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Better Suited: Two Easy Bathing Suit Mods

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I'm baaa-aaack!

Who missed me? Huh? C'mon, ya big lugs, I know it was you!

Before I detail the many, many adventures I suffered during my four-night Caribbean cruise (I was attacked by a flamingo. I kid thee not.), I want to share some quick and easy, down and dirty suit mods that I came up with before said cruise.

Now, as anyone with a uterus knows, shopping for a bathing suit sucks. S-U-C-K-S. Suh-Ux. Sucks. And, as anyone blessed with moderately large-ish metaphorical tracts of lands knows, finding an inexpensive suit that won't have you metaphorically hangin' ten (two?) is nearly impossible.

So.

I found this at Target:

Cute, right? The problem, however, lay with that circular cut-out. If you've ever worn a tube top or bandeau, you know how the middle tends to, um, hover a bit. Well, this one hovered a lot, becoming a veritable port-hole into the infamous land of the dreaded side boob.

Fortunately, the solution was ridiculously easy:

See? Ridiculously easy. The removable strap was the perfect length for a halter strap through the circle. I attached the two ends together like this:

...but for a permanent fix you could also break off one plastic clip and hook the remaining one through the fabric loop left behind. This was fine on my neck, though, so I left both on.

And the best part? No more porthole! The strap kept the circle down and provided much better support.

I thought that was the end of my suit-shopping, but the day before we left I spotted an ok-looking halter design at Wal-Mart - and at only $10, I couldn't pass it up:



However, it had a similar problem: the cut was just too low for comfort. So, I whipped out my Crop-A-Dile (a grommet-setting tool one of you readers told me about) and...

Ta-da!

Here's a close-up:

The cord was the handle off an old gift bag, and I already had the copper grommets (although silver would have looked much better), so the fix didn't cost me a penny. The grommets held fast, too; after a day at the beach there wasn't a single pucker or pull. Success!

Well, I hope this helps inspire some of my fellow land owners out there to go ahead and modify a cheaper suit to save a little money - and also to have a little fun in the process. :)

Now, stay tuned for...[dun dun DUUUUMM] "When Flamingos...ATTACK."

Posted by Jen at 9:18 PM Labels: ,

64 comments:

  1. That's truly fab! I too am rich in ahem, real estate, so I think I'll be trying out that grommet idea. For now, though, I just want to sing, Sing, SING!

    WV: Fersa. Am I fersa? I think soa.

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  2. You are brilliant! I hope that you had some fun, flamingos notwithstanding.

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  3. When I went swimming every day last summer, I accumulated a lot of swim suit tops to use with 3 different bottoms. I had a black, blue, and brown one, then just found tops on sale to match. Nice way to bring in lots of variety with fewer pieces.

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  4. Oh my gosh! I want to put lacing on all my tops! That's a great idea. And the Crop-a-Dile might be my next crafty purchase. I love your mods!

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  5. Ooooh, great ideas! And since I currently have an occupant in aforementioned uterus, I am ALL for swim wear modification tips and ideas for this summer!! :)

    I admit, there may have been a little happy clap and giggle when I saw that you went with the crop-a-dile. :) Awesome, no?

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  6. That is brilliant! I will be breaking out my crop o dial to fix my halter top suit.

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  7. I LOVE my Crop-a-dile, but I've never used it on fabric, only paper. Great idea! I have grand real estate as well so this is very helpful.

    BTW, I have been chased by a flock (herd?) of armadillos and a school of angelfish. I feel your pain on the flamingos.

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  8. I've never heard of a crop-a-dile before but the name is hilarious. I agree about so many bathing suits revealing way too much of the assets. These are great ideas. As a nursing mom the "girls" are currently significantly larger than I'd prefer and I'm not looking forward to a bouncy summer. Here's to keeping the side boob under wraps.

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  9. How about a mod for us ladies with NO real estate. Like none. Sigh. And I have been chased by geese. Scary buggers!

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  10. I love the last idea. It might just fix my $10 Walmart suit that takes a little bit deeper plunge than I'd like. I have the exact opposite problem. There are 12 year old boys with more than what I'm trying to cover. It is depressing to swimsuit shop no matter what your size is. I want to meet this mythical creature that fits just right into a suit. Where is she?

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  11. Also a member of the club of more real estate than designers plan for. Which seems poor planning on the part of plus size designers, really.

    Is it wrong that I'm about bouncing waiting to hear about flamingos?

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  12. Heh. Huge tracts of land. Heh. Heh.

    Awesome fixes, though ! Wish I were ready for swimsuit season. :( Maybe 20 lbs from now. :fingers crossed:

    Glad you had fun ! Remind me to tell you about the time a tiger :ahem: "marked" me. I was told I should've been honored since he only ever "claimed" one of his owners and no one else. I'd much rather have had a head butt. :\

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  13. PS: Your "cool points" increased by 1 bazillion for the HG reference.

    Just so you know. :D

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  14. Okay, that grommet thingie is definitely on my "need to have" list now. LOVE it! And yes, another "huge tracts of land" gal here too... mine are G-normous huge (yes, that G is intentional... bah! Stupid childbearing...)

    And I hate flamingos. I hate most birds with a passion. I've been attacked by seagulls, Canadian geese, parrots, cockatoos, peacocks, and even witness to a friggin' ostrich attack that ended with stitches! Me and birds? Yeah. Not friends. AT ALL.

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  15. Genius! I love seeing modifications that cost little and make life oh-so-much more comfortable. I've begun modifying my husband's clothes and must say it's a great feeling to mend/fix/better a garment. :) Now for sewing classes...

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  16. As I am quite blessed with "land," I'll have to keep these in mind. My ex-boyfriend said he realized he liked me in one day when we were in a group that went swimming and it wasn't until we'd broken up that I realize it might have been the attire. He was fairly keen on swimming...

    Never been chased by a flamingo, but I was chased by an emu when I was eight. It scarred me for life.

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  17. You're a mind reader?!

    I've just been shoping for a new suit in the last couple days but desparing over support issues.

    I will have to give Target and Walmart a shot.

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  18. I love it! I'm boobariffic too, so I need some mod ideas.

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  19. Love your suit solutions. My problem is that even suits designed for larger tracts of land are not big enough for my boobage.

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  20. The suit modifications are very ingenious!

    Now if your ideas would just be adopted by the swimsuit designers then we wouldn't have to worry about modifying the suits.

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  21. One of the things I've found helpful at Target is to size up. I was getting frustrated at how their garments are all cut more and more for junior sizing; bathing suits in their Regular womens' sizes have less boob and butt coverage than they used to. I'm normally a 14 in brands like Land's End but for Target, after trying on lots of sizes, I found I get the best fit, coverage, and support in their Merona line in an 18W (plus size)!! Who'd a thunk? It's well worth it since I have to buy lots of suits for year 'round aquatic therapy in a highly chlorinated pool and the Merona price is good.
    So my advice is be brave and experiment, particularly if the girls and/or booty are curvaceously ample.

    Terrell

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  22. Love your designs! I've been bitten by a cockatoo (in a cage, no less... I was 8 and had curious fingers (only once tho!)).

    Welcome back! :D

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  23. That is fantastic!! You are always inspiring me to look at everything I own in a new way. Cute suits!

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  24. I recently had a similar problem with swimsuit shopping, which is when I discovered that Lands End actually make suits that are sized specifically based on the size of your tracts of land. They are, however, ridiculously expensive, which is why I'm glad my birthday is near the start of swimsuit season (and I do really love my suit). Next time I want a cheap suit though, and not one I coerced my family into buying for me, I may have to take a page from your book :P

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  25. I missed you! Those mods are really cute. I have used a similar trick to fix dresses or tops that are too low, but I just stick a safety pin in there. Which could be potentially dangerous on a bathing suit, so the grommets were probably a good call.

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  26. @ Anonymous: I have the same problem. You'd need a map to find my "tracts of land." LOL

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  27. I bow to your brilliance.

    I remin* your fan...

    *wv: remin

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  28. I hate how the only things i could find in the stores were halter tops. so i went online and bought the CUTEST top from Land's end (http://www.landsend.com/pp/BeachLivingDotSweetheartBikiniTop~220446_2136.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::JM7&CM_MERCH=IDX_Swimwear-_-Women-_-ShopbySilhouette-_-Tops&origin=index)...but I probably paid more than you. Do you think there's any way to make a halter into a normal top? cuz i just hate the feeling of the straps digging into my neck. and it just doesn't flatter me all that much!

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  29. this might actually make swim suit shopping a more me-friendly experience ... I cringe and cry at the thought! But maybe I have a few tricks up my sleeves to keep it, um ... well, better. :)

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  30. Ooh, great ideas! Recently, I've taken to buying mens' suits. They're cheap, have more coverage, and even better: pockets! Some of the Hawaiian prints are really pretty, too. Then I add a top from the internet (like victoriassecret.com, where they sell by bra size). Kind of pricey, but having a suit that fits properly makes me SO comfortable.

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  31. I swim for fitness, so I buy lots of swimsuits, none of them two pieces. I just bought this flamingo-themed one-piece. I love fun suits. They also have a sushi one. I can't wait for my lake to warm up enough so that i can swim without getting hypothermia.

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  32. Dang, where were you when I was shopping for bathing suits a month ago??? I tried on that same suit at Wal-mart but had the same problem with all-too-visible tracts of land. I may have to figure out how I can justify another suit, just so I can try this out!

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  33. I feel your swimsuit pain - I have given up on anywhere that sells them by clothing size and only bother trying them on if they come in bra sizes. Makes such a difference! As in, they put enough fabric in the boob area to cover more than you nipples AND they are help up in the right place!

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  34. You are Brilliant! ;) I would have never thought of modifying like that. I will go forth and shop with such modifications in mind from now on! Thanks. :)

    Can't wait to hear about the flamingo. I've been attacked by a goose in my day but never a large pink bird!

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  35. Flamingos ARE scary. I met one in real and actual life and I've never been the same. I was short, and it was tall, and it was all in my face like "huh, wanna piece of me?" and I was all "no thanks, this is the part of the show where I've gotta run and act crazy scared" so our first meeting didn't go too well. It's the BEAKS, man. THE BEAKS are freaky huge. And they are like PINK ROBOTS on chicken legs. Scary. Truly.

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  36. Attacked by a flamingo? Now this I gotta hear...

    Very clever fixes on the swimsuits! Thankfully I've never needed to do one so far, but I'll keep those in mind, just in case. I have a hard time finding swimsuits too, though not for the same reason: I seem to be right in between 'kid' and 'adult' sizes, so finding a (reasonably priced) one-piece in my size can be something of a challenge.

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  37. Love it! Genius!

    Though I havent been seen in a suit for 9 years! And Im only 27!

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  38. OMG! I saw that halter top at Wal-Mart! I almost got it, but then I got a purple- and -white one. I wore it yesterday to a hotel pool! I fit awesome, even if it needed to be tied a little tighter on the neck. ;)

    WV:deperuf. I think my little brother's deperuf.

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  39. Love these ideas! I currently have a bit more "real estate" than normal as my uterus is housing the next generation (due in the middle of summer). I will have to remember this once said occupant has moved out and I am able to lounge in the sun again.

    I also can not wait to hear how/why a flamingo decided to chase you. Perhaps it's a fan and wanted an autograph?

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  40. Add me to the list -- chased by a swan. They're nasty and vicious, especially when nesting. (In all fairness, I got a little bitchy when I was nesting, too.)

    Had the flamingo chased John (the hubby of Jen) I would have assumed it was from Texas -- a hit bird sent to finish the job. I can't wait to hear what offense it thinks you committed.

    As far as swim suits go -- I've given up. I just want to paint myself pink and put a SEP field around me. Has anyone seen one on ETSY?

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  41. Hm... not much of a landowner, but it is fun to see your mods on those. And, can't WAIT to see how that flamingo attacked you!

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  42. Clever fixes!
    I tend to wear board shorts at the beach, which helps with my thigh acreage- and given that I live in a state where one in 4 (possibly one in 3) people can expect skin cancer at some point- a rash vest (which is a fitted t shirt made of uv blocking material)- it does tend to hide swimsuit flaws as well.
    Swimming pool wise, I am still holding onto the suits from my synchro days a decade ago, nice X backs that hold everything together

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  43. Welcome home can't wait to hear about the trip. Great ideas really need to do that to a few of mine.

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  44. As someone who is very short and has very petite shoulders but needs a D cup bra, I definitely understand the bathing suit issues... I've bought some that are sold by bra size, which tends to help with the support issue but not always with coverage. I've also sacrificed an old bra whose elastic was on its last legs and sewn it into a bathing suit and that works, too.

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  45. My daughter and I went shopping for a suit for her last year. She doesn't like one-pieces, but neither one of us want anything too revealing for her. We finally found mix-and-match tops and bottoms and found some that she didn't totally hate, but we still had to modify them. The bottoms had a fabric "belt" with beads on it that we removed, and the top had an ugly plastic piece holding the two sides of the bra together, but still displaying too much, especially for a 15-year-old. We cut out the plastic piece, strung a portion of the belt through the loops to give them some body and provide some filler, and then sewed the two sides together so there wasn't a gaping hole. We were pretty proud of ourselves.

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  46. I've yet to find a pair of togs that I don't need to wear a bra under.

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  47. @Tori You say yours are G-normous due to childbearing? Given that mine are at least Humoungous, with no childbearing, I fear for my chesticular future.

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  48. So smart!

    As a similarly "suited" (hahahah... erm ...) woman, LOVE your fixes!

    What great ideas! I will have to remember those the next time I subject myself to that dread task.

    Thanks for your humor and inspiration!

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  49. Deepest sympathies on the land issue; i myself am pretty buxom and find myself swearing under my breath every time a suit manufacturer starts talking about ways to strategically minimize the appearance of large boobage. Some of us rather like our boobage.
    Like others here, i have found that bra-sized bathing suits are expensive but worth the trouble. Also, there are some manufacturers that actually build a complete bra--back straps, adjustable shoulders, wires, and all--right into the suit and size it by the bra. That way, the whole thing works on the assumption that you want the girls up and out of the way, but not squashed into oblivion or half-bared. I paid more than i wanted to for my little tankini, but it's an investment for some years, and i can remember ever being this happy with a suit.

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  50. Great mods! For the blue one, you could also fold the strap in half, feed the looped end through the porthole, then feed the loose ends through the looped end and pull snug. That would do the same thing you're doing now, but it would shorten the strap a bit and center the attachment point.

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  51. Now if I could only find a tankini top that wasn't a halter with real underwire support that doesn't add three cup sizes (VS, I'm looking your way). I found one a few years ago and (yay!) now it's too big.

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  52. @Shaina -- Depending how wide the halter straps are, you can cut them off partway and add bra straps (they sell them separately at Target, Joann Fabrics, lots of places, sometimes in cute colors). You can sew the new straps to the remnants of the old ones and to where you want them on the back of the suit pretty easily, and they're adjustable. I can't stand the feel of halters either.

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  53. I just have to say you amaze my husband and I. I LOVE your DIY projects! Unbelievable! Thanks!

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  54. What a brilliant set of mods, and you're an angel to share them! Thanks!

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  55. Totally with you on the bathing suit shopping thing, but I hope you enjoyed your cruise anyway.

    You did a great job with your suits, and I may have to investigate the Crop-A-Dile because I've had zero luck with grommets in the past.

    I've never had a problem with overly bountiful Northern land tracts, alas, but lacing might be helpful to those of us who are land-poor as well, so I'll keep it in mind. Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

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  56. LOVE the idea, sadly it didn't work out with my overly-revealing suit :( I should've thought a bit more before trying it with crazy-stretchy fabric-- eyelets won't even stay in, despite having punched holes using the smaller setting. Thanks for the tip on the crop-o-dile, though!

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  57. @ Marcia - oh, no! I'm sorry the eyelets didn't stay put - I wonder if it'd be possible to clinch them a bit tighter? For mine I banged 'em with a hammer a time or two after using the crop-a-dile, which dented the fronts a bit, but might also have prevented them from pulling free from the fabric. If you try to salvage your top, you might give that a shot (with larger eyelets, if the holes ripped any.)

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  58. BRILLIANT. I've modified other clothing before, but never even thought about my swimsuits - which is odd, since I have the same problem with them. I went out and bought a Crop-a-Dile and some sport shoelaces and laced up one of my suits last night. It fits me so much better! I'm pretty certain this is going to be a standard mod I do to all my bathing suits from now on.

    (As noted by a previous commenter, bathing suits are STRETCHY. Punch a smaller hole than you think you need.)

    This is why I adore Epbot. Thank you!

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  59. I recently bought this swim suit: http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/swim/juniors/mixandmatch/floral/PRD~c22734/XPOSUR+Floral+Swim+Separates.jsp and the hole on the top is too open. I pinched together the top and bottom of the swim suit top and it looked perfect. Is there any way I can sew it together on my own, without taking it to a tailor or ruining my new favorite bathing suit. Please, please help me A.S.A.P.!!!

    Thanks,
    Megan (:

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  60. I am in love with the grommet idea, I have suit that has the very same issue and when I am in the pool, well "hello Dolly" I am going to try that out myself!!

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  61. The idea with the b&w suit is *exactly* what I need! But, I'm a bit of a novice here. I don't know the difference between an "eyelet" and a "grommet" and am unsure what to buy to use with the Crop-a-dile tool. The Crop-a-dile case comes with eyelets, but, again, would that work with a swimsuit, or are grommets different?

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  62. Ok, I just tried to look it up, and I *still* don't really know the difference between an eyelet and a grommet. Ha! I think the stronger option is the eyelet/grommet that has two pieces you squish together, so if your Crop-a-dile has those, I say go for it. (I've also seen eyelet/grommets that are only one piece, and when you squish/bang it the edges round around and grip the surrounding material. That wouldn't provide as strong of a hold, though.)

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