Bikini Shopping, ahoy!

Shopping for the perfect bikini, much like finding the perfect parking spot, is a delicate art. Both can start out on a fairly to wildly positive note only to go quickly, fantastically awry.

For bikini shopping, that moment may happen as soon as you find yourself stark naked in the dressing room. Horrible lighting, indulging a little more than usual on vacation (the sugar content in daiquiris is not, surprisingly, zero) and lack of tan will do that. For a perfect parking spot, the moment may be when you find that your car has been ticketed, towed – or maybe newly decorated with a nice key streak along the side.

I speak from experience on the bikini side because I have just returned home from a vacation in sunny South Florida, where someone had the brilliant idea to go bikini shopping. That someone was not me. It was my boyfriend, Brian.

It started out innocent enough when I packed a little black bikini for the trip. I bought it last June when the stars miraculously aligned on a shopping trip, I walked into Target, picked out a suit I liked, tried it on and – here’s the amazing part – actually liked how it looked. I know. A moment of silence for that rare occurrence please, because it has passed and will probably never be heard from again.

Anyway, while I was packing, Brian asked why I was only bringing one bathing suit for a 10 day vacation. If I had gone into a “do-you-know-how-difficult-it-is-for-a-woman-to-find-a-suit-she-likes-on-her?-No?-Then-step-off” tirade (which I’m not above doing, by the way) at that moment, he probably would have agreed that one is, indeed, perfectly suitable (no pun intended). But I didn’t, and so we arrived at the “Do you want to go shopping for a new bikini?” question soon after we hit our destination.

“I really don’t need one. I love my black bikini” just didn’t cut it for that boy.

“Come on, you have had that one for almost a year now. I want to get you a new one.”

It’s true, before we had even started dating, we went to the beach as friends at the end of last summer. So the little black bikini was not new to him. And apparently, it had run its course.

Now, for the sake of accuracy in this story, I will include this reasoning he gave me, but let me say that I categorically disagree with it:

“You have a great body. I want you to wear something to show it off.”

And so we went bikini shopping.

It was at this time that Brian, poor innocent little Brian, learned in short order that the fantasy of going bikini shopping with your girlfriend is in stark contrast to the reality.

There was a huge selection at the store we went to. And yet, it was slim pickings for me.

“How about this one!?” Brian would ask optimistically.

“Are you serious!? All you’ll see is crack!”

“This one!?” Still upbeat.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. My boobs will be popping out left, right, up, down and diagonally.” (Just to cover all the bases.)

“This one’s nice…!?” A little less promise in his voice.

“That’s not made for anyone bigger than size Gisele.”

You see, I have curves. A butt. Boobs. Thighs. A woman’s body. I need a little coverage, like, everywhere before I am comfortable enough to step out in public.

Once we had narrowed down a few choices, I had to experience that previously-mentioned stark-naked-in-the-dressing-room terror. I’m pretty sure Brian – and the rest of the store – heard me alternately crying, booing or maybe even hissing. And to top it off, none of the bikinis I was even willing to show him on me made the cut.

Too little fabric on the bottom. Too much padding on the top. Just an awkward fit. The reasons were plentiful.

Then finally, on the third trip into the dressing room, with both of our hopes riding on one last previously overlooked bikini, I found something that I was reasonably happy with. Nice cut, nice fit, nice fabric, nice print. Nice. Not perfect. Nice. So I decided to buy it.

(I think, at that point, Brian was just thankful I was still talking to him.)

Also nice? It was just $40.

Not so nice? The art of finding the perfect parking spot. As we left the store, we were greeted with a $25 parking ticket on our windshield. The windshield of the car we parked in the perfect spot, right in front of the store.

Two delicate arts, bikini shopping and finding a parking spot. Who wouldn’t thought we’d find success in the former?

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 3.26.10

    A) NEVER turn doen a man who offers to take you shopping (even if it’s for a new coffee mug) and B) Does he have a brother? 😉

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