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Friday, December 10, 2010

Help Wanted: Smart Design

A pastel study of the view from my bedroom. The reference photo is featured in the side bar. I'm hunting for a good fall scene to paint that isn't about the beauty of fall colors--more about what Fall looks like to me. I am also looking for what it is that I find so fascinating about the woods? In this study--no shading, just colors, albeit heightened, the bare tree forms and dried grasses were of interest. I have always liked intersecting lines.

But enough about that. What about bathing suit shopping? Is it not the worst?

Standing in the center of the three way mirror in suit after suit, you wish you were on anti-depressants. Too many pistachio nuts and not enough spinning bulge out under arms, around the waist, top of the thighs. Under vampire lights that have sucked all
color, you look as bloated and pasty as the Pillsbury Dough Boy and wonder whatever happened to the girl that was? Where the fruck did she go?

And that's the best of situations. Complicate the mission by subtracting the breasts, the bulges women play up to the hilt, and you'd better throw a Xanax in your purse too. Hunting down a mastectomy swimsuit turns a bad shopping trip into a nightmare.

I took along my swim prostheses and fit them into suit after suit. For those of you who are fortunate and don't know about such things, there are pockets sewn into the bust section of the suit to hold the breast forms. In suit after suit, these pockets were shapeless allowing the breast form to flop freely down to places no breast form should go.

"Who the hell is designing these things?" I said to my saleswoman. "Some guy who thinks tits are located around the waist?" She shrugged.

If you've done any life drawing, you know that the nipples are located one head length down from the chin--not two head lengths--that's where the belly button goes. In a couple of agonizing hours, I learned smart design is sadly missing in this area of apparel for women who definitely need smart design to bolster spirits. After a couple of agonizing hours of trying on suits, I did find one that did hold the tits in place, would swim and didn't look too matronly. I walked out with it and an idea brewing.


  1. I have learned those 3 way mirrors are rigged, seriously.. At Old Navy, I was looking at myself, I took a step back and sure enough!, the image of me was NOT AS DISTORTED!. I think one of the mirrors is kinda like what u would find at the circus...Take it home and look at it in your own mirror, u will know what I am talking about... Hey try a tankini I bet u will look great in that.

    here's one site, just to give u an idea:

  2. I love tankinies--I need the length and the stretch; I'm a swimmer. But the only one they had that was for mastectomy people had a skirt.--Now that is matronly. I like the tankini bottom that comes up to just below the waist--higher than a bikini. I have one suit I had converted. But it's on the verge of small. I'll keep looking. I haven't hit Nordstrom's yet.

  3. ...oh, I laughed my ass off. Which will help when I go to try on swimsuits! I'm looking forward to you photos while you are on vacation. And I think the movement in your pastel drawing is great - through the tree branches - that is what winter looks like here in NC.

  4. Linda: tankini tops are pretty long..I can't imagine u in something w/a skirt..omg...U get to Nordstroms!or Bloomingdale's.

  5. Margaret, you've been in that dressing room screaming while staring at sag you never knew you had. What a horrendous trip.

    The look of winter is bleak--I really don't have the colorless colors in my box to reveal the truth of the season, but thanks.

  6. Another funny post - enjoyable read. I can hear your frustration - you write well.

    I hate clothes shopping, and swimwear shopping is at the top of the list. It's been years and I'll still wear the same one if I have to. The one that you bought looks nice. I like the prints and colours.

  7. Dear Linda,
    Oh, your sense of humour is wonderufl!!! The pastel seems like a bit challenging. Hope it goes well. Your swim suit looks very nice. Today, I swam 500m at an ocean pool. --Thank goodness! I could wear last year's swim suit. Evelyn, your say means you've been a fitter for years:o.
    Cheers, Sadami