When I was a teenager in the late 50s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced. They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.
Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.
The mature woman today has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt which made me look like a chubby cheerleader!
What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.
The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.
The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.
The bathing suit fitted all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.
As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, "Oh, there you are," she said, admiring the bathing suit. I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me.
I struggled into so many bathing suits that I got so exhausted. I tried on a pretty black bathing suit with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear it!
Finally, I found a suit that fitted; a poka dot, sarong style with a loose blouse-type top. It was bulge-friendly, so I bought it but still not happy but when you live in South Florida and most pools have chlorine, it ruins the bathing suits fast.
Most complexes now are transforming their pools to salt water which is better for your skin and cheaper to maintain. Wish my Condo Association would step up to the plate and make the change over but I doubt it.
So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I'm there too, I'll be the one in a long wrap coverup.