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Weekend Wednesday: Swimsuits

For this month’s deeper dive into weekend wear for working women, I thought we’d ponder swimsuits. Ladies, which are your favorite swimsuits? Do you wear them to the beach, the pool, or somewhere else? For those of you who swim for exercise, do you have a different suit just for laps or whatnot? What’s the top thing you look for in a swimsuit? (And, this may be an odd, introspective question, but do you think your workwear style has influenced your swimwear style — or, if you prefer more modest, classic styles than you did in your youth, do you just associate that with growing up?) 

swimsuits for professional women

Pictured: red bikini / blue one-piece / black one-piece (up to DDD!) / purple one-piece (reg sizes too)

For my $.02, my bust has always dominated my swimsuit needs, so for affordable options (and with shaping too!) I usually like the swimsuits from Lands’ End. If I’ve got a short trip to the pool planned, I tend to prefer a one-piece — but for beach vacations or other days where I may or may not be in my swimsuit all day (and where it may or may not be wet) I tend to prefer two pieces, if only for the ease of use for the bathroom.  I’m also a big fan of rash guards (sun is my enemy! J.Crew often has cute ones), and I’ve been surprised how much wear I’ve gotten out of a pair of swim-friendly board shorts that I bought on deep discount somewhere (Lands’ End I think; these board shorts at Nordstrom are highly rated). In years past I’ve also been a fan of MiracleSuit (the purple one-piece above is highly rated in both regular and plus sizes) for when I really wanted to prioritize looking great over being comfortable.

Ladies, let’s hear it — is there a place in your weekend wardrobes for swimsuits? Which are your favorites? (And, just for kicks: which would you wear to an office pool party?)

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What to Wear to the Office Pool Party…

office pool partyCan you wear a bikini to an office function? Are women really “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” when it comes to the office pool party? Reader B wonders…

My office is planning a couple “beach days” or “boat days” this summer. This will be primarily coworkers, but families may be invited to 1-2. I am the youngest person in my office by about 10 years and also one of very few females in my male-dominated company. We are a casual to business casual office normally.

What does one wear to something like this? I don’t want to wear something my coworkers will be chatting about Monday, but my typical beach/swimwear (bikini + straw hat + little coverup dress) seems like it would perhaps be too risque for an office party?

After I sent her the post and discussion from the last time we talked about what kind of swimsuit to wear for an office function, B wrote back:

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Poll of the Week: Should Anyone Wear an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini To An Office Function?

This came up a while back and we wanted to postpone until it was actually warm enough to go swimming, but here is a question for the ages: if your conservative office has a pool party, boating trip, or something else where swimsuits would otherwise be appropriate, what do you wear? Particularly in light of the British scandal over some Speedo photos, we wondered what the masses thought.

For our $.02… it’s hard to answer this from a meta level, actually, because every part of our brain screams FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT WEAR A SWIM SUIT AMONG COLLEAGUES.  While on vacation amongst people you don’t know, it’s almost like being alone — no one can really judge, and so many people wear a swimsuit inappropriately (too small, too loose, too burnt to a crisp, etc) that it’s hard to single any one person out as The Worst Offender Of All Time at a public beach. However, change the group to fifty people who you vaguely know by name or reputation alone, and that “no judgments” rule changes big time. So, for our two cents, we’d wear a sundress or the most sun-dressy cover-up we could find, and leave the water to private vacations.

As we’ve demonstrated, this question is inevitably tied to personal body issues — but the more interesting question may not be what you would do, but what you think others should do.  So please answer as if you’re advising a little sister who has no body issues.

bikini

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