Reader Polina left this comment on Lane's One-Piece Swimsuit Manifesto:
Mamas, could someone please suggest a swimsuit for those of us with a real pooch problem? Like when your pooch has plateaued at looking 5 months pregnant even though you have lost all the baby weight and than some?
I get it. I so, soooooo get it. As you may recall, last summer I was still fighting a pooch. And...to be honest, I'm still sorta fighting it (no pooch as long as I don't eat. But once I have breakfast - BAM).
So yeah. Last year, I tried everything. And the sad news is that nothing really works. There isn't a suit out there that will totally get rid of a post-partum belly. This ruched number from Land's End helped...but if you look closely, the pooch is still there (although the gorgeous Esther had more luck).
We went through all of this in great detail in our 10 Tips To Hide a Post-Partum Pooch in a Swimsuit article (last summer), and we learned a ton in the process. At the end of the day, I gave up, avoided mirrors, and rocked* a bikini. So...you know. There's always that helpful tip. (Snort).
*as much as one can rock a bikini with a pooch.
So applying our 10 Tips from last year...here's our current picks of swimsuits that may help to hide a truly post-partum pooch.
Ruching and Plunging
Without a doubt, a post-partum mama's best option is a suit with tons of ruching in the belly, plus a sexy, low, v-neckline. This combo is as close as you will come to actually hiding the pooch.
A. Miraclesuit's Sonatina, $142
This is the gold standard for pooch-hiding. This suit will suck your pooch right in and hold it. Expect this suit to give you the best side-view, as well.
B. J.Crew Ruched Femme Tank, $82
This is a more affordable version of Miraclesuit's Sonatina. I actually prefer the slightly lower neckline of this J.Crew suit. However, while this suit is nicely ruched, it doesn't *quite* have the pooch-sucking power of the Miraclesuit.
Sexy swim-dresses are hard to find. But Cocoa Rave nailed theirs - the length is perfect, the suit is nicely ruched, and the plunging neckline keeps the look sexy, not matronly. The flirty little ruffle would help distract from the pooch. This suit won't totally hide the pooch...but rather distract from it.
Reader Jenny recommended this suit. I'm totally intrigued. It has all of the components needed for successful pooch-hiding: great ruching, slimming panels and a low(ish) neckline. For $33? Yowza. Also comes in polka-dot (patterns also help distract).
E. Zimmerman One-Piece Halter Suit, $180
M and I do love these plunge suits. Finding one that prevents nip-slip (as Lane previously pointed out) is key. This one, WOW...despite the price, it might be my top plunge-pick. See what's happening at the bottom of the plunge neckline? It's ruched. Perfect.
Blouson, Patterns, & Ruffles Oh My
A. Blouson Suits
(Shown: Badgley Mischka Blouson One-Piece, $90 on sale)
These blouson suits are surprisingly sexy. Clearly, when exiting the water all dripping wet your suit will cling to the pooch...but these suits are pretty quick-dry. It might be worth it. I also love J.Crew's Feather Blouson Tank, $88 (pictured at the beginning of the article) or Asymmetrical Blouson Tank, $118.
B. Ruched and Printed
Patterns do help to distract from the pooch, but it's not enough if the patterned suit is smooth. However...combine patterns and ruching, and you have a pooch-hiding winner! (The truth will always be told by the side-view, however.) I love the Painted Glass Maillot for the gorgeous pattern and strategic ruching...and the extra panels on the Michael Kors' striped suit make horizontal stripes work for a poochy mama, not against.
C. Is For Color-Blocking
There's nothing more obnoxious than a $500 swimsuit. I know. But it's here for inspiration because it's So. Flippin. Perfect. The high-waisted dark bottom and light top do an amazing job of pooch-hiding. Plus, it's ruched. And has a low neckline. Finding a suit like this would be a sure bet.
Tory Burch's Color-blocked swimsuit doesn't have any ruching (and the side view would reveal all)...but from the front, this suit could be gorgeous on a post-partum mama.
D. Distract With Ruffles
Throw a bunch of ruffles on a one-piece and you have a decent pooch-hider. The Sirens suit is my fav (thanks to Tasim for the recommendation)...but they are TOTALLY sold out! Of everything! (Bookmark it, Mamas. They come out with a whole new line in August.) J.Crew's Flutter tank might also help to disguise that extra bit....
Tankinis (With a Warning)
I don't love tankinis for post-partum Mamas. You can see why here. General stomach flabbiness, yes. But a truly post-partum stomach? No.
HOWEVER. If you pair a tummy-tucking bottom with a tankini top that has some extra distraction features....the combination should hide even the most stubborn post-partum pooch.
A. Shabby Apple's Hawley Swim Top, $55
Pair a glamorous swim top with a high-waisted brief for a spoof on the $500 color-blocked suit mentioned above. There's no ruching to camouflage, but the color-blocking alone may be enough tame the pooch.
B. Miraclesuit's Magic Suit
Miraclesuit is pairing tankini tops with a high-waisted brief that helps to tame the pooch. While the styling of their ruffled tankini top gives me a headache...this combo is perfect for pooch-hiding. If you are looking for something less....ruffled? leopard-printed? jeweled? then try their striped and ruched tankini top.
C. Gottex Spring Daisy Tankini Top, $98
Most tankinis don't allow enough swing to truly hide a post-partum pooch...but the little extra fabric on this top (as well as the pattern) should do the trick. Layer it over a high-waisted, tummy-tucking brief.
D. Hapari Tummy Tuk Bottoms, $28
These bottoms were originally recommended by a reader, and we're continually getting feedback from others on how good these are. Additionally, they come in the widest range of colors, and have the highest waist of any other briefs we've found. And only $28? A steal.
Now THIS is how it's done. This Gottex tankini top is post-partum pooch-hiding perfection. The extra ruffle of fabric will help to hide even the most stubborn of pooches. Pair this baby with a Tummy Tuk bottom and watch your pooch (mostly) disappear.
Happy Swimming, Mamas!!