Shopping for swimwear in your 30s, 40s and beyond

Facade of Swim in Powerplant Mall, level 2.

Summer is upon us once more and the often dreaded task of shopping for swimwear looms over countless beach babes planning their tropical sojourn. When I was in my 20s, I never hesitated to grab the tiniest bikinis off the rack and try them on. I would wear them with abandon, with as much gusto as my tanning sessions from early morning to lunch and sometimes beyond, if I was feeling daring. Funny how I used to be so critical of every curve in my tummy and thighs when looking back at photos, I wasn’t as big as I thought I was. These days however, I see and feel the difference and notice the changes in my body. I’m also more conscious of dressing appropriately for my age, swimwear included. Now that I’m older and gave up baking under the (more than ever) intense heat, I’ve also gravitated to maillots or one-piece suits. Apart from a sense of security and a free pass from dieting, I think they’re incredibly chic and sexy, albeit in a subtle way. There are a ton of ways to conceal, camouflage and cover up your imperfections and bring out the siren in you without baring it all. Swimwear these days are designed so cleverly, in all colors and prints imaginable, that you’ll be drawn to skip bikinis altogether.

Nothing But Water was my go-to joint for local swimsuits back in the 90s. Launched in 1997, I remember their Robinsons Galleria branch so well that I memorized the stocks. When I joined Summit Media, it would be top of mind for pull-outs come the summer issue production. The shop always had something new to offer: cute print on print separates you can mix and match, straw hats with matching bags, beach towels and interesting cover-ups. With my meager budget, the items were affordable yet sturdy and I never felt guilty about splurging for a new suit every summer. So it was naturally my choice when I thought about doing this feature, they’ve come a long way—20 years this year—and are better than ever. Swim is their flagship store offering imported brands with higher price points mixed in with local favorites in the friendly prices everyone is familiar with. I especially love Anemone, their in-house brand that launched in 2011. Affordable, good mix of trendy / classic and lasts for years!

Owner Dimples La’O met up with me to talk about their expansion and direction of the brand. “I never put anything here I wouldn’t wear myself. I always tell our designer to make things in my size so I can road test them.” The retailer is growing fast with branches in Coron, El Nido and Bohol set to open this year, a wise move following our recent Conde Nast nod for having the No. 1 beach in the world. They’re also opening Swim Villas in El Nido come October, where guests can experience all the island has to offer while sporting one of their stylish swimsuits. Nothing But Water Boracay is doing incredibly well that it was a natural progression.

“Nowadays, women aren’t limited to wearing suits specifically for their body type. The rules are more relaxed, they can wear whatever they fancy as long as it looks good,” says Dimples. Her advice when shopping for a suit? “Be comfortable, be confident and have fun!” After all, isn’t this what summer’s all about?

Read on and find the suit for you, whatever your shape and size. Enjoy summer!

Special thanks to Arcee, Marvin and Analie for assisting. Look for them at Swim Powerplant Mall.

A cute nook perfect for posing and fitting footwear.

A one-stop shop for all your tropical getaway needs!

In love with these prints from Anemone!

Anemone has a line for the kiddos, too.

Summer essentials from Herbivore.

Knowing your correct—and honest!—size is the first step to finding the perfect suit.

I fell in love with this color and the sheer design on the torso. The v-neckline is also super flattering. Any body type will look smashing in this! Teal one-piece by Aerin Rose, P9790.

Add this aqua and white kimono for after hours. Anemone, P1095.

The print of this maillot can double as a top for a night out. I love the strategic cut outs and halter top; it’s so fresh and offers the right mix of support and flashes of skin. Maillot by Aerin Rose, P10,190.

Come lunchtime, cover up with a zippered rash guard that’s easy to wear and take off. Rash guard by Anemone, P3,395.

Wear the suit as a top and pair with lightweight pants. Pants by Sofia, P4,990.

High waist bottoms are all the rage at the moment, get this chic pair by B Swim! Top and bottom, P3,190 each.

If you’re feeling too exposed, top it off with a cropped striped rash guard for a preppy touch. Rash guard from Anemone, P2,850.

Switch it up for cocktails with a halter top with fringe as cover-up. Top from Anemone, P1,195.

A tankini offers overall coverage sans the trouble of putting on a one-piece, if you’re the type who prefers separates but don’t want to expose your midriff. The sexy top also doubles as a clubbing staple for nights out in the city. Top from Anemone, P3,295.

Done swimming? This light cover-up is all you need to look more polished. Tunic, Anemone, P1,095.

The color, style and strategic cut-outs make this maillot one in a million. Aerin Rose, P9,790.

The LBD of swimsuits. Every woman should have this in her arsenal for summer. It’s chic, timeless and ultra flattering. Suit by B Swim.

The criss cross side cut-outs are divine!

This camo / floral suit is a stand out, something you don’t see everyday. The cut-out detail in the front makes it even more unique. Suit from Tavik, P6,980.

This suit uses a special fabric to keep everything in place, leaving you worry-free while frolicking in the beach. Ask for Anemone Control, P3,495, next time you’re in the store.

A dark fabric is always slimming. Go for this lightweight navy tunic from Anemone, P1,295.

Not keen on getting soaked? Don this reversible crop top and high waist shorts while relaxing in the shore. Top from Sofia, P1,890 and bottom from Anemone, P1,495.

Grey is always a classic and classy color. This can’t be more appropriate for the older woman who prefers coverage yet still wants to look on-trend. Suit from Aerin Rose, P9,390.

Pair it with these festive pants and you’re ready to party! Pants, Sofia, P5,295.

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