— Style —

The Bikini Bifurcation

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Start a conversation about bikinis with women around our age, and you’ll find the subject pretty evenly split between those who think bikinis are fine on anyone who wears them, well, and those who believe there’s an expiration date on wearing a bikini. I rarely see anyone else close to my age wearing one.

For the last five or six years, the beginning of swimsuit season reintroduces this dilemma, and I wonder, “Will this be the year I go to a one-piece?”

I hate all of that dripping-wet spandex, clinging to my mid-section. (I prefer to skinny-dip, but without a pool of my own, such antics are a thing of the past.) Each spring I shift into even more fruits and salads, and amp up my exercise routine. In no time, I’ve dropped my winter “fluff” in time for swimsuit season. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened this year. I went from a broken wrist–and a cast–straight into an excruciatingly hot summer. Too hot to go to the pool.

I’ve got a one-piece suit, evocative of Old Hollywood, and as sexy as a one-piece can be. Add high-heeled pool shoes, a black straw hat, and voila! Glamour galore, but, I’ve never worn it. It’s waiting for me.

To continue wearing a two-piece swimsuit as we age, may well require one of two things: a more challenging workout to build muscle tone–which keeps our skin filled out beautifully–or a comfort level within yourself so strong that you don’t care what anyone thinks.

So far, I haven’t found the motivation to get back to the gym, and unfortunately, I haven’t reached the to-hell-with-what-anyone-thinks stage of my life yet. I wonder if I ever will?

The way I see it, if I dawdle a little longer, summer will be over, and the problem will be solved for another year.


  • Diane August 16, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I’m on the other side of the fence. Or…pool. But then, I’ve never worn a bikini. Let me re-phrase. I wore one once. Lost my bottoms when I flipped into the pool and haven’t worn one since. I hate having to adjust (or find) anything to climb out of a pool. My swimsuit more resembles the old-fashioned men’s suit of the twenties. Yep. To the knees. 🙂

    • Donna O'Klock August 20, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Diane – that would have absolutely ruined me on them too! But I was rather impressed with the female Olympic swimmers suits, could become a fashion statement!

  • Laureen Satabe August 16, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Judy Dench is THE exception!!

    • 1010 Park Place August 17, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      Helen Mirrien!

    • Laureen Satabe August 17, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Wrong Brit….you are totally right! Senior moment 🙁

      • 1010ParkPlace August 18, 2016 at 10:55 am

        xoxox, B

      • Donna O'Klock August 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm

        Helen Mirren is one of my heroines for so many reasons -and her “bikini bod” – in her 60’s is one of them’

  • Jen Lawrence August 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I wear a two piece. I figure that most people are not looking and those who are looking can deal with it. When I was in the south of France a few years ago, there was a woman who had to be 80 sprawled out, in bikini bottoms only, like a starfish out to tan her belly. If she can do it, so can I!

    • Donna O'Klock August 20, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      You are so right, Jen! I guess because I’m such a people watcher, I assume everyone is studying me, too. I’m pretty sure that’s pretty far from the truth!
      If that 80 yr. old can do it, I can too. Thanks!

  • 1010ParkPlace August 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Bikinis never appealed to me. Perhaps that’s because I used to frequently scum or snorkel and free dive, which often meant scuba tanks and the 19-lb weight belt I needed to wear rubbed against me (I was always black & blue), or part of my two piece came off. I became an expert at finding the sexiest, chicest one pieces. It just became a habit. xoxo, Brenda

    • Donna O'Klock August 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      And perhaps a habit is all my bikinis are to me, too. I think this soggy summer may end-up being “bikini rehab!” Total withdrawal!

  • Susan August 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Donna, you would look splendid in a bikini! I have opted for tankinis over the past few years, mainly for convenience when I have to go to the bathroom. 🙂 After my trip to South Padre recently, I can tell you absolutely anything goes!

    • Donna O'Klock August 20, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      You are so kind, Susan! And knowing that “anything goes” is going on right here in Texas, I’m going to let self-consciousness go, too!

  • Betsy Forbes Brock August 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I actually starting wearing one in my 50’s. I never wore one when I was younger, probably because the styles you find now cover a bit more and are better made.

    • Donna O'Klock August 20, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Good for you, Betsy! Let’s hang out together on the beach next year, what say?

  • Esther Zimmer August 19, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Come and live in Europe. It’s actually quite rare to see a one piece on European beaches, unless you’re referring to bikini bottoms only! 🙂 Esther xx

    • Donna O'Klock August 20, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      I may well show up on your doorstep next summer, Esther!

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