The Annual Torture Of Buying Swimwear When You’re Middle-Aged

We’re approaching summer here in Sydney and my annual fear of publicly outing the middle-aged, cuddly bod, to a beach full of unsuspecting and judgmental sunbathers already has me reeling with fear.

The Annual Torture Of Buying Swimmers In Middle Age


I moved to Australia for the temperate climate but as much as I love the water, the idea of posing in swimmers and having to hold in the muffin top for most of the weekend, is hardly a relaxing idea.

It seems I’m destined to write this ‘buying swimmers’ post each year, because I know that I can’t be the only middle-aged woman out there who would prefer to disappear on leave with Tony Abbott than try on swimming costumes.

At the end of every summer season I swear that the following year I will opt for the burqini or don a kaftan, yet here I am again, the vanity of wanting to add some colour to my sallow, English skin forcing me into apparel designed for the young and nubile.

I get sucked in by the ads, you see. What wafer-thin model doesn’t look good in swimmers? As soon as Jets and Seafolly reveal their new range of full-pieces, I get excited, kidding myself that this year things will be different.

Even though they never are …unless I had the spare cash to spend on some blood-constricting, Spanx-style miracle suit, I imagine; a snip at only $300.

Nevertheless, this year I started out with a positive outlook. The experience couldn’t be any worse than last year, I kidded myself, and I know I’ve gained weight so I wasn’t exactly expecting Elle McPherson to peer back at me from the torture chamber changing room mirror. So I confidently dragged an assortment of full-pieces and tankinis ranging in price from $60 to $120 back to my secret lair of doom.

The Annual Torture Of Buying Swimmers In Middle Age
Burkqini by Giorgio Montersino at

They’re crafty, those swimwear designers. The $60 generic swimsuits fitted my body surprisingly well, but in terms of design, they had obviously been created for nanas. With their thick, wide straps, over-zealous padding in the boob area and the fugliest patterns on the front panel, (that would have looked much better on curtains in a nursing home), I just couldn’t give up that easily.

So I moved to the tankini, my favourite type of swimmers, the obvious advantage being that if like me, you need to pee every twenty minutes at the sight and sound of moving water, they’re quick and easy to disrobe. But again, while most designers make tankini tops to support lumpy, middle-aged breasts with enough boning and lycra to crush the muffin top into submission, the bottoms don’t get even close to covering a real bush.

Fifteen costumes and what felt like two hours of body contortion later, I decided that enough was enough and that if I really wanted to torture myself I could give up wine for another evening.

7 thoughts on “The Annual Torture Of Buying Swimwear When You’re Middle-Aged

  1. Lol. You don’t just pee through your tankini? lol. (beach (and here, I mean water, not on the sand…) is probably okay… pool is a no no!)


  2. I’m not a fan of the tankini for some reason. Maybe sensory issues and it makes me even more aware of my muffin top. I’m still in pursuit of a suit I like. It gets harder and harder every year. Maybe next year I’ll skip the beach.


  3. Oh my God..this post cracked me up (and made me reach for a glass of wine, recollecting my once nubile Bod..)😳 Summer starting to wane for us in Canada, the swimsuit stress is more or less over, but sod it can I EVER relate to the trauma of trying the buggers on!!

    In particular one has to just LOVE the ever-flattering flourescent lighting in every change room that highlights every single sac of cottage cheese on my thighs that remind me that fecking perimenopause and HRT have ravaged what once used to be a fairly tight little unit..Sun damage on Prison-Pallored British/Irish skin tones also shows up like a beacon in those bloody change rooms..yes…half English half Irish I should never have lasted as long as I have without some kind of Geneological Coup wiping me out (but that’s a whole other story)..I really should try a tankini next year.,because WHO AM I KIDDING??? I will NOT give up my love of good cuisine and fine wine(hell cheap wine 😄) and ever be willing to eat celery and do bootcamp…so good luck to you darling as you approach your summer!!! Be bold! We of middle age may not have the taught tight little bods of the younger women but feck it we have wisdom and the ability to say exactly what is on our minds without feeling guilty so there we are! You are fabulous😊


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