Monday, July 07, 2008

Making a Splash!

Over the past few years, I have been racking my brains trying to come up with a modest swimwear solution. I've been avoiding swimming because I always felt uncomfortable, even in a conservative one-piece with shorts on over it.

While people have widely diverging thoughts on modesty and there is no "one size fits all," I thought I would share my solution -- partly because I'm excited to have found it, and partly because I hope this will be helpful to those who have the same concerns and criteria that I had!

First, I wanted something that I wouldn't be ashamed to wear to the grocery store -- not that I would necessarily wear it there! But I didn't want a swimsuit that I would normally consider indecent to wear in public.

A few years ago, I bought a lone tankini top on after-summer clearance for about $10 from Beall's (a department store in Florida). The only problem with it was that it was too immodest to be worn alone, and it was several sizes too large! But it was too adorable to pass up, so I kept it for a rainy day. This Spring, I finally figured out what I could do to solve my problem:

I purchased an inexpensive short-sleeved leotard from NY Dancewear -- it would have been much easier to find one if I hadn't already purchased my navy blue tankini top. A rash guard would also work as a swim shirt, making sleeves unneccesary on the leotard.

I am now glad that my tankini is a few sizes too big. I wouldn't want it to be skin tight, and the leotard underneath ensures that no skin is showing.

For shorts, I was very blessed to find some microfiber athletic shorts at JC Penney (on clearance!). I had been looking at board shorts, but they were hard to find in the right color and length, and they were also very expensive. My shorts are fitted, but not tight -- perfect for swimming.

I have worn my swimsuit a few times already at the beach, and I love it! It's heavier than a normal swimsuit, but hey -- in the 19th century, some swimsuits weighed over twenty pounds!

I was able to put my swimsuit together for about $45, which is certainly comparable to what I would pay for a typical swimsuit in a store. And if I find other tankini tops that I like, I'll be able to mix-and-match.

I'm sure I get stares from other beach-goers in my "get up," but I've found that I don't really care! I would much rather retain my dignity than my pride.

And let me tell you, with how hot it is this summer, I'm very relieved to be able to swim again! Now if only the jellyfish would go away...


  1. What a wonderful idea! It is much more modest than one-piece swimming suits. I think I'll look into getting myself things similar for the beach. The looks you'd get if you went to a swimming pool would be interesting!

  2. That is a great solution for modest swim-wear!
    This summer I made my own out of some Lycra fabric we got on sale. I made a regular T-shirt pattern for the top but lengthened it, and made a pair of tighter leggings (mid-calf length) with a knee length skirt sewn on top, with an elastic waist.
    I really like it...but it is still a bit clingy when wet. But wet is what swimming is all about!! :)
    Julia in Oklahoma

  3. Shannon! It's perfect!! I'm always on the lookout for the perfect swimsuit, and yours is adorable!!!

    I feel so encouraged to to know you are brave enough to wear whatever you know is right in public.


  4. Very cute! Good job Shannon.

  5. I saw your sister's yesterday, and I think y'all look so cute! It looks alot like my "solution" too :)

  6. That is so cute! I love it! I have a one piece swimming suit that I've had the last six years or so which has a built in skirt, but it still is mini skirt length, and whenever I went to the pool or lake/pond I wore a lightweight wrap skirt with it. I like your idea better, since you don't have to worry about skirts floating up around you when you are in the water! :)


  7. That is a great suit Shannon! It is so hard to know what to do for an alternative to the very immodest suits. I don't really swim much these days, but I would like my children to swim(they still need to learn), but there really isn't a whole lot out there I'd want them in.

    Thanks for the idea:-)


  8. How cute Shannon! I love the top! It's very sailor-ish! I love it!

  9. I can so sympathise with trying to find soemthing practical to swim in which I'd be willing to wear in public. And that looks so cute!, what a great idea.

  10. That was a great idea Shannon! I know how very frustrating it can be to find any sort of modest swimwear.

  11. Cute. I have a nice swimdress. Its blue and white checked. I hated not having sleeves and being so low cut. I paired it with a fitted white tshirt underneath and its perfect.

  12. Congratulations on your creativity and attractive outfit! Now you have me laughing, because it just ocurred to me that most girls today would hate such an outfit because their skin would not be exposed to the sun!

    Swimming in the ocean looks like fun!

  13. What a wonderful idea. The swimsuits look very nice. They are much more normal--and thus hopefully are less attention-drawing than--suits like those here: . I just may have to do something similar....

  14. Thank you all for your encouragement! It can be really frustrating living in a beach community, where the concept of "modesty" doesn't seem to exist. So thank you for all of your kind words!

    Yours in Christ,

  15. What a wonderful idea! I'd been thinking of ways to get a more modest swimsuit, and this is the perfect solution! So now, if my old bathing suit is beyond repair, I have an idea to fall back on.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Vive Modestie!

  16. I want to thank you! I was thrilled to see your solution for a modest swimsuit! Wednesday my mom and I went to the secondhand store (I had asked G-d that the nessecary garments would be there and cheap,including the leotard) and they were! I am so excited and I can't wait to wear it at the beach next month. Thank you.
    Emmuna(faith in hebrew)
    p.s- visit my blog-
    I will be posting about the swimsuit and i will mention your blog.


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