always admired European women who wear bikinis with style no matter what their shape. Good for them, I say!

    June 23, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Being on a European beach is mighty liberating. Half the people are practically naked and nobody cares.

      June 25, 2016
      |Reply

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