A reader asks: "Bathing suits for medium-sized girls." Not really a question, but who's counting? I suspected (and then confirmed) that she meant itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie bikinis were out, although of course I do believe that even medium-sized girls can wear 'em. No matter, the reader requested tummy-covering suits and so tummy-covering suits she shall have! Let's do this....
Victoria's Secret actually seems to have the most extensive tankini collection I could find. My favorite is this whimsical polka-dot tankini, $38 for the top and $20 for the bottom. Here's my second fave:
Push-up halter tankini top, $44 for the top and $38 for matching bottoms. Hooray, Miracle Bra!
This suit gets my vote for biggest bitch to get out of. Jantzen strappy one-piece with wraparound belt, $112.
This is slightly boring, but a good basic option: Calvin Klein turquoise tankini, $39.99. Note the magic words for ladies with actual boobies: "lightly padded cups."
J.Crew of course has a solid selection of one-pieces. This polka-dot halter tank, $74, is my fave. Strangely, if you purchase the same suit (but with a lower back) in a solid color (which costs six dollars less), you can order it padded for four more dollars, bringing your total to $72. Following?
Gap nautical one-piece, $34.99. This also comes in tankini form.
I'm also a huge fan of the tankini. Easy when you have to visit the ladies' room, provides a hint of skin and is usually flattering even if you've got a little extra, uh, skin in that area. Gap pique tankini, $50 total.
Here's an unusual take on the tankini: it's all blousy! $52 for the top and $36 for the bottom.
Getting back to one-pieces, the bane of the beach bathroom-goer's existence but sleek and requiring of less sunscreen, which is criminally expensive as it is: BCBG stencil-print one-piece, $134.
Not sure how this would look on a medium sized, rather than extra small, girl, but here you have it: Damsel one-piece, $88.
Probably safer is this cute-as-cherry-pie Betsey Johnson polkadot number. $156.
Billabong athletic one-piece is sporty and sexy at the same time.
This Alice + Olivia floral suit looks smashing! Unfortunately it also looks rather boob-smashing. $187.
Surprisingly enough (or maybe not) Delia's has a pretty cute selection of one-pieces. My favorite is this halter one-piece, which comes in a variety of colors and prints. I like the strawberry and gingham versions. With removable straps; $42.50.
Speaking of gingham, retro cuteness from Juicy Couture, $155.
Ya gotta stay away from florals most of the time, unless you want to end up looking like Mom. At least that's my worry. But I like this OP Polynesian-print one-piece, $74. With cutouts at the chest and sides, which, speaking of...
The cutout situation is getting a little bit ridiculous. I like the above American Apparel suit (on sale for $20!), but just look at the following tragedies. Seriously, what kind of weird world are we living in when American Apparel is looking tasteful? Some serious offenders:
Vicky's Secret cutout suit, $120.
Damsel striped cutaway one-piece, $88. Really?
Trina Turk printed "monokini", $138. What's with this bit-o-floss-up-the-torso trend? Thoroughly weird.
Zimmermann slinky knotted 1-piece, 165 pounds. Who is going to look good in this? Lordie, lordie, give me strength.
And now for some serious mind-bogglers. NOT for the faint of heart or good of taste:
Ummmmm.... $104 for that, folks.
Norma Kamali thinks maybe you'd like a legging bottom to go with your tankini top. What? $110.
Seriously, she is off her rocker. This one costs $275 and is not for swimming or sunning products. What is it good for exactly, attracting C3PO at the Star Wars convention?