Raise your hand if you hate your body. (Mine is up there, too!) Now raise your hand if you hate shopping for a swimsuit. (Yep, still up there. That's why my last swimsuit literally disintegrated before I threw it away and finally broke down and admitted I needed a new one.)
Enter Lands End with their National Swimsuit Confidence Week. I was able to choose a Lands End swimsuit that flatters me - a tough trick. I've had great experiences with Lands End in the past, and I was up for the challenge.
Their website has a variety of ways to search for a swimsuit. For those who have experience with Lands End styles, they offer various collections to browse that - based on reviews I read on the site - seem to stay somewhat consistent from year to year. For those of us who have no clue, there are other search methodologies - from shopping by solution (flatten tummy, slim hips, conceal thighs, etc - ummm yes?!) to special sizes (for everything from mastectomy suits to larger cup sizes and more) - which I thought was very cool.
The best solution for me though was to talk to a swimsuit advisor via their web chat, although there was also the option of video chat. I didn't need that, though. The web advisor was awesome. She talked through what I liked and was looking for and confirmed my measurements before recommending a few suit styles for me to check, including passing along the links directly to the suits. It was sort of like shopping with a girlfriend who knew what she was talking about, and I definitely need more of those!
I finally settled on the Beach Living Collection and the v-neck tankini top in a long, knowing that mine tend to ride up on me. I was sort of sad that though the suit offered a long option and a D-cup option (seriously, how did I not know this was available in swimsuits?), both were not offered at the same time. I'm also all about the swim skirts now, and the ones I've had have been actually pretty flattering, so I found a nice black one that I liked, figuring I could match it up with another swim top later.
A few days later, my new suit arrived. The color wasn't quite the vibrant purple of iris that I had expected given the color swatch on the site - it had more red to it - but I liked the color, and quickly tried the suit on, hoping that measuring myself meant I might find a halfway decent suit.
The suit didn't support my top quite as much as I'd hoped - and as other similar styles I've owned in the past have - but it was very comfortable. I probably could have or should have gotten one size smaller, and that may have helped. The swim skirt fit perfectly. It was supposed to be a tummy slimming one, but it didn't feel like it was pulling me in any - again, maybe I needed a smaller size. The skirt was also a little longer than I'm used to in a swim skirt, but as I'm getting older, maybe that's a good thing! I have a feeling I'll be a little more comfortable sitting on the edge of the pool playing games with the wee ones this summer with the slightly longer skirt.
Interestingly, I was unable to take a single flattering picture of me and the swimsuit. That said, it looks better on me in person, especially when I'm moving than it does here.
I do like all the options that were available for the suits, and I look forward to alternating the halter with other swim tops to avoid any one particular tan line. Or at least I will once I hit the gym far more regularly than I have been lately - except that's not at all what this week is about. It's about having confidence in your suit. Because, really, so long as someone is wearing a suit that fits, do we really go around judging all the other moms at the pool? I didn't think so!
Lastly, join Lands’ End every day from May 23 to May 27 from 12:00–1:00 pm CST for a series of National Swimsuit Confidence Week events on Twitter. This weeklong movement was created to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes as well as educate and inspire us to embrace our swimsuit beauty (obviously we need it!) and have fun this summer. Each day Lands’ End will give away 10 Lands’ End Swimsuits, 10 Lands’ End Beach Towels and announce exclusive swimsuit promotions.
There are twitter parties each day this week - Monday is Swimsuit Coverage, Tuesday covers (ahem) Swimsuit Trends for Real Women, Wednesday is all about Swim Slenderizers, Thursday focuses on Bring Your Confidence To The Beach, and Friday is the Ultimate Swimsuit Confidence Celebration. Follow @LandsEndPR and the hashtag #landsend for the parties.
As a part of this campaign, Lands End is giving me a $100 Lands End gift card to one reader to purchase a swim suit. Yay! So what do you have to do to win? First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Monday June 6 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: What is your biggest swimsuit challenge?
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for following me on Twitter and tweeting this contest with the following tweet: "Win a $100GC from #landsend as part of National Swimsuit Confidence Week from @honestandtruly http://bit.ly/m7y9a6" (leave a link to your tweet as your comment and make sure you do all the steps!)
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly! publicly via Google Friend Connect.
4) Like my blog on Facebook and let me know what name you used to like it.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was provided with a swimsuit by Lands End for review purposes. I received no compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.