Perhaps you’re thinking of a voyage to sunshine. Perhaps you’re dreaming of summertime’s arrival. Perhaps you live in Australia, where it’s already shown up.
You might be interested in a philosophy for bathing suit coverups. “Wait,” you say, “Philosophies are not required in this realm. Just throw on any dang thing!” But think about it for a minute.
- If you go on vacation some place hot, very few of those cute shorts and pique dresses will make it out of your suitcase.
- You’re gonna be in a bathing suit most of the time. (Much better to wear a wet bathing suit until dry, than to remove it and have to put it back on again, still wet. Blurgh.)
- You’re not going to want to wear only a bathing suit to eat, or walk through lobbies, once you pass the age of about 15.
And there you have it.
A coverup may be worn more often than anything else. Let’s say you don’t bother to bring anything special. No harm done. But that’s a lot of hours logged in the only big t-shirt you own. Which may or may not belong to one of your children, and may or may not sport subversive or profane language.
Now if you purchase without a philosophy, you’re at risk of winding up bedazzled, terry-clothed rompered, or doomed to a bilious shade of lavender. Fashioned of horrid cotton crepe, no less. And don’t even think about buying your coverup in resort-land. They will charge you a premium the likes of which is rarely seen in the temperate zone.
So, should my admittedly somewhat tenuous logic have convinced you, here’s a conceptual framework
A Peripatetic Philosophy for Covering Up Your Bathing Suit.
(By the way, we don’t say swimsuit in my culture. I have no idea why.)
1. If you are on a rustic vacation, i.e. the Swedish Archipelago, Maine, or a mountain lake, wear a button front shirt with long sleeves. After all, you’re hiding from the sun as much as anything else. To say nothing of the possibility that someone might ask you to gut a fish.. Chambray is nice.
Plaid has the tomboy and hipster stamp of approval. You’ll want a bandanna to go with.
2. If you are in a Northern Hemisphere spot during the warm season, or at a neighborhood pool/lake, go sporty. Navy blue and military green are always appropriate near water. Sad but true; borders have been historically risky. Here’s an olive weave.
And a striped navy knit.
3. If you are off to the tropics, wear a floaty tunic. I had always relied on sarongs but frankly one tires of knotted ends and sunburned shoulders. Here’s what I found myself yearning for, in Hawaii. This silhouette is going to look good on most everyone. (Of course, if you are traveling by sailboat, the game changes. A good marinière and some baggy chinos will more than do.)
This one is sedate in fabric and shape, the pattern keeps us in vacation territory.
Secret tip. Don’t buy your coverup to match your bathing suit, per se. Buy it to match your skin tone. Because the suit will be, for the most part, you know, covered up. This one would do my skin tone good – although the transparent silk offers little help with sun avoidance.
One final thought. What about crochet, mesh, or lace? I believe they are fine for certain ages, either under 25 or over 65, but awfully difficult for the rest of us. This I wouldn’t wear anywhere, at any age. Besides, the resultant tan lines are confusing at best.
Feel free to ignore all of the above advice. Water is the great leveler. It’s hard to maintain dignity when you’re soaking wet, and may not be worth the effort. But if you, like me, are pursued by the Devil of Appropriate, I’m happy to deconstruct until the manatees come home.