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:
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:
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:
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 email@example.com. Please let us know your first name (or nickname), your age, and where you live.