Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bathing Suit Season...Oh Joy!

By: Alexandra Holmes

Have you heard the new trend? Turns out the new hot summer bathing suit trend is to wear a mu mu to cover your post triplet belly AND they have officially put it into law that all men must be attracted to stretch marks!

No? Oh I guess I made that up...

Well anyway... It's summer in Texas which means 100 plus degree weather, less clothes, more skin, and more opportunities to spin myself into a self conscious panic and end up curled in the fetal position in the bathroom rather than out in the sun with my kids. My husband and I are taking our kids home to Galveston for 4th of July and will have to be beach ready. Over the last few summers I have gotten pretty good at shopping for bathing suits that cover up and conceal parts that I don't want to show off. This year should be much better because I have recently lost quite a bit of weight (40+ lbs.) and I am still working on my super buff beach babe body. I'm not there yet but maybe by NEXT summer.

Before I would dare to search for bathing suits this year I had to do at least a little something about my stretch marks. As other multi-moms definitely know and singlet moms too, stretchies can look pretty gruesome and there isn't much you can do for about them short of getting them removed in a tummy tuck. (Which I plan on doing eventually...maybe). I did however find something this year that I have been VERY pleased with. It is a stretch mark cream that I got from BirchBox which is a site that I absolutely love that sends out beauty samples every month for $10 like a magazine subscription. I have discovered so many products and brands that I never would have known about before and the best part is that you can get points for reviewing products and referring friends and use the points to buy full size products. So, this miracle's called Apothoderm Stretch Mark Cream, it is about $80 which is cheaper than other more popular (and less effective, I promise) competitor brands out there. I used it immediately when I got it (Seriously, I was still in my car) and it actually worked in minutes to reduce the appearance of the stretch marks by filling or smoothing them and has continued to reduce the appearance of them over the few months that I have been using it. I took a picture in a bikini to show my mom the results and I might get brave enough to put it on here later...we shall see. Anyway, I definitely recommend checking that product out if you have an issue with stretch marks...other stretchy moms tell me to wear them with pride and that they are beautiful but while I am proud that I successfully carried triplets I don't feel the need to show off my stretch marks like a badge of honor...I breastfed too but you don't see me proudly walking around with no top ;)

So, now that I am feeling a little better about the stretch marks and a little less "hefty" then I was last summer I am ready to start swimsuit shopping. I still have some problem areas to address but suits are so well designed that it is easier than ever to get a suit you feel great in as long as you know what to look for.

Here is my shopping guide for suits below based on my experience shopping for myself through different body shapes and helping others shop.

If you have a hotty little body then stop reading and go buy a teency're making me hate you just being here. (Ok, not can stay)

If you have a not so abtastic belly that you want to camouflage a bit then I recommend something that looks like a tankini with some ruching or texture but has built in mesh support. These suits do a better job of concealing bellies then a regular one piece and look more stylish too. Spanx has some great slimming swimwear and their prices have really gone down since they started making swimsuits. If you can't or don't want to spend the extra on a "support" swimsuit than look for tankinis with a longer top so that you don't get that dreaded muffin top at the pool.

I love modern swimdresses, I discovered them when I was heavier but still love them now to cover up my hiny a little bit. I'm not talking about the one Grandma wears that goes up to your neck and down to your knees. I have a black Kenneth Cole halter top swimdress with a mesh support underneath that I got for a trip to Mexico 4 months after I had Aidan and I felt great in it and was comfortable enough to wear all day and into the night with my sarong and sandals.

Here is a picture of me on the beach in it.....'s not me...

I also have a Jantzen bandeau swimdress that always makes me want to wear a big hat and shades and have hot foreign men serve me drinks with umbrellas.

 This picture really is me...

Geez...You are hard to fool....

I always read that if you have a pooch that you should get high waisted bottoms but they always make me feel like an old lady and I get hot so I would rather cover from the top than the bottom. Even though I don't particularly like them, I have seen some ladies work it and look really retro and cool like Alana in the picture below.
Fellow Galvestonian Alana Anderson winning a retro swimsuit competition.

One thing that I almost always have to consider when picking my wardrobe and especially a bathing suit is the fact that I will not just be glamorously sun bathing by the water. I will be chasing kids, having my bathing suit pulled on, bending over to kiss boo boos, and who knows what else. I like to get versatile suits that are going to stay put. I am from Galveston Island and I have always liked the look of bikini tops and board shorts, so I really like this slightly more adult version of that look by Land's End. It is cool and summery with the surfer print but the sturdy halter top and cute board shorts are sure to cover up and stay put when your doing the mom obstacle course at the beach. A good family friend, whose four boys I grew up with, always wore these types of suits and looked so cute washing the car, out on the boat, or headed to the beach.

 In addition to the bathing suit, I have to have the whole ensemble to feel my best whether I am in my backyard or at the beach. I try and do my hair up so it is cute and out of the way, now that my hair is getting longer I like doing loose side braids so that my hat fits on and I don't mess up my hair laying back in a chair. I also HAVE to have a glam hat and glasses! Don't forget jewelry, I don't mean diamonds and pearls but some shell earrings or a beachy necklace always makes my beach outfit feel a little more chic.
Final Touch
My last accessory for any bathing suit is the most important for me...SUNSCREEN....I love being outside during the summer and I don't want to have to quit anytime soon so I spray SPF 30 on my body before I go out and keep 15 on the whole time. I wear at least 30 on my face in addition to the SPF 20 that is in my tinted moisturizer that I wear everyday. I like to use face specific sunblock that has special add ins like broad spectrum, anti-aging, or something else. I have been lucky enough to find samples of different face sunblock at charity walks/runs, drugstores, etc.

So now we have a great suit, great hair, beachy accessories, confidence, and preferably a Pina Colada! We are ready to hit the beach (or the kiddy pool in my case.)

Final Product....
This one really is me :)

I am proud to be a momma to my four boys but I don't want to feel like everyone is thinking "Well, she has four kids" when they see me in my bathing suit so I try to feel confident, sexy, and glamorous when I am stripping down to my suit. I think that investing in a quality suit that fits great and makes you feel even better is SO worth it because you can buy tons of cheap unflattering suits but if they make you feel like a whale then you shouldn't waste your money.

I look forward to buying some new suits this year and I hope this helps you pick out something you feel great in too.

Thanks for Reading,


The picture at the top came from a blog called Kiss My Gumbo that I found while writing this and she is from  Louisiana so no wonder another Gulf Coast girl had something so cute!


  1. Alex,

    Love your blog! Very colorful and informative. I found it through a link referral search. Keep it up and you look amazing!


  2. Thanks Dana! I just checked out the 365 Health and Fitness page and added the fitness tip of the day to my page. Maybe that will help get me bikini ready ;)