What I Wore: My Favorite Swimsuit

best swimsuits for women over 40-2

Okay, I am totally writing this while a winter storm warning is coming for my area but this is about my favorite swimsuit. I love fun swimsuits, sexy swimsuits, statement swimsuits, and suits that suck in and lift up. But to be honest, the Lands' End Tugless has been a mainstay in my wardrobe for years and for good reason.

Swimsuit: Lands' End (12DDD) | Robe: Presley Short Robe c/o Universal Standard (XS) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

A couple months ago, friends of ours got a hot tub and when I came over to enjoy it for the first time I brought my Lands' End Tugless that was a couple years old. I wore it at the beginning of 2018 to a day spa and it seemed to fit fine, I wore it once or twice over the summer when I wanted to swim laps. I put it on at my friends' house and oh no honey, this thing no longer fit. While it would be a prime time to seek out a cool, trendy suit to replace it with and celebrate this new fitter body, I went back to Lands' End and purchased a new Tugless one-piece in my new size. Because why mess with perfection? This past weekend I returned to their house with friends for brunch and tubbing and donned my new Tugless.

It makes sense to have a suit in your wardrobe that can go beyond the lounge chair or the backyard pool party. Can it survive the surf? Can you go cliff diving and not end up topless? Do you have to stop mid-lap to slide your strap back up? Hate getting wedgies on the beach? This suit is so simple it's eternally chic. Not too high cut or low cut, it covers what you need covered without looking frumpy. So classic, you can wear it for swim lessons, a backyard family pool party, enjoying a friend's boat on the weekend, or a romantic beach getaway. All that and this suit comes in petite and long lengths, plus size, cup sizes, and even has a mastectomy option. And, if you buy now when they're trying to get rid of last year's inventory to make for 2019 colors and patterns, they're on an amazing sale. I bought mine at the end of December for just under $27 and at the time of writing this it is still the same price!

I choose the soft cup, which provides shape and a bit of support while remaining comfortable, and if you too have a large bust, the cup sizing helps with a more natural shape, less bunching under the bust, and helps the straps stay up.  I am usually petite in fashion, but chose regular for this suit because I feared it riding up in front or digging in the shoulders.  With most swimwear, if you're unsure size down because suits grow when they get wet and with wear and tear. 

As for the robe, Universal Standard sent it to me and my plan was to wear it with this set and feel all grown woman sexy and comfy. Then when packing up to go to “brunch and tub” I realized I'd want a robe for trips between house and tub. While I love my Soma robe, the double layer can get caught on wet skin if I'm putting it on and off multiple times. I grabbed this one… perfection! It's double layered, but fused so it doesn't separate. Heavyweight, it doesn't cling. It's reversible; one side is the marble pattern, one side is solid navy. The loops for the belt are only on the navy side. It has wide kimono sleeves but the images on the website don't show how there are deep holes in the armpits of the robe. This way you can either wear the sleeves standard, or like I have here. Also this way you can use the belt on the marble side. Oh, did I mention it has pockets?

These aren't the usual polished photos my husband takes for the blog. My friend captured these with my iPhone (and yes it was COLD!) but I feel it's important to balance the polished with a little reality. And to show you can have a tummy that spills over onto your thigh, some stretch marks and saggy leg skin and still be sexy and fierce. These aren't flaws, these are completely normal and it is up to us to determine how we feel about them. The more we make such normal aspects of bodies visible, the less shame and stigma there will be. I'm not going to feel bad for this body, it's a phenomenal body and it deserves to be celebrated. As I shared on Instagram, shape doesn't determine health, strength, or value!

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19 Comments

  1. October 1, 2019 / 4:26 am

    It looks good on you. Great Pick! Thanks also for the tips!

  2. Janice Moreno
    February 27, 2019 / 11:41 pm

    Where are the pockets in the robe? I have the robe & cant find them!

    • February 28, 2019 / 7:25 am

      So I wore it once navy but no need for pockets. Then I wore it this day with the marbeled side out and there were no pockets and I wished it had them. Writing this post the description on the US site said pockets so I figured they were on the navy side. Nope… no pockets! It’s not just you, I just thought I missed them but I just reviewed the robe before writing this. My mistake, and a mistake on the US site!

      • Janice
        February 28, 2019 / 10:48 am

        I wrote a query to US & here’s the reply: “Hi, So yes the robe does have a traditional kimono pocket in the sleeve, it can be accessed either by the slit on the outside of the sleeve or inside of the sleeve.” So the space in the sleeve IS the pocket.

        • March 1, 2019 / 12:07 pm

          Oooh! Thanks for asking them and coming back to let me know!

  3. Lu
    February 21, 2019 / 9:45 am

    WHY can’t the tall option also come with DDD cups? I’m not tall and skinny, nor am I short enough for a regular suit to fit me comfortably. The search continues.

  4. Lu
    February 21, 2019 / 9:44 am

    WHY can’t the tall option also come with DDD cups? I’m not tall and skinny, nor am I short enough for a regular suit not to fit me comfortably. The search continues.

  5. Karen
    February 20, 2019 / 9:32 pm

    I love the Lands End long sleeve rash guards. They are not just for swimming—I frequently wear them for camping and hiking, too. They wash out in a sink, hang dry overnight, pack up to nothing. Because they keep the sun rays out, you actually feel cooler in them than you would in a normal tank or tee. I went to Death Valley a few years ago and the sun was so hot it hurt! I put on my Lands End rash guard and felt 100% cooler, even thought I looked insane wearing long sleeves. I have even worn the striped one as a regular top on city vacations.

    • February 21, 2019 / 7:20 pm

      Brilliant! Thanks for sharing this Karen I know it will help others!

  6. Grace
    February 20, 2019 / 3:49 pm

    I love swim from Lands End. Last summer, I purchased a coverup in “swimsuit fabric”– it’s like a short sleeve, thigh-length, tie neck tunic in a pretty mosaic pattern. I LIVED in that thing all last summer. Perfect for days at the river or lake, kayaking, basically anything where you’re in and out of the water, bt want to be a little more covered up than just a suit, for modesty and sun protection. It was such a great purchase I just bought another so I have two for this summer (if it ever comes.)

  7. Alice
    February 20, 2019 / 3:13 pm

    Thanks, Alison, for the swimsuit tip. I just ordered a navy tugless from Lands End, along with matching 5″ swim shorts. Love the sale price!

    • February 21, 2019 / 7:22 pm

      Right? I couldn’t wait when I saw they still had the awesome sale!

  8. Alison
    February 20, 2019 / 2:30 pm

    Love these pics! You look great, Lands’ End swimwear is so classic and I would never have guessed Universal Standard for a robe. Also: all hail normalizing images of bodies with stretch marks, wrinkles, sagging or bulging!

  9. Nebraskim
    February 20, 2019 / 11:37 am

    Your endorsement is encouraging; I know others who swear by this brand, including a friend who does things like attempt to swim the English Channel and who regularly does things like 8-hour swimming marathons. I purchased my first “swimwear” since 1986 this year — a Lands’ End 5-inch shorts and a high-front tank combo. We are going on an adventure cruise to Sea of Cortez in April and I may try to kayak or go snorkeling if I can get past my revulsion of my body in a swim suit. Both items fit fine but I’ve not pulled the tags and may send them back. I never IRL wear sleeveless tops nor shorts this short so it’s uncomfortable to feel this exposed. I think I might order the LE leggings and attached skirt instead and wear with a sports bra and rash guard. I never attend activities where I need swimwear, so having items like the skirt-leggings combo would be more versatile for me as I can wear to yoga.

    • Grace
      February 20, 2019 / 3:55 pm

      I mentioned this coverup in my comment above… I LIVED in this last summer for the kind of water activities you mention. (Jealous– I would love to go to Sea of Cortez!) It feels like a cute summer dress but you can get it 100% wet and it dries fast. It comes in plus sizes too. http://bit.ly/2SNi9Fw

    • Heather
      February 20, 2019 / 6:28 pm

      I went snorkeling last summer and most of the time I wore a long sleeve rash guard and a pair of swim shorts. I really wished I had brought a pair of swim capris or leggings, because the backs of my legs got sunburned while snorkeling for hours on end. We also did a lot of kayaking, so the front of my legs got sunburned too. (I was trying to minimize using sunscreen because it can be harmful to coral) I think the skirt-leggings combo would be very practical for your trip.

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