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Bonnie Bing: You better take cover; It’s swimsuit-shopping time again

  • Published Sunday, April 28, 2013, at 8:40 a.m.

Ahhh, just when you thought it was safe to come out of hibernation, the stores are filled with tiny garments meant to be worn in the water.

Yes, swimsuits.

We can’t call them bathing suits because bathing suits were made of more than four patches of fabric. Bathing suits had boning and padding and, yes, even zippers at one time. You will find none of that in today’s version of swimwear. That is probably a good thing.

But as I looked through a catalog I got in the mail, I was stunned to see a black swimsuit that truly was the teeniest I’ve ever seen. The model was so thin it was a good thing the suit wasn’t striped because she would have had just one stripe on the whole thing. The top was made of two small triangles and a string. The bottom was made of two medium triangles and a string. And if that wasn’t a jaw-dropper for you, the price of this exquisite little number was $300. Wait, what? Yes, 300 smackers. True, there was a tiny gold clip on the string with the designer’s logo on it, but it wasn’t 14-karat, for Pete’s sake.

I saw an article in one of the 10 fashion magazines I read that said this is the year to wear a trendy mismatched two-piece swimsuit.

No, no it’s not.

Remember when you were a kid and you could find the top of one suit and the bottom of another, but you didn’t care, you just wanted to get to the water? Well, it appears that’s the look some are going for. A floral top and a striped bottom. As if this category of fashion isn’t tough enough to deal with.

I’ve had to wear a swimsuit this winter for my water exercise classes. I’ve nearly worn out my favorite suit, so now I’m getting extra activity trying to keep the straps up. I traded off and started wearing another suit, but it’s so much like a straight jacket I can’t get it on by myself. Yes, this means that I will have to travel 500 miles out of town to get a new swimsuit. Remember, that’s my rule ever since I was in Kansas City looking in a three-way mirror when I heard a perfectly-formed woman say, “Aren’t you Bonnie Bing?” There was no convincing her I wasn’t me.

I can’t order another suit from a catalog because when I got one, I looked so different than the model in the photo I thought they had sent me the wrong swimsuit.

The last time I tried one of those “instantly slimming miracle suits,” I decided the name came from it being a miracle I could get it over my hips. “Look 10 pounds thinner.” Right. All I could think about was the old “marshmallow in a drinking straw” concept. I was a living, shallow-breathing example of just that as I stood looking in the distorted (ha) mirror in a tiny dressing room with that greenish, flattering florescent lighting.

Oh well.

Buck up, Bonnie.

I’m resigned to getting a new swimsuit. But rest assured, it won’t be one of those where it looks like I’m trying to cover a grand piano with a cocktail napkin.

Reach Bonnie Bing at bingbylines@gmail.com.

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