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May 01, 2008

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The worst -kini garment is surely the mankini, as made famous (ish) by the fictional Borat. See http://www.firebox.com/product/1991 if you have a strong stomach.

What a wonderful post! Like you, I wear a Speedo for swimming, although I have been known to buy a one-piece bandeau-style suit for water aerobics (resulting in a tan with no strap lines). And yes, someone should find a better name than skirtini (or the more appropriate skortini). I see these suits mostly on women who don't want to deal with a sarong, wrap, or towel when on the beach or at the pool. But I can't imagine wearing it for serious swimming.

What is the French name for the wrap? Par--- something, perhaps? (I remember buying a great cotton one at Babette's outlet which I still wear as a big scarf....)

John--Ah yes, how could I forget the mankini? It has been burned on my retinas. Can you sip a mantini while wearing a mankini?

EVVance--It's a pareu or pareo. Actually, the word is Tahitian. A lovely, graceful, versatile item. I've used mine as a bedsheet, a scarf, a dress, a shawl, a skirt...

I just got a skirtini from Lands' End and my usually very disapproving 11yo daughter said, "Mom! You look 20 years younger!" So I bought another. LE's old mock tankini was the best suit I ever had -- I should have bought a dozen. They changed it slightly and the new style didn't fit right.

Karen--Apologies for that "matronly" remark. But ... but ... can you SWIM in that thing? Or is it more like the grown-up version of a toddler's sunsuit?

I love skirtinis -- though I confess that up until now I've only known to call them tankinis with skirt bottoms. I bought one a few years back from Amazon on clearance in December. I've only worn it a few times because I'm not big into swimming or the beach (even here in Florida), but it's a style that I find both comfortable and attractive. I don't see why there aren't more popular because I know so many gals that don't like showing their tummies, thighs, and near their bikini areas. (Then again, I run into a lot that do, but at appropriate places as I recently blogged.)

@Meg: "...and near their bikini areas." This brings up something I neglected to cover in the post: when did "bikini" become a body part? (As in your use, and "bikini wax.") A bikini swimsuit draws attention to several areas, but "bikini area" refers to only one: the high inner thigh. Interesting.

Good question, Nancy! Maybe when people realized that they could make money off of it ;) It always amazes me how many special "bikini" products there are available -- not to mention services.

Re: Skortini, interesting notion but the skirtini I have does have a bit to it to hide at least as much as a bikini bottom, but not nothing else that comes between the thighs, so I wouldn't quite call it a skortini, as I wouldn't call a skirt a skort just because I wear underwear. The skirt can come up if I'm not careful, but then I'm still showing less than most gals.

BTW, no cups? I'm jealous because I have to have something there for shape and support even after a reduction. I don't even like sports bras without cups.

@Meg: Doesn't matter how big the balcony, if you're a swimmer you NEVER wear a suit with bra cups. You simply won't be taken seriously--it's like playing tennis in Mary Janes. Tip: buy the suit a size a size or two (or three) smaller than you think you should. You'll have a uniboob, but you won't jiggle. And you'll be doing laps, so no one will see your chest anyway. (Unless you're a backstroker.) It's all about maximizing the hydrodynamics.

I learn something new everyday!

I cannot remember which magazine--I want to say Saveur--did a pie special this month or last, but they did some sort of feature on this mock apple pie, even trying it with different sorts of crackers (Saltines, Ritz, etc.) in order to see which would work best. This sounds so crazy that I almost want to make it, except it also sounds grotesque. Ah.

As for the burqini - I once had a boyfriend who designed football kits in Bradford (the UK textiles city home to a large Indian / Pakistani majority). He designed a full-cover "modest" football kit for a womens football team in Saudi Arabia.

Whatever your view, modesty is the law in Saudi Arabia and I think it's very heartwarming and kind for good designers to give these women something nice to wear that won't get them in trouble. Of course the politics need to change, but in the mean time, burqinis are the best they can do.

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