Looking Good at Any Price

Have you ever noticed that the worse your body is, the more you have to spend on a bathing suit?

I’ve been to the Lands End site with all of it’s symbols about body type and claims of flattery. And I’ve always liked the suits. Not too flashy. Not too revealing. But in the end, not too exciting, either. They’re all fine in a “I’m a middle aged woman who drives a minivan, has a bad perm, and still uses cans of Cream of Mushroom soup to make a casserole” kind of way. But chic they’re not.

This year, I decided to actually go to a store and try on bathing suits. No easy task. Like most women over forty who’ve borne children, trying on bathing suits is as depressing as it gets. What I didn’t realize is how expensive it can get!

The average price of a bathing suit at my local (and totally fabulous) lingerie store, The Town Shop, is $150. Seriously. They have a few bathing suits under $100, but most fall into the $125-$225 range. Shocking. I must be naive, but I had no idea a little piece of Lycra could cost so much.

But I had decided that, like a good haircut, a good bathing suit can change everything. So I sucked it up (and sucked it in) and tried one on. I don’t know who this Karla Colletto is, but man, can she design a bathing suit. I’ve tried the Miracle Suit thing, and quite frankly, the only miracle is that they can get away with their copywrited claim that you’ll look ten pounds lighter in ten seconds. They’re relatively flattering, but they ain’t no Karla Colletto. In her suits I looked – are you ready for this? — GOOD! Do you understand the magnitude of that? I LOOKED GOOD IN A BATHING SUIT. Talk about shocking.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the cut, maybe it’s the fabric. But I don’t care what it is. It was worth the staggeringly high –wait for it…$225 — price tag.

I decided to see if my “the worse you look the more you have to spend” theory applied to exercise clothing as well. Usually, I head to Filenes or Target and buy my exercise clothing there. After all, why spend big bucks on something you’re just going to sweat up anyway?

How wrong I was. I have only one thing to say to you: Lululemon. These pants are amazing. Their seam runs down the back of the leg, instead of the sides, making your legs look longer. The waist band hits at exactly the right spot to avoid side-bulge, and minimize butt bulge.

In my Lululemon signature pants I really do look ten pounds lighter. Unfortunately, they also left my wallet nearly $100 lighter. A small price to pay for a small butt.

So alas, it’s true. The worse you look, the more you pay. But the bright side is, if you’re willing to spend the big bucks, you can look like a million bucks. Or, OK, $100,000 bucks. But that’s rich enough for me.


  1. yuna says

    Nancy, Congrats for your new start up! I really enjoy reading them all…,S-O true on bathing suit!! I have to run now but i’ll be back for more….,Y

  2. Frederica says

    Bravo Nancy! Your fitting room experience is so funny. Looking forward to reading more of your blog…

  3. Annie says

    Nancy, Your blog is so funny and true!! Who doesn’t hate bathing suit shopping, but after reading ageless body/timeless mom, I am running tomorrow to check out a Karla Colleto swimsuit. Can’t wait to read your next real life experience!!

  4. says

    Yay Nancy!
    Good for you. Your blog is great… You have nailed the over 40 experience with wit and charm. You almost make me feel good about being 43, too (although I have yet to find a bathing suit at any price that makes me look good).
    Thanks for sharing your fabulous writing with the world. It is a gift to all of us!

  5. MaryKay says

    Cngrats Nancy! You have a way with words that perfectly captures what I often think yet can’t express! My 90 year old mother always said “you get what you pay for” and God help me – but I have to admit she is right! Bathing suits, haircuts, hot shoes (so not comfortable!) – the list is endless. Looking forward to reading what’s on your mind in the days to come. Keep making me laugh!

  6. says

    Wow! Congratulations Nancy! The only problem with your text is that I identified with it! In addition to the worst you look the more you spend…I would add, the bigger those bathing suits need to get! You should be proud! kisses…Elizabeth


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