From bike dresses to swim dresses? Sam mulls them over but decides against

Four years ago I blogged about running skirts (I’m not a fan)  and this year I blogged about bike dresses (I recently bought one). I guess as a result of all the related googling other kinds of active wear skirts and dresses have made their way into my social media newsfeed.

The latest is the swimming dress.

Here’s my favourite of the lot.

On the plus side, it’s cute. And while it doesn’t look like a great choice for actually swimming in, that doesn’t matter so much at the beach. Lots of the time at the beach you’re not actually swimming. You’re sitting around making sandcastles, playing frisbee, finding snacks, collecting shells, reading books, and so on. Also, the nice thing about dresses, as opposed to bikinis, is that with less skin exposed there’s less of you to sunscreen. And swim dresses might get some women out to the beach who wouldn’t otherwise go. All good.

There’s a big wide world of beach dresses out there. Some, like the one I like, are targeted at women hanging at the beach with kids, dogs, and friends. The motivation seems to be cute and comfortable. Also, less worry about holding your tummy in all day.

Others are definitely targeted to women who’ve had skin cancer and they feature high necks and full leg and arm coverage 

Still others are targeted at those women who observe modesty norms for religious reasons.

There are lots of different reasons to show less skin.

And yet….

For me, I’ve worked hard to be comfortable at the beach in a bikini. Many years ago, younger thin aspring me held out the bikini as an example of the sort of thing I couldn’t wear yet but that I could wear once I’d lost enough weight. Once I realized that wasn’t going to happen and that life is really very short, I started wearing them, also cute dresses and short skirts.

Sometimes I fling on shorts and a t-shirt over the bikini if I’m running around lots at the beach but mostly I hang out in my two piece bathing suit.

And the thing is I think if I started wearing swim dresses, pretty soon that’s all I’d wear at the beach. I’d be part of the crowd of fifty something women who stop wearing bikinis because they’re too old. Bye bye bikinis, bye bye cute dresses next, and definitely bye bye mini skirts.

I also keep thinking of the fight by early feminists for women to have the choice not to wear dresses to the beach.

So I think I won’t buy a swimming dress, as cute as they are.

I’m going to be that fifty something woman in her bikini.

This is just about me, my life history as a beach going person, and about my tendencies and approach to life. You do you, of course. No judgements here 

(Oh, and there’s also beach leggings if dresses aren’t your thing.)

How about you? Do swimming dresses hold any appeal? Why/why not?

About Sam B

Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist!

6 thoughts on “From bike dresses to swim dresses? Sam mulls them over but decides against

  1. fieldpoppy says:

    My sister wears swimming dresses and skorts while hiking. I wore one of her swimming dresses once because I didn’t have a bathing suit and it just felt like way too much fabric while I was in the water. I’m with you on the two pieces :-).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly says:

    I think this is the first time I’ve seen a thin woman in a swim dress (well, in modern times anyway.) Growing up fat, I have worn many swim dresses in the hopes that somehow they would cause people to not notice my fatness. They feel like wearing an apology to me. They’re not at all practical for swimming and I hate the way the skirt part has to be wrung out when you get out of the water, or else you drip like crazy everywhere! That said, I’m sure others who don’t have a history of wearing a swim dress as a punishment won’t have so much baggage and can enjoy the trend. Morep power to them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. G says:

    Not a fan of swim dresses either. If you’re actually in the water, the skirt part floats up and then you’ve got this mass of wet fabric bunched around your waist (or higher up, if it’s not attached– strangled in the water by your own bathing suit!) Covering up on the beach is what cover-ups are for.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rebecca says:

    As a surfer, I love beach tights – they give amazing sun protection AND the stay on!! I think they’re the most feminist and freeing surf wear item I’ve seen in many years.

    Like

  5. Rebecca Olive says:

    I love beach tights! They’re great for sun protection AND they stay on!! I think they’re the most feminist and freeing item of surf wear I’ve seen in a long time. Would I surf in a dress? No, but low cut, one-piece swimmers that cover you up more? Absolutely!

    Like

  6. rubiescorner says:

    Swim dresses were never a part of the past..right? I can see that swim ware had decreased in size, and now it might be longer in length. When I’m hot, I need to get cool. I try to choose what looks good for me. Very tight, and real short doesn’t look good on me. I am pleasingly still, and even when I did weigh less, the nothing to it suits didn’t look right. I need more because I have places that couldn’t look worse in a swim attire. I am not old-fashioned so that I don’t go swimming. I have a pace maker, and I can’t be in the pool. So I dodge the sun.

    Like

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