Passionate About San Antonio
and the Moms Who Live Here

The Quest for a Modest Swimsuit

Can we all agree that summers in Texas are just brutal? I think the temps reach something like 276 degrees. I’m surprised the water in our pool doesn’t boil. When summer hits Texas flock to rivers, lakes, and pools to find some fun and relief from the heat. It also means the theme parks, zoos, and gardens will be packed. We Texans love the great outdoors! However, the heat and our need to be outside presents a problem of what to wear. Even in shorts and a t-shirt, you will sweat to the point of being soaked in your own salty fluids. (Gross!) As a parent, my big issue during the summer is finding clothes for my kids that are cool enough to wear in this weather but modest enough not to expose what I think needs to be covered.

I’ll admit that I’m probably a little more crazy about clothing than most. My teenager can testify to that. But seriously, when did little girls’ shorts go from mid-thigh to mid-butt cheek, and why do they sell bikinis for toddlers? I’m not knocking anyone’s choice in clothing—and if you prefer a bikini, then you go, girl!—but in my house we opt for max coverage, especially for our children.

Thankfully my kids are totally fine with longer shorts, shirts that extend past their waistlines, and one-piece swimsuits or tankinis. The problem is tracking down things that meet my standards and yet still allow my kids to be cool and hip.

The Quest for a Modest Swimsuit

I search far and wide to find clothes that I feel are appropriate for my kids to wear. We totally lucked out this summer by finding Bermuda shorts at Wal-Mart for $4.88 each. I bought every pair that they had in the triplets’ size—seriously, every pair. This year Wal-Mart also had $3 t-shirts (long and with tasteful decoration) and wide-strap tank tops. BINGO!

The hard part is finding swimsuits that everyone can smile about. In our house we don’t wear bikinis; it’s either a tankini or a one-piece, and that’s pretty much the final answer. No one debates it. It may not be for everyone, but if you are looking for some trendy swimsuits that are still very modest, comfortable, cool enough for Texas summers, and won’t force you into bankruptcy, I’ve got your back.

Swimsuit shopping for our eight-year-old triplets is easy. They all wear rash guard tops and board shorts. They like the rash guard top because it’s comfortable and cuts down on sunburns. The board shorts keep them from constantly picking their wedgies. Old Navy never lets us down. Every year they sell their suits for $10 for a few days and usually have some sort of deal throughout the summer. If I have a moment of brilliance in the winter I usually buy out the remaining swimsuits for dirt cheap. When you have to buy as many suits as we do, we are all over that deal. We also stock up on one-piece suits for the eight-year-olds at Old Navy (because we swim a lot in the summer and need back-up suits). Old Navy’s are usually basic suits, cheap, and hold up well. I refuse to spend much money on my kids’ swimsuits because they will definitely outgrow them over the winter and they’re very active in them, which tends to wear them out quickly. Target usually doesn’t disappoint either, but I like to online order and I know exactly how Old Navy’s clothes fit the kids.

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First jump into the pool for 2015 took place in JANUARY because we’re in Texas and that’s just one of the perks! Bella’s rocking her Old Navy one-piece that her happy mama scored for $10.

The triplets are at an age where shopping for suits isn’t that hard. We ask them what color they want; they pick it; and we’re on our way. Our teenager on the other hand…UGH! One-piece suits that fit her are usually considered frumpy, “old lady-ish” (her words, not mine!), or way too childish. The suits get far more expensive when you cross over from child to adult sizes. Last summer we found a tankini at JCPenney that she sorta-kinda settled on, but it worked. Thankfully, she’s an easygoing kid and didn’t put up much of a fight. This summer I wanted something that she would love and feel comfortable in while still being modest enough to satisfy her crazy mom.

I discovered Radswim.com through Instagram and immediately fell in love. Michelle is a mom to four daughters. She started Radswim in hopes of offering swimsuits that are high quality, flattering, modest, classy, fun, and affordable. Together my teenage daughter and I picked out the Brighton (on sale!) for her, and she LOVES it. Score one for the crazy modest mom and the teenager who has to deal with her. A tip of the hat to Michelle for designing such awesome swimsuits!

Lands’ End also has some great one-piece suits and dresskinis, but they are a little more expensive than I want to spend on the teenager (although I’m not afraid to splurge a little on a suit for myself!). I know what you’re thinking: Wait, did she just say “dresskini”?! Sounds lame, I know, but trust me, the dresskini is beautiful and comfortable, plus you don’t have to worry about how you sit and swim in it because you’re fully covered. Lands’ End has a reputation for well-made clothing, and I think we can all agree that these swimsuits are modest and super cute.

Here are a few other really great spots where you can find modest and hip swimwear:

Modcloth.com—Modcloth has some seriously cute suits, and prices range from $25.99 to $179. They also have a great reputation. I have tons of friends who order various things from Modcloth with absolutely nothing but praise. I also love that Modcloth has a variety of models of all different sizes. It makes clothes- and swimsuit-shopping so much easier and more comfortable. Thanks for that, Modcloth!

Kohl’s—Who doesn’t love Kohl’s? I bought my swimsuit on sale at Kohl’s last summer, and I love it. It’s a swim dress, and I bought it because it’s the most comfortable suit that ever existed, truly doesn’t need a cover-up, and is cute and flattering. I rock this thing everywhere.

Victoria’s Secret—Yes, I said it. They have some really amazing one-piece suits and tankinis. See, even those super seductive VS models wear swim dresses!

Lane Bryant—Let’s face it: most of us aren’t a size 2, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look amazing in our swimsuits. I have an issue with places that only use under average-sized women as their models, but that’s a whole other post. Can we celebrate women of all sizes, please! I’m madly in love with the Rita one-piece Magicsuit by Miraclesuit®.

Shabby Apple—One of my ACMB friends, Amanda, introduced me to Shabby Apple. She’s ordered from their site and been very satisfied with their products and customer service. Customer service will talk you through sizing if you are worried about ordering a suit online, plus their prices are pretty amazing. My favorite is the Melia. Since Shabby Apple is an online only store, I checked out as many reviews as possible. The reviews are mixed, so you’ll have read them for yourself and make the choice to buy or not.

Other suggestions from our ACMB contributors are Steinmart, Macy’s, and TJMaxx (if you have time to search the racks).

Regardless of where you shop for your swimwear, get in your swimsuit and splash around with your kids. Swim laps, play on the beach, go down the slide, and heck, surf (if that’s your thing). Get in your swimsuit—you deserve it, and so do your kids. I know the anxiety that swimsuit season can cause, and I’m here to tell you that you are beautiful. You’re beautiful in your bikini, tankini, one-piece, or swimdress. Just find a suit that you feel good about and go have fun with your family.

Where do you shop for modest and hip summer swimwear? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

13 Responses to The Quest for a Modest Swimsuit

  1. Rachel May 29, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    Athleta.

  2. Shawna May 29, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    With my physically developing tween, I’ve found it challenging to find swimsuits that offer more coverage/fully lined bust area. The only ones I’ve found for 12-13 year olds are at Justice. They have adorable tankinis and one pieces and all of their suits have extra lining/slight padding (more for modesty than adding volume). My daughter is super self conscious about nipple show through (TMI), so the extra lining or very very slight padding puts her at ease. Always shop the 40% off sales! 🙂

    • candice
      candice May 29, 2015 at 8:21 am #

      I forgot all about Justice. I have to shop for triplet girls and it gets expensive but I will for sure check out the 40% sale. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Kourtney May 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    I just found some cute tankinis at Wal-Mart this morning. Neon colors with black with cute crossover straps. I was there to grab some stuff for school, so I didn’t get any (also, the girls weren’t there to try them on). Luckily, my girls are very modest on their own, so I don’t have to push this. My 15 year old would rather borrow one of my “old lady” tankinis than show any skin. I wish there were more places to look for these kind of suits. Targets junior swimsuit section is practically scandalous and we don’t even bother scoping out those racks anymore.

    • candice
      candice May 29, 2015 at 8:20 am #

      Old Lady Tankinis rule!

  4. Stephanie @ this abundant life May 28, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow…I am so thankful I have boys when it comes to this issue! I can only imagine how difficult that girls’ clothing to ladies clothing jump must be! I am going to check out a few of these links for myself! 🙂

    • candice
      candice May 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

      Thanks, Stephanie! The jump with girls is not easy. I’ve been pretty lucky with my teenager. Check some of these places out, they have great hip mom suits 😉

  5. Lily May 28, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    Unfortunately there isn’t one here anymore, but I found a cute one-piece suit at Kmart last year. It’s still in good shape to use this year. Being large chested and wanting to be modest means that any kind of Bikini top is a no go for me!

  6. Julie May 28, 2015 at 8:24 am #

    Academy often has modest tankinis and one piece suits priced reasonably. They also have quality racing suits, which can work as cute one piece suits for younger girls. I also saw Bermuda shorts there!

    • candice
      candice May 28, 2015 at 8:42 am #

      Thank you. I can’t believe I didn’t think about Academy

  7. candice
    candice May 28, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    Awesome, thank you!!

  8. apaden May 28, 2015 at 7:43 am #

    Reyswimware.Com

    Super cute, modest swimwear for women and girls. Audrey Hepburn inspired. And made in the US. Check them out!!

    • candice
      candice May 28, 2015 at 8:08 am #

      Awesome,, thank you!