Hi Friends! Iā€™m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



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Bikini Shopping

Jan 31, 2013

This week while I was in Target browsing I noticed their bathing suits were out- yes in January.  I saw two cute ones and figured why not?  I should try these on.  Bad idea.  Why is bathing suit shopping so horrible.  The lighting, the gigantic mirrors.  It was a nightmare.   I wanted to cry when I put on the bikinis.  I was pale and flabby.  Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think I am fat by any means, my body was just loose and gross.   My stomach area really needs some work.  And the sad thing is I have been eating pretty healthy and working out.  UHHH I obviously need to be doing more before I get a bikini.  But it got me thinking I would love a kick ass bikini for this summer. 

I don’t think I bought a single bathing suit last year, its time for a new two piece for mama.  I own quite a few one pieces I love but no bikinis that I love. I figure I am not getting any younger so I might as well rock one while I can.
This is my inspiration for the summer.  I want to look as good as Gwyneth in her bikini.  I mean she is 40 and looks freaking amazing.

Who makes the most flattering bikinis?  I may order online and try on in my house because I am traumatized by my Target experience.   I am not afraid to spend a little dough on a bikini I feel comfortable in because I don’t buy them often.  I want a classic one to last me a awhile.

Here are a few I have narrowed it down to:

{Marysia Scallop Bikini}

This one is a fore runner I have wanted it forever.  It is not cheap but looks amazing and might just be worth the money.

{Eberjey Tutu Bikini}
Classic black and love the cute ruffle.  I am partial to strapless bathing suits too because of tan lines.  Although Matt claims one with straps are more flattering….

{Splendid One Piece}

I already own a few one pieces but this one is so classic and flattering, I would love to have it!

 {Missoni Bikini}
Remember this beauty from my obsessions post?    I really want her, like bad.  Even though it is skimpy,  some people swear string bikinis are the way to go.  That they are more flattering than regular bikinis because they don’t cut in at your hips.  This is the priciest option though.  Anyone own a Missoni bikini?  How do they fit/hold up?

 I really want a long cover up this year too.  I have lots and lots of short ones but want a really fabulous long one.  My top picks:

{Indah Strapless Maxi| Indah Empire Cover-up | LemLem Patio Dress | Bop Basics Maxi}

 Ok so take a vote and tell me which of the top 3 bikinis I should buy??  or where else I should be shopping for a fabulous bikini- one that will make me look like Gwyneth:)

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  1. FlirtyGems says:

    I think Lilly Pulitzer has the best coverups they are always really cute.

  2. FlirtyGems says:

    I think Lilly Pulitzer has the best coverups they are always really cute.

  3. I adore the tutu and scallop options! They totally look like you. You know my feeling on the Missoni. Obviously fabulous, just is pretty much like being covered by a paper napkin. And because of the price point, I am always concerned about getting it wet. Lame I know.

  4. I adore that scallop bikini. I need a new one as well. Last year was all leftovers. I'm a big nervous about a two-piece but you're right, we're not getting any younger so might as well rock it while we can!

  5. Jill says:

    believe it or not I really like the Gap bikinis….they are perfect for moms because they are not too skimpy. I had 2 c-sections so I don't want a suit that is so low in the front that you can see my scar.

  6. Liz says:

    I love the ones you picked out, but I really swear by J Crew bikinis…they are flattering and, for those like me that like a bit more coverage after baby, they have fuller bottoms and even some high waisted bottoms. Sounds weird but they are cute. I just hate that you can't try them on in stores (none carry them, at least around me).

  7. caycee says:

    Girl get the string, I promise it's the most flattering! And Matt is right a top with straps looks best, especially for us with "real boobs" much better!

  8. Cute stuff! Have you been to Everything But Water? They have a great selection and you can get different sizes for the top and bottom, which is sometimes all it takes to find the perfect suit! Target suits are cute but never work for me! Their cut is really strange (aka cheap) and the lights in there are horrific!

  9. I think you should totally go with the string. If you've got it flaunt it…and why not do it while you can?! I second the bikini's from Gap. They aren't that pricey and they do give good coverage. I bought two last year and I still love them.

  10. Order some from the Gap and try them on at your house. I promise it will be a win-win!

  11. I'm going to get the Missoni bikini, I think I'm just going to go a size up in it. And I own that blue and white cover up and am totally obsessed with it!

  12. I looove marysia's pieces an that black one is probably my favorite. Have you ever tried Vix Swimwear? They fit amazing, seriously šŸ˜‰

  13. The bathing suits already being out in January motivate me to get on it! I'm a one piece girl and I LOVE the one you featured – totally love a halter style.

  14. Already wishing for summer by the pool with this post. The tutu bikini you posted is darling! The selection is obviously more limited, but I've had good luck with suits from Nordstrom. Like you, I'm feeling a little adventurous this year and looking to buy something fresh. It's been a few years since I bought a suit.

  15. I've been looking around at swimwear and coverups too. I recommend popping into Everything But Water before you order anything just to see. But you know I'm a Marysia fan, so that's my fav.

  16. Katie says:

    I vote for the Missoni one! I too think strings are much more flattering.

    I just ordered this one piece because of all the great reviews. It hasn't come yet but I'm hoping its a winner!


  17. I'm thinking Marysia or Missoni…or Eres. Those are definitely a splurge but last FOREVER and the color never fades. I vote for the LemLem dress as it's light in the summer heat and so different. Love the one you chose! Check out the LemLem site too bvc a lot of her pieces are half off šŸ™‚

  18. Ellen Runyon says:

    I LOVE the italan jersey lomellina line from jcrew. The fabric sort of conforms to your body and the colors and sheen are amazing. My favorite part is that they are lined with the same fabric, so they are as comfortable as your birthday suit :). Good luck!

  19. megan says:

    First of all, I saw that Gweneth pic in my blog reader and I swear I thought it was you! Second, LOVE those first two bikinis. I am all about strapless, too, but like Matt, Cameron is not a fan.

  20. Alicia xoxxo says:

    Def order online and try on in the comfort of your home. I always do this! I vote for the 2nd bikini! Love it and it will never go out of style. For me the Missoni isa little too skimpy, but you could pull it off. And I am dying over the black/white cover up, I think it was the 2nd one too. Perfect with a big hat and big sunnies! I say go for it!!!
    Also, there is a store called Everything But Water (I think thats the name) they have amazing bathing suit and cover-ups. I have bought several from there.

  21. Natasha says:

    i totally agree…why they put those things out so early is beyond me–it's just to make us feel bad about ourselves i guess!!

    i LOVE the scalloped bikini…i think that would be oh so flattering, especially with a cute beach hat, too!!

    other top places i buy from are VS and JCrew

  22. 17 Perth says:

    Oh yes—bikini shopping–hahaha–not fun! I love the scallop bikini though. Adorable. Also, some other readers have noted JCrew–but I love their bathing suits. Got my last two from there–and I spend a lot of time in them in the summer. They hold up well and are super comfortable!

  23. Laura says:

    I love that scalloped one! Oh and btw, when I saw the preview picture for this post in my google reader (it was gwynnie) I thought it was you!!

  24. Really love the bathing suit with the ruffle–so cute! I think that ViX swimwear is also really cute (sold at Nordstroms) and flattering!

  25. Loving the tutu bikini!! But nowhere ready to go suit shopping…eeek!

  26. Kara Beam says:

    I like the tutu bikini the best šŸ™‚ I feel like that style top does a good job giving the boobs more perk than the other options šŸ™‚ Also, coming from someone who has 50+ bikinis because my mother in law works in Dillards swim, I swear by the Trina Turk bathing suits (http://www.trinaturk.com/Swimwear). I also really like the Bleu by Rod Beattie for a really great quality suit that flatters even if you are having a fat day.(http://www.swimnsport.com/Bleu–Rod-Beattie-Swimwear-Midas-UW-D-Cup-Bandeau-TOP/PAFCADHPMPABAILD/Product)

  27. Melissa says:

    Love the scallop bikini! It's adorable. Unforch, my girls would be falling out of it — gotta stick with the halters!

  28. I have one of those scalloped bikinis and I adore it. Although 7 months after delivering.. I'm not there yet. Planning on kicking some butt in the gym though.. I love my bikinis. I used to think of myself as a bikini queen.
    Guh.. the pre baby body!
    Favorite brands:

    L Space
    Vitamin A

    3 best brands I swear

  29. Boston Brit says:

    J Crew! Especially their Lomelina (sp?) suits, and I think they have free shipping on swimwear so you can try it on at home and return to the store. Last year I bought a bunch and just returned what I didn't like. Good luck! P.S. Target's lighting is some of the worst ever, even Gisele would look bad. Plus there's just something about trying on swimwear out of season that sucks, peeling off coat, boots, socks, jeans, long sleeve t, sweater to stand there in a bikini just feels all kinds of wrong!

  30. Erica says:

    Oh Love that scalloped number. xo

  31. The Now says:

    DAMN YOU GWYNETH!!!! I didn't look like that at 18 and I'm pretty sure after I have a baby, I will never ever look like that. I am obsessed….like OBSESSED with Marysia swimsuits. The scallop ones are my absolute favorite.

  32. J.Crew has a really pretty scallop bikini right now and it comes in every color under the sun!!! But I do love that scallop one you posted about, I just cant bring myself to spend that much on a bathing suit!

  33. Ugh target lighting is the worst! THE WORST! I try to never try things on there. I try to avoid strapless bc it's not that flattering on me (being smaller chested). So I really loved the missoni bikini!

  34. Jane says:

    Oh, please don't compare yourself to someone without a realistic life. GP has tons of $, a on-staff personal trainer & chef to make sure she eats well and exercises. She also has someone taking care of her kids, does that sound like your life?

  35. chill says:

    I'm a So Cal girl, so have lots of experience with bikinis!

    I have a Missoni that I love, but it does not provide much in the way of support and actually came with an enclosure that said not to wear it in the pool. More for lounging by the pool days, which are few and far between with 2 year old twins now!

    Gwynnie's bikini is Vix, which is on of my favorites.

    Good luck!

  36. Everything but Water is a great place to shop for one and my jcrew black two piece is going on its 7th year! Yes, 7th year and looks good at new and yes, its born worn a lot in pool and ocean water.

  37. I loathe bikini shopping! Nothing looks good when you are pasty white and packing winter weight! I like Target bikinis because they are inexpensive enough that I can pick up a few new ones each year. I like that first black strapless suit you showed. I started only buying strapless a couple of years ago so I never have to worry about weird tan lines. Good luck!

  38. caycee says:

    Stop playing player… I saw you the other day in your undies and you looked amazing! GP aint got nothing on my Nat!

  39. CCB says:

    I am a complete swimsuit snob and I love having fewer nicer suits than lots of cheap ones. VIX is my go to swim brand and if you sign up on their website you can catch some decent sales. GL!

  40. CCB says:

    I am a complete swimsuit snob and I love having fewer nicer suits than lots of cheap ones. VIX is my go to swim brand and if you sign up on their website you can catch some decent sales. GL!

  41. WHo wouldn't want to look like that at any age!! I am a few years off from 40 and she is my inspiration. Although you do realize that KILLS herself to look like that:) I have started the Tracey Anderson videos and I really like them. They are all about toning up and losing flabby skin. I have only been doing them for a week but I totally feel it once I'm done so something must be happening. I have bought bikinis from Victoria's Secret and like them. I actually just ordered a white bikini on line last week, I'm hoping it works!

  42. Ashley says:

    Vix and Mara Hoffman are two of my go-to bikini favorites! Checkout Joie and Annie Griffin's new beach coverups too.

  43. Taylor says:

    i love both of the black bikinis at the top – i love strapless too because of the tan lines, and i think it looks good on teeny chests (aka flat) like mine, but kip things they are ugly too. i dont know why boys hate them? and i vote order online for sure!! that awful lighting is not at all what you look like in real life!

  44. Sarah S says:

    I'd go scalloped or Missoni. I'm not a fan of the ruffles. I'm sure you will look amazing regardless! {FYI – I have had similarly bad experiences with Target bikinis…it's not just you}.

  45. Lise Carlaw says:

    You've got to try La Biquini! Check them out online. Australian designer. I have 4 pairs – 2 bikinis, 2 one-pieces and I have never felt better in a swimsuit! Superior quality!

  46. I have always sworn Target dressing rooms are the worst! I love La Blanca bathingsuits and normally Nordstrom has a good selection of them!

  47. Talia Jacole says:

    I too noticed that Target decided to roll out it's bathing suit collection pretty early this year. I love the scalloped one! Best of luck and happy shopping!

    ā™„ Talia

  48. all swimwear dresses are really good…It unique and different colors and outfit. Love it these types of dresses…
    Online swimwear shopping

  49. Oliviakelly says:

    This week while I was in Target browsing I noticed their bathing suits were out- Nice One collection they were.
    Designer Bathing Suits