It's taken me over two years as a mom to be able to say this...but I now think that one-piece swimsuits deserve a little love. The current crop of one-piece swimsuits are not only practical and flattering, they are downright hot. Hot in a wildly sexy way. And let's face it, for postpartum moms facing a looong summer, do they really have any other valid options? The postpartum jelly-belly is pretty frightening. And even if you've managed to tone down the jelly-belly, many of us just don't look like we used to. So if the thought of lounging pool-side in a bikini (while your flab hangs out with its best friend, Gravity) makes you want to run screaming....fear not.
Post-Baby Pooch? Ruche it Away!
The brown suit pictured at left is the Sweetheart One Piece by Ron Beattie for La Blanca, $119 at Nordstroms.com. This suit offers good support for the 'girls' (shelf bra with foam-lined cups), as well as a seriously ruched midsection to hide any post-baby belly.
Miraclesuit's Sonatina One Piece (shown at right in gray), boasts shirring at the bust, straps and waist to make you look 10 lbs trimmer. This suit has some post-baby belly banishing powers. The Sonatina is available at Nordstroms.com for $130.
Need better support for the girls (at a lower price point)?
Try the Valletta Solid Bandeau Twist Tank Suit (not pictured), with a built in underwire bra. Best of all, this suit comes in a beautiful range of muted colors and retails for only $58.50 at Land's End.
Camouflage Post-Baby Belly Softness with Romantic Florals Anthropologie's Drenched Damask Maillot (pictured at left) leaves me a bit breathless. Ooooooohhhhh! And at $228, it should. (Let's think about price-per-wear, girls!). This suit has a tie halter, a sexy little peek-a-boo keyhole and a slight shirring on the
belly, as well as boning at the sides for extra support. For someone with just a little poochiness, this suit would be perfect.
Juicy Couture has also jumped on the retro floral bandwagon with their Beach Tea Rose Maillot, $160 at Nordstroms.com. They've edged their suit in eyelet trim, and added a waist belt.
...Or Boho-Chic Prints
Maryan Melhorn's Cruise 2010 line (example pictured at left) is filled with sophisticated boho prints, and feature swimsuits with underwire support, molded foam cups and removable straps. These suits run around $200 per suit at southbeachswimwear.com
I'm also loving Ondade Mar's Saint Barth One-Piece Swimsuit, pictured at right. This suit is $174 at southbeachswimwear.com.
Go Sophisticated with Sleek One-Shoulder Maillots
The Gleaming Pewter Maillot, $168 at Anthropologie.com, might be my personal favorite (pictured at left). The graceful lines, decent bum coverage, and details like the ruched bust make this one special. I also love the upscale feel of the fabric and color.
Land's End has a surprisingly great option, their One-Shoulder Tummy Control Swimsuit, only $62.50. I love the hardware detail on the strap, and tummy control? Who doesn't love that?
Want a Crazy-Sexy-One Piece? Then Take the Plunge
M somehow managed to rock this American Apparel Nylon Tricot Maillot-V swimsuit during a recent Mexico trip...when she was only 6ish months post-partum! I have to imagine that this suit is also easy to nurse in. (smirk) According to M, the band below the bust was just enough support...and this suit was her husband's favorite. No wonder. This is probably not the go-hang-out-at-the-kiddie-pool-everyday kind of a suit...but if you want some serious sex appeal, then give this one a try. It retails at americanapparel.com for $45.
Suits with a serious plunging neckline can also be post-nursing friendly. You know, that stage when 'the girls' disappear altogether? Combine a plunging neckline with some ruffle distraction, and you might almost fool someone into thinking that you still have a chest.
My current favorite is the Plunge-Neck Frill-Trim Swimsuit by JETs by Jessica Allen, $230 at Net-a-Porter.com (pictured at right)....but ABS by Allen Schwartz has a less expensive option (in a muted purple) at Nordstroms for $119....
If you haven't seen Spanx's line of swimwear...it's nothing short of amazing. Totally adorable, completely flattering...and currently on sale for 40% off at spanx.com!! Here are my favorites:
Pictured at left is Spanx's adorable and flirty one-shoulder one-piece, currently on sale for $107.
Pictured at right is Spanx's Bandeau One-Piece, which also comes with a detachable strap. This suit is also on sale for $107.
A Note About Retro One-Pieces
Jantzen's Vamp Maillot (pictured at left) has retro glamour in spades, and is a perfect example of retro done right. However, if you are someone with larger thighs, please keep in mind that the super-low retro leg opening does draw attention to the upper thigh. Moms worried about their upper thighs are better off with a swimsuit that has a higher leg opening. This higher leg will help to visually lengthen the look of the thigh.
Jantzen's retro suit is available at SwimOutlet.com for $92....
Sooo...what do you think, Moms? Are you going to rock a one-piece this year, brave a bikini, or stick with the ubiquitous mom-tankini?