LILLIAN CHARLES

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Bathing Suit Versatility

In early April of this year, I tried on this bathing suit and fell in bikini-love.
As most of you know, falling in bathing-suit love, isn't easy to do. 

Here's the top (pictured from Instagram.) I tried on the bottoms at kit & ace that day and while they were extremely cheeky (and borderline X-rated due to the size of my backside...) they really did fit like a glove.

Then kit & ace suddenly closed on April 26th (no warning, no sales, nada.) Total bummer.  You know that dreadful "I knew I should have bought that while I had the chance!" complete disappointment over a missed opportunity feeling? I felt that. 

Fast forward to mid-May and I'm still a. mourning the loss of my favorite store and b. thinking about that damn swimsuit.

I bit the bullet and ordered the suit.

$191 for the top and bottom. Agh. More than I've ever spent on a swimsuit. For three weeks I tried the suit on and off, on and off. I'd wear other, older suits to the pool and return from the pool just to try the kit & ace suit on and off, on and off, again. 

With the tags still attached, I brought the swim suit home to South Carolina this weekend to show my mom. I was certain that I'd get a, "hell no you shouldn't keep a swimsuit that expensive... there's no material on the bottom!" from my mother -- who actually doesn't talk like that.  I talk like that.

In an attempt to rescue myself from a $191 swimsuit purchase, I also brought home a bag full of Target swimsuits that I had not tried on. I tried the Target suits on for Mom, first.

If you thought that your stylist was free from making herself crazy over purchasing decisions... you were... almost right. It really only occurs when I question my cost per wear of a particularly expensive for-what-it-is piece. I did love the looks of the kit & ace suit; the bottoms really fit better than any bottoms that I own. The top is 100% my style: sporty, clean/thick lines, black (duh), sexy but not trashy, sleek and supremely comfortable. The material feels like fitted silk underwear. But my concern was that I wouldn't wear it enough to justify the cost.

After all the Target bathing suit try-ons with mine and my mom's faces scrunched up and heads shaking "no" for most of them, I tried on the kit & ace suit. To my surprise, my mom fell in love with the whole thing, just like I had inside of kit & ace that day in April. My stone wash silk culottes were laying nearby so I slipped those over bottoms looked at the culottes paired with the the bikini top (see model below top + culottes *my culottes are green!) 

Seeing the top and culottes together felt fantastic. Just like that, all my spending guilt faded away. Why? Because I had options. And OPTIONS are what make nice pieces worth purchasing. I would keep the suit. And wear the top and bottom together. And separately.

The day that I decided to keep the two pieces, I wore them out to a pool party (like 30 mins after the big decision) with my silk culottes over the bottoms and a chic BCBG kimono (my mother's, because she's flawless.) I felt fantastic. The material of the bathing suit is gorgeous and the top doesn't look like a bathing suit unless worn with the cheeky bottoms. I can't wait to wear the top with high waisted black jeans and a silk bomber in late summer.

Like I said, the "cheeky bottoms" fit like silky underwear (yes please!) so I couldn't wear to wear them a second time, the following day. Out of all of the pieces that I'd brought from Target, I ended up keeping just this bathing suit top for $19.99.  Mixin' n matchin' is my fave.

the takeaway:

VERSATILITY IS KEY!  

Having options is what makes any purchase worth whatever it costs. If you're not going to wear it much, DON'T GO EXPENSIVE!  If you are going to wear it for years to come, it's beautiful, it fits well and goes with tons of different things and it brings you joy, BITE THE BULLET! Buy what you love!

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