June 17, 2013

The Miracle Swimsuit Recommended by TONS of Readers (Perfect For Post-Partum)

Mamas, I literally gasped in delight when my friend Daisy* texted me this pic:

*My name is not really Daisy

walmart catalina swimsuit review


I mean for one:  gorgeous.  And?  Even better?  Daisy is only seven months post-partum.  SEVEN.  Go ahead – take another loooong look.  Amazing, no?

And it gets better.  Daisy wrote:

Okay, I might have found a magical mom suit. Husband loves it, it’s insanely comfy, and it holds in both T&A during playtime at the pool.  Also…extra sturdy to haul up the nursing girls. 

I also love how the bottom nails, just nails the perfect vintage vibe.  So often leg openings are cut too low, or they don’t go low enough, but this?  This suit – the Catalina Suddenly Slim Suit from Walmart (for Pete’s sake!), gets it just right.

UPDATE FOR 2015:  Another reader, let’s call her, um, Buttercup also swears by this suit.  Buttercup wrote:

Thank you for a stellar blog.  It keeps me feeling hip and somewhat in the know, even though my reality mostly looks like dealing with poop and drool and tween angst.  The swimsuit posts have been inspiring, and I’m daring to send these pictures in in case they would help other moms.

This was my first time taking a picture of what I’m wearing; it was tricky to find an angle that didn’t show the dirty diapers from the middle of the night feedings and the piles of laundry.  So excuse the bad quality, please!  I’m 5 weeks postpartum with my 5th baby; my firstborn turns 10 this weekend.  I’m still carrying 177 lbs on my 5′ 7″ frame, and since I birth babies of 9.5 to 10.5 lbs, the pooch and elephant wrinkly skin are very much at play no matter where in the postpartum process I find myself.   In fact, my 3 year old keeps asking me if I have another baby in my tummy.  Thanks for that, sweetie.  My nursing size is a generous 36 DD.  Also, the reality of  feeding 5 kids means I often try to find the fabulous looks on your blog at Target prices.  Or thrift stores and hand me downs…they’re not just for kids. 🙂

I loved the modcloth suit you featured recently and its rich green, and found this Catalina suit at Walmart that gave me a similar feeling for less.  It may not hold up as well, but hopefully my sizing will be changing, too.  And this way I can still be fabulous at the pool, and not be a sad mom in a tshirt and exercise shorts (been there).  And I can nurse! And it’s not black! 🙂

Thanks again for an amusingly clever approach to mom fashion.  Oh, and your Style Hour podcast is fabulous!!

best swimsuit for a large bust
best post-partum swimsuit


GORGEOUS.  Gorgeous suit, gorgeous color, gorgeous on Mama.

And reader Lisa sent in a pic of herself rocking this suit with a chic hat and a beer (talk about a girl after my own heart):



Love this, Daisy, Buttercup and Lisa.  Thank you ALL for baring it all for the good of moms everywhere!



  • Megan
    June 17, 2013

    I would just like to say that “Daisy” looks better than any of the models…:)

  • Belinda
    June 17, 2013

    You look great!!!

  • Melly
    June 17, 2013

    I have this (in three colors, ha) and love it!

  • Holly
    June 17, 2013

    Seriously gorgeous, Daisy 😉

  • Holly
    June 17, 2013

    Also, I feel like I have similar proportions to Daisy at 11 months postpartum….what size did you choose? I’m going back and forth between medium and large….Thanks!

  • Tonia
    June 17, 2013

    I have this suit in red and it is AMAZING! It is very flattering and everytime I wear it I get a compliment.

  • Joy O
    June 17, 2013

    Adored the pic. I’ve been going crazy trying to find a suit, and thought this might be the one…until I discovered the source. I boycott Walmart. I’ll have to keep looking.

  • N
    June 17, 2013

    Due mid July, just ordered black! Red was sold out in my size. Hoping I can wear it late Sept as it will still be hot where I am!

  • Sarah
    June 17, 2013

    Joy O, I’m with you. This looks great, but I cannot bear to set foot in Walmart. The great suit hunt continues…

  • Kat
    June 17, 2013

    Wow! Would never have guessed Walmart!I am ordering the two piece tonight, and would like to share this little retro beauty I scored at Target online (not available in stores!) I was worried that the ruffles on the legs would accentuate that area, but they don’t at all — the first one-piece I’ve actually felt sexy in!

  • Emily
    June 17, 2013

    Just ordered one in red…I’m due to have a baby any day now and want a suit that I can feel good in after he arrives! This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it out! (Guessed as to size…hopefully it will fit!)

  • jen
    June 17, 2013

    I think so, too.

  • Megan C
    June 17, 2013

    Me three.

  • N
    June 17, 2013

    For those who boycott Walmart. Online shippimg. Ships for .97 cents. Why not!

  • N
    June 17, 2013

    Online shopping! Typo’

  • Megan B
    June 17, 2013

    I have a similar one from Land’s End. I bought it last summer so I’m not sure if they still sell them. But maybe that’ll help you find a swimsuit!

  • Shana
    June 17, 2013

    I KNOW!!! That's exactly why I wanted to use her pic.  🙂
    Sent from my iPhone

  • jenn
    June 17, 2013

    saw similar one at anthropologie for 148!! Happy to see this beauty for 20!!

  • Jen
    June 17, 2013

    Would your friend reveal her bra size? I have a very similar suit from modcloth and it does not have Enough support for my 34hh bust especially right now I am nursing and only 4 months postpartum. I want to know if this would have better support. The suit I bought is almost identical but was almost $100.

  • Kharshany
    June 18, 2013

    Um…$20 AND 97 cent shipping!!! Ordered it right from my phone. Awesome find!! Thanks!

  • Carin
    June 18, 2013

    I have this swimsuit (red with white polka dots) and can attest to its awesomeness in both holding in a postpartum pooch and holding in large tatas (32D or DD depending on my hormones). It is amazing and I love it. S, you actually posted this in a roundup in June 2012 which is what inspired me to buy it in the first place! I may have to get another now that the price has dropped to $20, but I must admit I do feel conflicted about the fact that it’s Walmart. They aren’t super ethical, yknow?

  • Poochy Mama K
    June 18, 2013

    Awesome, thanks for sharing! I have a similar-looking Modcloth one too (which I love)–but I hate the $90 pricetag. $20 is sooo much better!

  • Shanna
    June 18, 2013

    I haven’t worn a one piece in years, but you inspired me to try it! Thanks!

  • Smoremom
    June 18, 2013

    I LOVE your blog! Thank you for saving me this summer! I have a six month old and have been seriously dreading swim season with no good solution. Thanks to you I have a solution! As for your recent news, I’m sending you happy thoughts & prayers.

  • Nicolette
    June 18, 2013

    Thank you for this!!! I’ll have a 1 month old when we go on vacation this summer and was dreading what type of bathing suit to wear. Thanks for doing the work for me 😉

  • Lauren
    June 18, 2013

    SO cute! Thanks for the tip! I just ordered the navy one with anchors. Can’t wait to get it for our July 4th beach trip! 🙂

  • Jodi
    June 18, 2013

    I have the suit in a large and am also 7 mo postpartum (with twins!). I wear a 38I and I feel like it supports me ok. If I had 2 yr olds to run after it may not be enough support though. I am considering having someone sew the halter into criss-crossed straps for me in the back which I think will give it that last little bit of extra support needed.

  • Courtney
    June 19, 2013

    This is great! I am early-ish pregnant with my second and pooching a little bit but won’t need a full on maternity suit this summer – I am going to this for sure! I think it will be perfect!

  • Kelley
    June 19, 2013

    I’ve got to speak up for this suit too. I looked ALL OVER for a suit that would fit the girls (36 I-J while breastfeeding). The legs are cut a little too low for my preference, but not so much that its bothersome, and the shirred front hides the post partum pooch, without making you feel like you’re trying to hide in your clothes.

  • Tracy
    June 19, 2013

    Love this suit! Bought it in red last year after S recommended it and absolutely LOVE it. It was a steal at $33, so definitely picking up another at $20!
    For those who’ve had some sizing questions, if you’re on the fence, I’d size down. I’m between a L and XL (5’8″ & curvy, typically a size 14) and went with the XL to accommodate my 38E boobies (thanks for the accurate sizing True & Co!). The front panel is a little baggy on me, especially after a swim, so I’ve been waiting for them to come back in stock to get the Large. Don’t think there will be any issue with the chest size from sizing down either.
    Happy shopping all!

    • Kate L.
      May 29, 2015

      Tracy! I am exactly your size (height, size, boobs, everything) – did you ever get a Large? Did it end up working for you?

  • Allie
    June 19, 2013

    This is why I love this blog! I have been coveting the Modcloth version of this suit FOREVER but just can’t justify the price tag when my size changes every 6 months (literally) and I only go swimming a few times all year. So HOORAY for finding almost the exact same thing at Wal-mart for 1/4 the price!!!! Even if the quality isn’t as good, it will still take me ages to wear it out. 🙂

  • Kristen
    June 21, 2013

    I just bought this and it is fabulous!! I loved it so much I bought another one. 🙂

  • Katie
    June 21, 2013

    I immediately ordered this suit after I read this post (I have an almost three month old and was dreading wearing a bathing suit at the pool this summer).
    Just came in the mail this morning and it’s awesome!
    Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Lindsay J
    June 21, 2013

    I just got this suit in the black & white polka dot. Thanks for the recommendation! I just wanted to mention that this suit is not just for mamas with big busts. I’m a 34C (size 10–I ordered a medium) and it still fits just fine. It probably won’t fit when my boobs deflate after I finish breastfeeding, but by then I hope to be smaller all over 🙂

  • Elin
    June 21, 2013

    You have saved my summer! This suit is awesome and fits within my non-existent summer clothes budget. I haven’t felt this good in a swim suit since before baby #1 6 years ago.

  • Charlene
    June 21, 2013

    Immediately ordered this after I saw the post. I ordered 5 in a couple sizes and prints, I’m tall (6′) and generally a 10-12, but after having #3 a month ago with her being my third baby in 3 years, I’d say if I were to actually try on real clothes with a non elastic waistband (we will be waiting a while for that sad moment!) I’m probably more like a 16 right now. I ended up liking the L best.. It looks like a much more expensive suit and the polka dot and anchors are adorable! So glad I saw this post, I was dreading yet another summer in my maternity tankini! Thank you!!

  • Axon
    June 22, 2013

    I immediately bookmarked this swimsuit for after Baby #3 arrives. However, I did just run across these suits, and I think that they are pretty cute, especially for those of us who lean toward covering things up…plus, they are made in the States!
    http://www.reyswimwear.com/ (or seach for Rey Swimwear…)

  • Lissa
    June 24, 2013

    Thank you thank you thank you! I ordered these immediately after reading your post, just got them and tried them on today, and they are AMAZING. The cutest suit I have had as a mom (my twin boys are 9 and I’m a size 14). So flattering. I’m super excited to get to the pool now instead of dreading it!

  • jennifer
    June 26, 2013

    thanks to your rec, i bought this suit in two different colors. one in red, and one the navy one that “daisy” is wearing. i’m normally a size 6/8, and i ordered the medium. it fits great. plus my hubby says it’s sexy! fyi, he likes the navy over the red, as do i. i’m keeping both though. why not?
    thanks for the recommendation!

  • Casie
    June 28, 2013

    Winner! I just got 2 in the mail and both fit perfectly! They run a little big, so you may want to go down a size.

  • V
    July 23, 2013

    I’m a believer!!! After spending $$$ looking for the one swimsuit to cover my muffin top & provide support for the ‘ladies’, this $25 piece does it all!!! Thank you for posting this!

  • abbie
    May 20, 2015

    Why does a simple post about post-partum swimsuits bring an actual tear to my eye? The love and support on this site is absolutely beautiful. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. You are changing lives Shana!

  • Valley
    June 4, 2015

    I ordered this suit after reading the reviews. I have to admit, I was skeptical — plus the fact that it was from Walmart…..but I gave it a try nonetheless. Oh my gosh – it IS just as amazing as everyone said! I am on the petite side (5’3, 115, 32B) and a year postpartum, so still looking for something to hide the pooch but not overtake my frame. I was worried this suit would be more for the bustier, curvy ladies, but it works for us boyish-figures, too! In fact, I think it gives a little bit of curve where it’s needed! Really couldn’t be more happy with this suit. Might be ordering another! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Taming the Lady Lumps
    April 28, 2016

    I know this post is a couple of years old (Sorry about the zombie thread comment) but I have to say I bought this bathing suit after reading this article and it is pretty great. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a one piece but after having my baby, I need some help covering all my goods. I tried a $110 suit and it was horrible. Then bought this one for $30 and while I still don’t love how I look, this certainly is good enough in my mind for taking the baby to swim class. It covers what it needs to while still looking cute and not matronly. I’m 5’8 170lbs 36DD and a size large fits. It seems like it was made for a shorter body as my chest is higher up than where the cups hit, but it will do. Thanks for recommending this! I was about to cancel swim class.

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