Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My Quest for Modest Swimsuits

Having 6 kiddos, 4 of them girls, means swimsuit season can be challenging.

We believe in being modest EVEN at the pool or beach.

This is NOT an easy order to fill.

The boys are pretty simple.  A pair of long swim trunks or board shorts; a rash guard shirt and...... they. are. set. to. go!

On the other hand, the girls..... well, that's a whole different story.

When the 3 littles were smaller, I frequently found suits at Target that consisted of a rash guard shirt and swim shorts.  The shorts - because the girls were still pretty young and their legs were still kinda short - were long enough to keep us happy and feel they were pretty modest.

Now that they are bigger, those shorts just. don't. cut. it.  Not to mention, most of the 'suit sets' now have bikini bottoms.

We don't do bikinis.  Period.

Not an option.

I've scoured the internet and have found some feasible options.  The cost, however, is quite prohibitive.

Especially considering we have to buy 4 girls' suits, plus one for me.

Not to mention, part of our quest in being modest is to avoid drawing undue attention to oneself.  Some of the 'modest suits' available would turn as many heads as wearing a bikini.  Granted, the girls and I would still be 'covered', but that's not our ONLY goal.  Our aim is to be modest and glorify God in so doing.  NOT cause others to gauk and stare because we look 'odd'.

Bethany is a challenge in an of herself.

She's a teen now. Starting to LOOK like a young woman.  Tall.  Lean.  Long legs. Long torso.

A nightmare for ANY swim suit shopping let a lone the modest variety.

In the past she's had a couple options.  She had a swim dress, but the top was a bit low and she had to wear a swim tank or high fronted sports bra under it.  Not the most practical.  For the last 2 years, she's worn a pair of boy's board shorts (we picked a teal color that didn't look masculine) with a one piece teal bathing suit under them and a matching rash guard shirt over that.

Functional, but WOWZA, the layers.  Talk about a challenge to use the restroom.  Sheesh.

I started the search for modest suits recently when I noticed summer items appearing in the stores.

First I checked the racks. Always cheaper and easier to buy from a local store.  Then I searched on-line - despite having done so NUMEROUS times before.

I'm pretty familiar with WHAT'S available on-line.  Deciding which suit we REALLY preferred and HOW MUCH we wanted to spend, was our next step.

We were fortunate to stumble upon some cute swim suits for the 2 youngest girls at Costco.  They had a rash guard shirt and a skirted bottom.  The bottom was a bit short, so we purchased black capri leggings to go under them.

Cute.  Functional.  Modest.  Feminine.  (Plus, fairly easy for 'potty breaks'.  Important when your are dealing with a  5 and 6 year old.)

Unfortunately the sizes did not go high enough for the other 2 girls.

More searching.

Walmart had some cute rash guard shirts, but only bikini bottoms.  Any shorts I have found might as well be bikinis - as short as they were.

That wouldn't do.

Finally, it hit me.


Duh!  Why didn't I think of that years ago?

The quest is on.

Finding the 2 older girls and myself swim shirts we like, coordinating capri leggings, and matching lycra material and.....


After a bit of sewing.....

Modest suits all around.


  1. I've tried sewing swimsuit material, and I think it's hard...maybe I had the wrong needle? But I think that's a great option, and the girls can pick out exactly what fabric they want and you can pick out the length you want.

    I've always gotten 1-piece suits, and my girls say they want two-piece but I just tell them "No, it look slike you're walking around in your UNDERWEAR so that's a big NO"

    1. I'm not sure I've ever sewn swimsuit material. Thanks for the heads up that it may not be super easy. I'm hoping since I'm doing a very simple circle skirt, it won't be too bad. Yeah, we've never really done the two pieces (bikini variety). When Bethany was super little I did have some 2 piece suits for her. At the time I figured she was a baby, what's the big deal. Now I realize that it's wise to just start at the beginning teaching modesty. Yeah, 2 piece suits are out for us too. I like the rash guards with skirts/long shorts. Good coverage. Here's hoping sewing the skirts I want to make is as easy as I'm imagining. :-)


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