Help! I Need To Buy My First Swimsuit

I have spent my entire life diving into large and small bodies of water naked as a jaybird and happy as a duck, and that’s the way I always thought it would be.

I was going to post a picture of myself in my swimsuit for this piece, but I have been informed that xoJane is not that kind of website. You see, the thing about my swimsuit, is that it is a very excellent swimsuit. It’s warm, comfortable, form-fitting, never slips even under stressful conditions, and flatters my colouring quite nicely.

It’s the one I was born in.

I have never purchased what for lack of words I would call an “accessory swimsuit” although for the purposes of this article we’ll call it a “swimsuit.” Nor have I ever owned one. I have spent my entire life diving into large and small bodies of water naked as a jaybird and happy as a duck, and that’s the way I always thought it would be.

But, I’m attending an event later this year where apparently swimming occurs in a mixed public venue where people are expected to wear swimsuits. I have been informed that I could probably cheat with boxers and a T-shirt, but I suspect that would be very uncomfortable, so it is time for me to go swimsuit shopping.

January, incidentally, is not the best time of year to do this, as I learned when I swung by the Surf Shop for some preliminary investigation into this matter.

Of course, I’m pretty sure there’s never going to be a “best time of the year to do this” because I am somewhat displeased by the whole need-to-buy-a-swimsuit thing. So I’m kind of in the “Let’s get this over with” mode. They all look horribly uncomfortable and bulgy and unpleasant. I keep looking at designs and thinking “Seriously? People wear these?”

It seems like anything vaguely useful is akin to being strapped in a vest made out of duct tape, while other suits look suspiciously ornamental, like they are going to fall apart (or off) if you so much as dip a toe in the water. I mean maybe there actually are people who swim in bikinis, in which case, more power to them, but all I’m envisioning is a fierce wedgie and a top blasting off from sheer force of impact as soon as I jump in.

I get why swimsuits are a social necessity in many regions of the world; I grew up in an area where casual nudity is not at all remarkable, but I understand it makes some people uncomfortable, whether they are viewers or participants. I’m totally fine with a dress code for a public pool requesting people to wear suits, since that’s very different from a private area or a remote swimming hole where people can actively choose to be present or not.

I’ve just fortunately never needed to be in a situation where such dress codes apply to me. Swimsuits were always quaint things other people wore that I observed with mild interest and a sense of thankful detachment, you know?

Which is why I’m turning to you for help, xoJaners, because I bet a fair number of you have bought some swimsuits in your time and will have some useful advice for a novice like myself.

Here are the requirements:

  • Not femme. I really want something pretty utilitarian, because minimal coverage gives me fierce gender dysphoria1. Like, I would really prefer to just wear board shorts but apparently I can’t let my tits flap around in the breeze, so.
  • Comfortable and secure. Speaking of tits, uhm, I would like them to not pop out of my top, yeah? I’m not going to be doing, like, competition swimming here, mostly splashing around, but it would be nice to prevent wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Good fibers. Is this an option with swimsuits? Polyester makes me break out in a horrible rash.
  • Cheap. I know, you’re laughing right now. The thing is, I’m likely to wear this thing for a few days and never again, unless my life changes very radically. So I’d rather not spend a small fortune on something that is basically...not going to be worn.
  • I think I would probably prefer a two piece, but I’m open to being persuaded otherwise.

Bring on your recommendations!

(Incidentally, Here's some more info on that amazing picture.

1. Oddly, being naked doesn’t bother me, but wearing just underwear does. I know. Return