fashion

CULT BUY: The absurdly flattering one-piece swimsuit that costs less than $30.

Note: This story isn’t sponsored, I just had a revelation I had to share. 

Hi.

I have a confession.

I have the type of body that looks ridiculous in a one-piece swimming costume.

I’m short, I have boobs, I have hips (but no bum… cool), and when I’m in a one-piece, my tummy doesn’t… look its best.

While you might think this image is a screenshot of Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine, it’s actually a photo of me in a change room while trying on a one-piece.

little-miss-sunshine
Oh. Hi. Image via Fox Searchlight Pictures.

It's really frustrating to not be able to wear a one-piece. If I genuinely want to go for a swim, or dive in a pool, or jump in the waves at the beach, a bikini is entirely impractical. There's boob everywhere, and that's an issue.

Then, over the long weekend, I made a discovery.

There is one magical one-piece I don't look ridiculous in. In fact, this swimsuit is... dare I say... flattering.

Surely not.
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I know.

Let me set the scene: It's a public holiday, and I'm just hanging in my active wear as usual. It occurs to me that since I live in active wear, I should probably buy more, so decide to go to Cotton On Body.

That's when I saw it.

Their swimwear looked really... nice. 'Don't do it to yourself,' I said, silently. 'You know you'll try it on and then be traumatised for the next month.'

But I couldn't help it. I grabbed a couple of one-piece swimmers and brought them into the change room.

As I put the first one on, something struck me as problematic. I didn't look like a thumb. Or a five-year-old. Or a boob. I had... shape. The one-piece looked... good.

I... know.

I tried on two one-pieces, ranging from $29.95 to $34.95 - a bargain considering one-pieces can easily cost over $100.

The one I ended up buying was the cheaper one, which was black, but comes in several different colours.

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When I looked in the mirror, these were my observations (in laypersons terms, from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about fashion/swimwear):

  • My boobs were supported, which is just not ever a thing with one-pieces. These swimmers have what looks like a crop top, as well as enough padding to keep your boobs in place, without making them look several times bigger.
  • They have a low back, which makes it slightly... sexy? Not that I look sexy, but I look like I'm wearing a cool one-piece, and not Speedos for a swimming carnival (not that there's anything wrong with that).
  • As a side note, HOW DO THESE SWIMMERS HAVE A LOW BACK BUT ALSO SUPPORT YOUR BOOBS? IT'S MAGIC.
  • The cut on the bum is such that they're not super skimpy (I'm not a g-string gal at the beach), but they don't cut in anywhere you don't want them to.
  • They're a little bit high on the hips (which I believe is the 'cool' thing these days) but not to an absurd Baywatch level.
  • The neckline sits in the perfect spot - not too low and not too high.

According to Cotton On Body, in proper-swimwear-speak, this translates to the following features:

  • Built-in shelf bra
  • Removable foam cup inserts
  • Rounded scooped neckline
  • Fixed straps at back
  • Medium butt coverage
  • Matte finish fabric
  • Fully lined

While I bought my one-piece in black, the online range is much more colourful. These are a few of the variations in the style I bought:

Image via Cotton On Body.
Image via Cotton On Body.
Image via Cotton On Body.
Image via Cotton On Body.
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Image via Cotton On Body.
Image via Cotton On Body.

The other swimsuit I tried on, and almost bought, was just as flattering. I just decided to go for the low back rather than cross over straps.

Image via Cotton On Body.
Image via Cotton On Body.
Image via Cotton On Body.
Image via Cotton On Body.
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I've genuinely never been able to find a one-piece that works on my body. Ever. So to be able to find TWO STYLES that made me feel comfortable and confident was a revelation. From those two styles, there are almost ten colours and patterns to choose from.

If you've struggled to find a one-piece that suits you, definitely give Cotton On Body a go. They've also got two-pieces in a range of styles, colours and patterns, including high-waisted bikini bottoms and bikini tops with underwire and a bralette silhouette.

I'm not a fashion guru, but these are pretty and fun and flattering. Which means one less thing to worry about when summer arrives.

Want to help Mamamia with some new ideas? Plus go in the chance to win $50? Take our quick survey now.

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