Bathing suit anarchy
Now for something frivolous.
It's summer, although the weather here is back in its "Seattle in winter" mode. But I'm planning a trip to California, so yesterday I went off to get a bathing suit.
It's been a few years since I've engaged in that always-entertaining activity . I discovered that, while I was coasting on my old suits, the world of swimwear has undergone what you might call a sea-change. And I found it to be a very confusing one.
This time not only did I wrestle with that age-old confrontation between the ideal and the real, but I found that I don't even understand the bathing suits of today.
Now, I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. I try to follow fashion enough to make it seem as though I haven't given up on the whole endeavor. But these bathing suits had me stumped.
It used to be that there were two kinds: one-piece and two piece. Each had some variations on the theme, but the basic theme was clear. The two pieces of the two-piece ones, for example, were together on a little hanger, so you could see what went with what. The one-pieces came in two basic types--the maximal cover-up (skirted and trussed and rather formidable) and the non-maximal.
But now it seems that chaos has taken over. Two-piece suits are now sold piece by piece, like food at a very expensive restaurant with an all a la carte menu, or a sushi bar. It's hard to understand what these pieces are--there are little shorts, for example, and long tops that seem to not quite meet those shorts, exposing what is no doubt supposed to be a boardlike midsection. There are things that could be put together to be bikinis, if one could find the bottoms that matched the tops. There are the large skirted cover-ups. But where, oh where, are the regular one-pieces, the ones I'm looking for? Few and far between (and rather ugly, I might add). And most of them seem to be geared for a figure type with which I'm not too familiar--the long-torsoed woman.
Now, I've been around long enough to have heard women complaining in almost every way about their bodies. It just might be our favorite sport. But somehow I haven't ever heard too many complaints about long torsos. Perhaps it's because I don't know a lot of 5"11" models. My guess is that, unless these women wear bikinis (which they no doubt usually do), they have a terrible time with their long torsos, poor dears. So my local Filene's and Macy's have decided to make sure that they will have a plethora of one-piece bathing suits from which to choose. As for the rest of us--well, we'll muddle along, as we always have. And yes, I finally managed to find a bathing suit to buy, and it was even on sale. But don't think it was easy.