Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Swimwear Struggle

Last summer, we didn't go to a holiday where swimsuit would be necessary (we didn't go to a nudist camp, the weather just wasn't hot enough and the sea was far away). A month ago, I took out my two swimsuits to try them on. I kind of hoped one of them would be ok. Well, one of them is ok but since I changed underwear sizes, it doesn't fit anymore. The other one is about eight years old and falling into pieces. It probably shouldn't have come as a surprise to me but it did. I definitely need a new swimsuit...

I thought it would be easy to find a new swimsuit in Paris (the capital of fashion and a place where everyone goes for a summer beach holiday). Something simple, not too expensive and that fits. Let's just say I was very naive.

My search started online. Since I know which Victoria's Secret sizes fit me and they have plenty of nice and simple swimsuits in many colours, I went on the website and picked a swimsuit. Actually, I put several swimsuits (5?!?) in my shopping basket because I couldn't decide which cut and colour I liked the most. After a few days of thinking I choose one (and it was on sale, yey!). But... oh well, there is a "but" of course. Since my last two Victoria's Secret orders got lost somewhere in the shipping, I decided to go for the express shipping where you have to pay 20$ and can see where the package is and it makes it to you quicker (about 8 days instead of 21). Since the swimsuit was on sale, I thought "ok, no problem to pay 20$ for the shipping". But I didn't realise there were the "normal" international shipping costs that would add themselves to the total. This would have made for almost 50$ in shipping costs for a 40$ swimsuit... I ended up deciding it was a bad idea.

The swimsuit deadline was approaching on me (last weekend was a pool-side weekend) and I didn't have much time to go looking for something, just a few hours after work. My mission started in Galeries Lafayette in Paris. They have a whole new floor of lingerie and swimsuits. Well, that's the problem, a whole floor (especially if it is a Galeries Lafayette floor) is a lot and even more if you have a little over an hour to go through it. There were some swimsuits that were on sale (couldn't find anything nice in my size) and thousands of others that were full price. Which basically means some of them were super expensive. And the ones that were not were either ugly or not in my size. Maybe I wasn't looking right but I just couldn't find anything that would fit and look nice a that wouldn't cost 200€.

On Friday night, we were leaving for the pool weekend. On Thursday afternoon, I still didn't have anything to wear. I decided not to panic and go to Zara and H&M and find something very cheap and simple (even if it was just for the weekend). It is sales season in Paris right now. This means you can find a cheap swimsuit but it also means extremely crowded and hot shops on a Thursday night. In the 15 minutes queue in Zara, I was just hoping that one bikini would count as one piece and not two. Naive again. Six pieces in the changing rooms means three bikinis only (when you have two or three different shapes and then you need to try on the sizes, it is not practical at all). I randomly choose three bikinis. None of them fit. I gave them back and went on with my quest. I went quickly through Pimkie and Bershka that were on my way but they only had things for fourteen year old girls (in cut and colour as well as size-wise).

Then I took the plunge in H&M. First floor was ok, there was air. But swimsuits were downstairs. I love shopping but if I wasn't in such bad need of a swimsuit, I would have left right away. No air, just heat and sweat, packed with angry and aggressive people. And a depleted swimsuit rack. I wasn't really looking at the colours any more. I just took anything that was approximatively my size. Impossible to find a top that would have the bottom supposed to go with it. At least not in any normal sizes. Most of the bottoms were either size 34 or size 44 ie 2 sizes too small or 3 sizes too big... most of the tops were the same. I hoped something would fit. The queue was about 20 minutes long. This time it was seven pieces only. I picked those that looked the most likely to fit = three bottoms and four tops. If they have stuff that fits Beyoncé, they must have something that fits me too, right? Well, if Beyoncé wasn't the one on the H&M swimsuit advert, the swimsuit racks might have been less depleted... I ended up finding a top that fit "ok". It was a completely different colour (dark grey) and cut from what I wanted and it scratched me a bit but I took it anyway, for 7€. One of the bottoms seemed to fit but the colour was ugly and didn't go with the top at all (it was khaki-taupe). I took it and went back to the racks, hoping to find the same cut but in a different colour. All was 34 and 44 again, some 42. And then I found a size 38 hot pink bottom. Somebody probably wanted to buy it and hid it behind all the 34s and 44s. Sorry lady, I took it. After another 15 minutes queuing at the cashier (that's how many people there were), I payed my 12€ for the swimsuit and went home. EXHAUSTED.

I still don't like my swimsuit but at least I wasn't naked at the pool during the weekend and it cost me only 12€.

Yesterday, I bought a swimsuit online on ASOS. It looks like my size and well, I can always send it back if it doesn't fit... Wish me luck! And ladies, tell me, where do you buy your bikinis? Especially those of you with small ribcages and fuller breasts like me?


  1. Hey, I have gone through the same problem year after year. But a couple of years back, I decided to order my swimsuit at ASOS. They have so many brands on offer and you can choose swimsuit separates- some in your bra size. I love it and hope that you will be able to find a solution as well. x

  2. No, koukám, že ani v Paříži není jednoduché sehnat plavky..... Mě se letos podařil kauf, koupila jsem si plavky v Lidlu ve slevě (měly stát 99,- za podpsenku a 99,- za kalhotky), na pokladně seděl chlapík, tak mi je ještě počítal jako jeden kus tj. celé za 99,-, což jsem zjistila až doma, ale rozhodně jsem se kvůli tomu nehodlala vracet :-))) A kupodivu mě i velmi dobře sedí :-)))

  3. Vi, I did it, bought a bikini at ASOS. It FITS!!! Can't wait for the vacation, now.

  4. Luci, ja jsem objevila nadherny francouzsky plavky D nu D. Bohuzel maji obchod jen v Parizi a bez vyzkouseni je to docela sazka do loterie, tak je muzes okouknout i za me. Mne se strasne libi - jednoduchy, nadcasovy a vypadaji skutecne pevny a kvalitni.

    1. Dekuji za tip, moc krasny! Az si jednou usetrim nebo se trvale prestehuji na plaz, tak mozna :)