A blog about my adventures in sewing & crafting

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finding a Bathing Suit

When I    was a child in the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned,    trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to    hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.
Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl    with a figure carved from a potato chip.
    The mature woman has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity    department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like    a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander    around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible    choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.
    What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and    entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I    noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The    Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe,
    by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added    bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be    protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing    midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.
    I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap    in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared!
    Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while    to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.
    The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman    is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I    realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view    assessment.
    The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits    of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from    top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized    cling wrap.
    As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the    prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, "Oh, there    you are," she said, admiring the bathing suit.
    I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I    tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking    tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an over sized    napkin in a serving ring.
    I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came    out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough    day.
    I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.
    I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would    have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.
    Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a    shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful  outcome, I figured.
    When I got it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become transparent in water."
    So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this    year and I'm there too, I'll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!
    You'd better be laughing or rolling on the floor by this time. Life isn't    about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain, with or without a stylish bathing suit!
Until next time.....


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