DH and I are just back from a trip down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The day before we left to head down, he decided he needed a map of the area and we walked past a new store called Helen of Troy. They had some lovely bra and panty sets displayed in the window along with a sign declaring that they carry bras up to size K.
Now, I had no intention of entering the store, after all, I patronize another local shop with a lovely Frenchwoman who is extremely knowledgeable and carries very sturdy, serviceable bras. You know, the kind that hold the girls in place like nature never intended and should never be seen in public. Not like these lacy confections in colors I have only dreamed about. I'm sure none of them would even hold me up.
But then I saw them. The bathing suits. And DH told me to go check the place out.
I have no idea what I was thinking when I walked in. There wasn't a visible price tag anywhere. The fitter was half my age and kind of perky. This could never work. I declined new measurements, since I am actually wearing the proper size and figured we could just start from there and tweak the size as the style dictated.
I tried on bras. As I expected, the styles were all wrong for me and made my poor girls look like a sad joke. Between my natural size, my age and my serious weight loss, I have learned that a moulded plunge bra does nothing but make me and the fitter burst into a fit of giggles. (My body image has improved so much--a year ago I would have burst into tears instead!)
Then after a consult with another fitter in store, she brought my another style. Sheer and lacy black, so pretty that I was positive it couldn't work. One tweak of the straps, however, and I really did almost cry. It fit. It fit so well and looked so good that I screwed up my courage and asked to try on swimsuits.
It is back to school shopping season, so the selection was limited. It was also 40% off.
The only top they had that was close to my size was a black tankini with little spaghetti straps. She said she brought one band size larger than I would actually need since most women don't want the suit to be super form-fitting in the midsection and showed me the bra band inside the suit (it had a built-in underwire bra). Once again, after a little strap tweaking, I was well supported and the three styles of bottoms brought to me allowed for the level of coverage I felt would work best.
I bought the suit, and the bra. I spent less than I thought I would.
And I wore that bathing suit on a public beach without a cover up. Without shame.
Looking down in disbelief that the bathing suit shows nothing indecent.
Backside coverage as well.
DH has no future as a photographer.
BTW: the bra (no photos, sorry, not going to happen) and tankini top are both by Panache and are available online and you can search for a local brick-and-mortar retailer. The bottoms are by Curvy Kate.
I just want to let you all know that these types of items are out there and no matter where you are in your weight loss journey, you too can go to the beach without shame!