When I was a teenager, I thought I was fat. Part of this was due to the usual adolescent insecurity, and part was due to the fact that I danced, but even when you weigh 15 or 20 pounds more than the teeny-tiny ballerinas in your company, you feel like an utter cow in comparison. The thing was, I wasn't fat. At all. But it took me a very long time to shake that notion. As in, most of my twenties, and maybe a little of my thirties. So a few years ago, I really started taking care of my body—a big component of this was starting Core Fusion at Exhale, which to this day is the one type of exercise (aside from dance) that I actually like doing. And at some point I realized that not only I am still not fat, I wasted years of my life thinking I was. If I could go back in time, I would tell my 16-year-old self to show more skin, be more confident, wear things that are shorter, tighter, sexier. In other words, dress like teenagers do now!
So while I spent much of my life covering up in tankinis, boy shorts, and other camouflage-oriented swimwear, I've discovered in the last few years that I can wear bikinis. And while the styles I like would probably be considered tame in, say, Brazil, I've found that traditional triangle tops and side-tie bottoms look best on me—and I would venture that with their adjustable, customizable construction, they'd look good on a lot of people, perhaps testament to their enduring popularity. Now, considering how little fabric is involved in bikinis, people often balk at their high price tags, but when you are practically almost naked to the world, you want those tiny triangles of Lycra to be as well constructed as possible, so as to best support and flatter your assets. And, believe me, there is a lot of construction and refinement of fit that goes into a swimsuit. My favorite suits, by Vix, tend to run close to $200, for example, but I firmly believe that when it comes to swimwear, you get what you pay for. (And if you take care of it properly, it can last for several years, if not more.)
this soothing, tie-dyed beauty from a collaboration between A.P.C. and Tooshie, which is a French swimwear label not widely available here. There are 11 pieces in the collection, including some one-pieces and some swim trunks for the guys, but the traditional bikini is my favorite. It's simple, and yet the bottoms are slightly wider on the sides and thus a bit more forgiving than the traditional style. I look at it and just think summer. The stumbling block, however, is the price, which is a bit outside of my swimsuit comfort zone and hence why this qualifies as an object of desire. Then again, I think of all the years I wasted covering myself up on the beach, so maybe it's worth it, to make up for all that lost time. And considering it's only a matter of time before things start sagging and drooping, perhaps there's no time like the present. Carpe diem! Which, in my book, is Latin for "Wear a bikini!"