Writer: Alysse Dalessandro | Shopping for swimwear is something we are told to dread at every size. Commercials prep us for months about our “summer bodies” so we don’t go into a dressing room and burst into tears. I remember that feeling of dread. I remember buying into the hype that my body wasn’t made for swimwear because I wasn’t supposed to be seen at all. I remember feeling like I had to just find whatever suit would fit my frame fat and disguise the fact that I had rolls and cellulite.
I had to learn that a society that perpetuates harmful beauty standards and fatphobia was the problem and not my body. A major part of my self love journey has been wearing plus size swimwear particularly bikinis. I think this is empowering for a lot of reasons. There’s a history of past shame that many fat folks associate with trying on swimwear and wearing it in public. And also, if you’re in a bikini, you can’t hide. Your self love has to stand up to whatever stares, glares and commentary may come your way. I’ve heard it all.
Wearing bikinis has been empowering for me but I recognize that everyone has different tastes. Staying true to your own personal style should always come first. Your comfort zone and your taste isn’t going to always be the same as mine and that’s okay. It’s more important to me that you wear something you like than that you wear what I wear.
Today, I got out of my bikini comfort zone because this polka dot sarong swimsuit from On The Plus Side was just too cute. It gave me total gaudy pin-up vibes. I paired it with flatforms, cateye shades and a high ponytail, of course.
Since I don’t usually wear skirted swimwear, I liked that the sarong was only in the front and the back fit more like a suit I’m used to. It was high cut in the front and open back. It’s perfectly appropriate for your family vacation but still sexy and fun. Most importantly, this is a suit that’s very comfortable fit-wise. I’m wearing the 2X and it’s highly stretchy that I almost could’ve sized down. I didn’t have to struggle to pull over my thighs. Twice recently, I ended up flying home on a redeye flight while still wearing a bikini. It was less than a desirable situation. If I was wearing this suit, I may have actually gotten some sleep on the plane!
The most important thing that I want you to do this summer is wear whatever kind of swimsuit that you like. If polka dots are your thing (like me) then this suit is perfect. If you want to wear a suit that covers your arms, do it. But don’t let anyone else but you dictate what you wear. You could be in a full sweatsuit on the beach and someone could still fat shame you so you might as well wear what you like!