I’m a Jersey Girl. We don’t go to the beach, we go “Down the shore . . .” and the music of Bruce Springsteen was pretty much the sound track to my adolescence. So when the Boss covered the Tom Wait’s song “Jersey Girl”, it should have summed up those 80’s for me, as I actually lived them.
“Cause down the shore everything’s alright . . . .”
Except it wasn’t. For me. Plus-size and full-busted, I had a really hard time ever finding a swimsuit. Even as a child, wearing a hand-me-down one-piece of my older sister’s, I hated getting sand into the crotch of the swimsuit that was stretched out after years of being worn by someone taller than me.
Then when I was shopping for my own suits, I couldn’t find anything in conventional stores and couldn’t find enough bust support in plus-sized swimwear. For two decades, if I couldn’t go skinny-dipping, I would wear men’s swim trunks and a t-shirt over an ill-fitting bra. So, as you might imagine — I didn’t swim much. Maybe a handful of times in my twenties and thirties. Otherwise, I stayed out of the sun and out of the fun. Pool parties, weeks at the beach, vacations to sunny, summery locales . . . I turned it all down and stayed indoors.
Only my dermatologist was happy. Cup-sized swimwear changed all that when I found it in 2007. And I’m making up for lost time trying to get in all the vitamin D I can manage. I even, in my 40’s, took up surfing.
Earlier this summer, a good friend took me to see Sir Paul McCartney perform in Philadelphia as part of his Out There tour. Comfortably secure in a swim bra under a summer dress, with no cares about straps showing or lingerie being on display, I was able to get lost in the music. Singing along to old Beatles & Wings tunes, I was completely un-selfconscious about what I wore. That took nearly half a century, but I was able to be Out There.
So my hope for my fellow full bust sisters is that you find a swimsuit and sink your toes in the sand or in the grass. That you build sand castles or run through sprinklers; that you go tubing down a river or snorkeling or surfing or flying kites on a beach. That you let a cup-sized bikini top do double duty as a bra under a summer dress. Try one of the suits we’ve reviewed and get Out There.