You Asked It

Damn Girl Ya Look Good: Swimsuit Edition

Bathing costumes are not the hellzone that you may think they are!

A recent Rookie beach day. Left to right: Gabby, Amy Rose, Hazel, Laia, and Lola, via our Instagram.

A recent Rookie beach day. Left to right: Gabby, Amy Rose, Hazel, Laia, and Lola, via our Instagram.

I’m trying to find a high-waisted bikini with a unique print that doesn’t break the bank. I saw some at the beginning of the season at Forever 21, but they don’t carry the same ones anymore, and the ones at PacSun and ModCloth are a little too expensive for me. —Michelle, Colorado

One thing I’ve learned from shopping regrets: Mall shops have a very high merchandise turnover, so if you see something you love in right price range, get it while you can! Otherwise, as you unfortunately experienced, it’ll most likely disappear for good, no matter how many Missed Connections love notes you write to it in your imaginationz.

But fear not! I’ve lurked the World Wide Web and found you some possible replacements! Here are a few inexpensive options to check out:

Top row, from left: macaron-print Bikini, $33, Romwe; striped Bikini, $23, Romwe; pink and black bikini, $40, ASOS. Bottom row, from left: polka-dot swimsuit, $12, Rosegal; halter swimsuit, $15, Rosegal; striped swimsuit, $12, Rosegal.

Top row, left to right: macaron-print bikini, $33, Romwe; striped bikini, $22,
Romwe; pink-and-black bikini, $20.50, ASOS. Bottom row, L–R: polka-dot swimsuit, $12, Rosegal; halter swimsuit, $15, Rosegal; striped swimsuit, $11.50, Rosegal.

Ranging from the cost of a medium pizza ($12) to upwards of about 30 bucks or so, any of these high-waisted two-pieces would look bomb on the beach. It all depends on what tickles your fancy. If you’re into the pinup look, the polka-dot and nautical suits would be perfecto (and on the cheaper end of the range!), but if you’re willing to shed a few more hard-earned coins, that macaron print one is totally worth it!

I do want to say, though, that while cheaper suits might be easier on your wallet in the short term, higher-end ones can last for years. I have an Esther Williams swimsuit that’s still going strong after six years! Good luck on your high-waisted hunt! —Marie

I need a swimsuit that will feel comfortable and also look super hot. I don’t shave down there, so I was wondering if there are reasonably priced, flattering bikinis with bottoms that’ll cover my pubes. —Marie, 15, Phoenix

Recently, as I was preparing to go on vacation, I had the same query. I had recently stopped shaving my Venus Mound, and this was going to be my first swimsuit-required trip after the return of my bush! Was this something I should worry about? Should I let my pubes hang out with me by the pool? I’m sure they wanted to enjoy the vacation as well!

It just so happened that a retro-style bathing suit I bought around that time was cut low on the leg, so it concealed all parts of my magical puffball. It was a similar cut to the high-waisted bikini bottoms in this collage of cool options for you:

Top row, from left: boy shorts, $21, Venus; high-waisted bottom, $42, Urban Outfitters; green swim shorts, $10.50, Urban OG. Bottom row, from left: side-tie bottoms, $24, Macy's; black shorts, $15, Target; skirtini bottoms, $22, Kohl's.

Top row, left to right: boy shorts, $21, Venus; high-waisted bottom, $42, Urban Outfitters; green swim shorts, $10.50, Urban OG. Bottom row, L–R: side-tie bottoms, $24, Macy’s; swim shorts, $15, Target; skirtini bottoms, $22, Kohl’s.

Most bikini bottoms, including some of the shorts I found for you, range from about $10-$20. Once you find the right pubes-disguising bottom, pick out a cute top to go with it! A lot of stores are offering “mix and match” bikinis, like ASOS and GoJane, the latter of which has tops in different colors for $12 and tankinis for $19. Hope that helps! —Marie

I like dressing androgynously, but most girls’ bathing suits don’t suit a tomboy look. I was thinking swim trunks would work for the bottom, but I’m having trouble with the top. I’ve seen some people wear what look like swim shirts, but I’m worried about the tan lines those would make. How can I look good, but still feel like me? —Caroline, 19, Nashville

You’re so right—most ladies’ swimsuits are NOT geared towards those who might like to dress androgynously. But never fear: Tomboys, queers, and all stripes of non-tiny-bikini-lovers have been dealing with this EXACT issue for decades, and now there are tons of swimwear options to suit your tastes!

For an androgynous look at the beach, start from the bottom. Swim trunks, as you mention, will totally work. If you need some inspiration, there are lots of different types to choose from—I mean, there are boyshort-style bottoms! Cute vintage men’s trunks! You could also try board shorts or modern men’s swim shorts.

As far as tops go, you’re in luck, because anything and everything can be paired with those bottoms: For full coverage, if you decide you don’t mind odd tan lines so very much, you could try a rash guard, easily findable at places like Roxy, Volcom, and Athleta. You could also pair one of the bottoms mentioned above with, say, a breezy, open muscle tank top and a sports bra (this is a lot of my friends’ #1 favorite beach look, and it always looks badass). But, since you say you’re worried about tan lines, you could also try a sporty racerback top, or one that looks like a sports bra. Go forth and splash! – Krista

I have small breasts. While I’m mostly able to wear clothing I feel comfortable in, swimsuits are tougher for me. I’m mostly concerned that if I wear a one-piece, I’ll look too adolescent, and I find two-pieces don’t really flatter me. Any tips? —Nicola

I know you might feel self-conscious about your chi-chis, but you’re lucky you don’t have to worry about them falling out of your suit! The grass is always greener. Anyway, with so many different options in swimwear now, we can definitely find you something. One-piece-wise, I suggest you go with something TRULY WILD. I LOVE the idea of you parading around in this rainbow-dot monokini. You could also sport something with more risqué details, like the first suit here:

First row, from left: strapless suit, $37, GoJane; dot monokini, $18, Walmart; underwire one-piece, $27, Charlotte Russe.  Bottom row, from left: bandeau top, $18.50, Urban OG; cropped bikini top, $27, Macy's; black bikini top, $20.50, Macy's.

First row, right to left: strapless suit, $37, GoJane; dot monokini, $18, Walmart; underwire one-piece, $27, Charlotte Russe. Bottom row, L–R: bandeau top, $18.50, Urban OG; cropped bikini top, $32.50, Macy’s; black bikini top, $20.50, Macy’s.

A cool suit like one of those probably won’t make you feel like a little kid! And if you want to flaunt and/or enhance what you got, try something with underwire or padding, like that Charlotte Russe number above, or this super-cute striped suit. As for bikinis, I’d go for a bandeau-style top or something with a ruffle, like the three on the bottom up there. I also love this blue swimsuit, which has sexy side straps, and this crazy windowpane bikini! —Marie ♦

If you are like, “I love clothes, but why are they a confusing nightmare?” email your fashion questions to Marie and her crew at damngirl@rookiemag.com. Please let us know your first name (or nickname), your age, and where you live.

20 Comments

  • soviet_kitsch June 10th, 2014 11:24 PM

    @nicola: small boobs are a BLESSING. i’m a 36c and was a 32a for years and years and i actually really miss it. enjoy your small cans and dress em however you want; they’re marvelous! (also: for the record, even with my big boobs on full display i still get mistaken for a 12-year-old, something 16-year-old me would hate if she had known)

  • caitmcqueen June 11th, 2014 12:02 AM

    I’m obsessed with Gabby and Laia’s swimsuits! If you don’t mind me asking, where did you guys find them? They’re perfect.

    • AveryMaria June 11th, 2014 3:04 AM

      Ohmygosh, Laia’s is amazing. I have to know where it’s from.

      • Laia June 11th, 2014 11:58 AM

        hi! my swimsuit is from h&m!

        • ladyjenna June 11th, 2014 1:17 PM

          Can we have citations for all of the swimsuits pictured please?? They’re all amazing

          • Amy Rose June 11th, 2014 2:06 PM

            Mine is from Walmart a year ago, Lo’s is this one from ModCloth, Gabby’s is this one from ASOS, Laia’s is H&M from a while ago, and Hazel’s, she describes as “basic high-waisted from Urban Outfitters a year ago.” Hope this helps!

          • caitmcqueen June 11th, 2014 9:21 PM

            Found Gabby’s swimsuit! Asos has two versions, the one that Amy Rose posted, and this one which I think is the exact one Gabby is wearing. Just ordered it, it is too cute and surprisingly well-priced!

  • maureenandstuff June 11th, 2014 12:29 AM

    My issue is the opposite of Nicola’s. I’m a 36 E so finding swim suit tops that fit and are even the slightest bit flattering is the world’s biggest hassle. I have seriously not had a real swimsuit since 2010. sigh.

  • billie June 11th, 2014 1:23 AM

    Opposite problem of Nicola here :( I’m a 30H which is ridic enough on it’s own. Finding a swimsuit that fits and hasn’t been designed for my grandmother is damn near impossible.

  • Alabastrowa June 11th, 2014 5:05 AM

    I’m totally in love with Hazel’s swimsuit <3

  • madeofamethyst June 11th, 2014 12:55 PM

    For the first person who wanted high-waisted bikinis- be careful with those websites, I checked them out and they have some not-so-hot reviews.

  • krypting June 11th, 2014 3:04 PM

    it’s disappointing to see that this piece only really deals with thin people/straight sizes. i feel it would of been prudent of you to take this opportunity to make bigger bikini-wearers feel more included, i found this to be a little alienating.

    • Amy Rose June 11th, 2014 3:16 PM

      Hey, Krypting. I totally understand your feelings here, and am sorry you felt alienated. Here is a DGYLG that has ideas and options that aren’t just straight-sized, and I LOVE the suits on SwimsuitsForAll, especially their “collections,” which include all manner of rad prints, cuts, and styles. If you have any questions, feel free to send ‘em to us! And thanks for this comment, on the real.

  • rosalielimm June 11th, 2014 5:11 PM

    you asked for it? yes, i definitely did! i was thinking about retro swimsuits on my way home and then, i found this really nice article which is going to be really helpful for me <3

    the macarons-bikini is perfection and i need it in my life.

    rosalie

    Lost in my mind

  • flapperhatgirl June 11th, 2014 7:49 PM

    This was really helpful, especially the last one. I have the same problem, but I’ve found that one piece bathing suits can be really sexy and cute if you find the right one! (I have a white lace bathing suit that I looove). This article had so many good suggestions… I’m seriously considering buying the maroon number!

  • Ingrid V June 11th, 2014 9:52 PM

    Oh God, I love Amy Rose’s bikini, where did you get it?

    Also, thanks, while I don’t think I’ll be able to buy any swimsuits in the internet (I’ve had some terrible experiences), this post brought me some nice inspiration for when I’ll go shopping one.

  • 3LL3NH June 12th, 2014 5:25 AM

    Caroline’s question and Krista’s answer are on the ball. Thanks, Rookie.

  • Hannnah June 12th, 2014 7:00 AM

    I asked a similar question to Marie’s and the side-tie shorts are exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! But shipping to the UK costs more than the shorts themselves :( does anyone have any suggestions for something like those in the UK/Europe?

  • Erin. June 12th, 2014 11:00 AM

    That macaron bikini is so cute!
    I’m in the same boat as Marie when it comes to bathing suits. Except my pubic hair is too “extensive” to be concealed by regular “shorts style” bottoms. I’ve been using longer board shorts for years, but I’m getting sick of them. Does anyone know of any alternatives to this? I feel like I’m extra restricted, because I also only wear tankini tops (due to hair on my torso).

  • Epa June 13th, 2014 3:29 AM

    This is exactly what I needed! :D
    And I agree vintage swimsuits are the best :)
    But they aren’t really me…
    I’m glad you included someone who is looking for a more androgenous look! And if you really want to go on the next “level” underworks makes binders made for swimming! It looks like something surfers might wear…. :)

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