The weather is warming up and that means one thing-time to pull out the bathing suit. If your old one can’t make it through another summer, then it may be time for a shopping trip.
I know what many of you are saying right now; “I’m in no rush to get a new bathing suit-I’m not trying to get my hair wet!” Here is my response. Did you know that nearly 60% of African American children can’t swim? If that statistic is true, then I suspect that aside from the bathtub, the survival rate for our folks encountering a challenging situation while in a body of water (pool, lake, pond, or ocean) has to be pretty low. Furthermore, teaching our little Black children to swim should not be thought of as optional, but mandatory.
Encourage the sisters in your life to stop letting hair or fear be the boss, and get in the water (and bring the babies too)!
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can go on. For those of you still reading (thanks for not being overly offended by my controversial, but true comments) I want to invite you to take notes on choosing the bathing suit that makes you look your best. So whether you are just learning to swim or you swim like a fish, you might as well do it with style and flare!
Minimize wide hips by considering the fashionable coordinating cover-up options. They look like a skirt, are available in varied lengths, and provide easy-on and easy-off versatility. If you want permanent coverage, another option is the one-piece swimsuit with a built in skirt.
Create a waist by opting for suits with “V” and halter necklines. This helps to create visual balance and make the waist seem smaller. In addition, midsection criss-cross pleating, color-blocking, and belting all create a more slimming waistline.
Pick a Two-piece if you, like me, are smaller on the top and bigger on the bottom. That way you can mix and match. I got my skirted black bottom at Walmart at the end of last summer, and I picked up a top (the full-coverage kind) on clearance at Kmart last summer. The two pieces cost around $15.
Hopefully you now feel equipped to go out and purchase a fun, flattering swimsuit (on sale, of course). However, I pray that I conveyed a much more important message that causes you to think a bit; everyone should learn the basic (survival) skill of swimming. It’s not only a fun family activity and great exercise; it could one day save your life or the life of your loved one. Whether your summer plans include splashing around with your kids in the backyard blow-up pool, lounging by a hotel pool during this year’s family reunion, or wading through the waters of the Atlantic or Pacific on your vacation getaway, double your pleasure by remembering that safety always comes first, and style (a close) second. Enjoy!
Marcia Humphrey is an interior decorator and home stager who specializes in achieving high style at low costs. A native of Michigan, she and her husband, Lonnie, have three children.