Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dive In: Plus Size Swimwear for that Cruise

Clothing retailers, especially those with limited floorspace, only stock the best selling sizes. This might be easily remedied in the men's pant department by hemming trouser legs an inch or two or taking something in. Sometimes ordering from the catalog suffices, as there are usually no fitting surprises. Women's bathing suits are an entirely different matter. Occasionally, a regular department store will carry the odd size 16 or 18, but the trendy surf shops seem to think size 10 is an XL.

The internet typically is a better source for plus size swimwear, even if it takes a bit of trial and error. Surprisingly, plus size websites start at a size 12 or 14, which is far from plus size, especially since the scale for bathing suits typically start at a size 8, and go up to a size 22 and even a size 40 in some styles. The bathing suit size doesn't always correspond to clothing sizes, but because of materials, such as lycra and spandex, they tend to be more forgiving.

"Plus size model" has been quite the buzz word, or buzz phrase. Surprisingly, the "plus size" ladies are a mere size 8-10 for high runway and perhaps a 12-14 for catalog modeling, which is merely a size medium, it seems. There are seldom women modeling plus sized clothing that are truly a size 30, or even a 18 outside of very specialized catalogs. However, the suits shown are proportioned to look flattering on larger sizes and are not upcharged for extra fabric. Certain panels may not be as revealing, and alternatives, such as swim dresses and short and top sets are also available for ease of fit.

Looks are deceiving, anyhow, when it comes to the example models. When a model is 6', if she is a size 12 to 14, even perhaps a 16, so long as she is not photographed with her size 0-2 sisters, she appears in proportion and looks to be a healthy weight. You would never guess.

Before you go on that cruise this winter, don't despair. Tasteful and fashionable options abound.


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