Postpartum Swimsuits: Becca vs. BLEU

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Real Talk: I struggled with how to start this post. Yeah, I can be pithy and self-deprecating, but that didn’t feel right for a postpartum swimsuit post. I also didn’t want to be like “OMG I put on a (name brand) swimsuit and suddenly I learned how to love the skin I’m in” because no garment is that life-altering, not even le stupid pants.

What I really found myself thinking is this: When did this little girl learn to feel uncomfortable in her own skin? When did she internalize the message that smaller was better? When did she learn to stare in a mirror and flood her mind with intrusive, negative thoughts about her thighs that rub when she walks or her stretchmarks, cellulite, etc.?

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.
Early 90’s girl. Bowl-cut not included.

Postpartum Bathing Suit Review: Becca vs. BLEU

Bathing suit season can be a stressor for some people, especially post-baby (post-baby meaning a few months/years/decades after baby). I had my pandemic bebe last May, but this will really be my postpartum summer because multiple abdominal surgeries + pandemic = not a lot of pool parties for ol’ Meredith. I also want to say that I think it’s OK to believe wholeheartedly in body positivity and still be in the process of learning how to love and accept your body. I don’t think body acceptance looks the same for everyone — it’s a lifelong thing to unlearn all that we internalize in our society about what denotes beauty.

Now back to swimsuits. I don’t want to be that mom who waves off swimming with her kids because she doesn’t want to put on a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good. Shana and Julieta have written about flattering postpartum swim styles in the past, but here are my two rules of thumb for finding the perfect postpartum swimsuit:

  • Quality > Quantity: If you can afford one suit that makes you feel amazing over four inexpensive suits, let me be the girlfriend who tells you to get that one suit. It’s worth it.
  • Buck the trends: Thigh cut-outs and cheeky suits not working for ya? Don’t do it! Just because it’s in-season doesn’t mean it’s in for you.

I have been a Becca by Rebecca Virtue stan for years now. I’m convinced there’s something magical in the crochet work. I feel sexy, but not in danger of a child untying my suit and scaring people out of the ocean a la Jaws. This year, I decided to try two new Becca suits — the Becca Wanderlust One-Piece Swimsuit + the Becca Reveal High Neck One-Piece Swimsuit (similar) — and compare them with a new brand that’s caught my eye, BLEU by Rod Beattie in their Jungle Book Knotted One-Piece Swimsuit and Don’t Mesh With Me Cross Back One-Piece Swimsuit.

1. Becca Wanderlust One-Piece Swimsuit

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

Swimsuit (TTS – Large)

Why oh why did I decide that wearing bright colors wasn’t my thing? This blue is AHHHHMAZING! I just wish I felt the same way about the rest of this Becca Wanderlust One-Piece suit. I’m still a believer in its magical crochet properties, but that magic is no match for gravity. Unless you’re naturally — or otherwise — blessed, this suit is not going to give you the support you need. Although, if you are postpartum and breastfeeding, this would provide some easy feeding access.

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

Not that anyone asked, but I’ll let you know I will probably maintain this shade better known as “Casper the Friendly Ghost — if he were a smidge Ukranian” for the entire summer. I decided when the first Twilight movie came out that I was going to make pasty cool again like all those ageless kids over in Forks, WA.

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

Seriously the crochet is amazing though. My stomach can tell plenty of stories — stretch marks, C-Section scars, hernia surgery marks, and a roughly 240-degree scar from my abdominoplasty. You wouldn’t know that in this suit. Great color, but pass.


2. Becca Reveal High Neck One Piece Swimsuit

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

Swimsuit (if you’re between sizes, size down) | Sunglasses | Lipstick (similar #94)

I actually own an older version of this Becca Reveal High Neck One-Piece suit in a smaller size. Ever buy a new suit in a larger size because you just #canteven bring yourself to try on the suit in your closet? Yeah me too. So, I purchased this suit for my postpartum summer in a Large. I liked the Black & White look more than I thought I would, but it just felt too big. So, I reluctantly dug out the old version of this suit in a Medium and fell in love with it all over again! (I’m also feeling this baby blue.) I feel more supported, but not like it was digging into me or riding up my bum (shudder). I am really not into anything cheeky. I proudly stopped wearing thongs a few years ago and decided panty lines were in — much to my husband’s chagrin, probably. Ohhh, the TMI in this post.

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.
It’s 50 degrees outside
I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.
Not pictured: My 8-year-old laughing at me.
I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

Swimsuit (Medium – if between sizes, size down) | Cover-Up (similar) | Sunglasses | Fedora Hat | Espadrilles (similar)


3. BLEU Jungle Book Knotted One-Piece Swimsuit

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

“Love the colors, no way this suit is going to work on me,” I muttered to myself as I clicked “add to cart.” Much to my amazement, I actually really, really like this Jungle Book Knotted One-Piece Swimsuit (more sizes here)! There’s a surprising amount of support for something so low-cut. It’s your basic LBB “little black bathing suit” elevated. (Here’s the same suit but with animal print.)

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.
I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.
I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

Swimsuit (Size up – I’m in a 12) More Sizes Here | Sunglasses

If you get any BLEU by Rod Beattie swimsuits — especially postpartum in that “4th trimester” — be sure to check the size chart. I found I had to go up one size based on measurements. But overall I love it and it’s definitely a keeper!


4. BLEU Don’t Mesh With Me Cross Back One-Piece Swimsuit

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

Swimsuit (size up – I’m wearing a 12)

“This would be great for surfing,” I said to myself. (I don’t surf. The nearest ocean is 8+ hours away.) Basically that’s my way of saying that the Don’t Mesh with Me Cross Back One-Piece Swimsuit has incredible support. It’s stylish while still being practical. It fit me really well (again, sized up one size as with the previous BLEU swimsuit), but it just didn’t do anything for me, if that makes sense. It’s a well-made, nice suit. I believe it would flatter someone with a longer torso (I’m short-waisted and this suit did nothing to help that.) If I’m going to spend money on suits, I’m going to be a little picky.

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.
I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.
There’s no good way to take a pic of your bum.

Ultimately, the winner I decided to keep was the Jungle Book Knotted One-Piece swimsuit. I still love Becca swimsuits, but there’s definitely room in my closet for BLEU. In the process of trying on new suits, I rediscovered an old one in my closet (which is why it is always worth it to shop your closet first!). You’re going to wear your swimsuit all summer, find one that makes you feel fabulous, especially if you’re postpartum. You made a human. You deserve it.

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

Swimsuit (Size up – I’m in a 12) | Sunglasses

Here are some other one-piece suits I had my eye on, including this incredible sustainably made ruffle suit by Paper London.

Shop More Postpartum Swimsuits I Love

x, Meredith

Oh hey, Pinners…

I don't want to be that mom who waves off swimming w/ her kids b/c she doesn't want to don a swimsuit, but I also want to feel good in my postpartum body.

15 COMMENTS

  1. You look awesome! And also, you look like you have a NORMAL HUMAN BODY. Which – woohoo, great news – we all have! The brainwashing of self-critique & body-shaming is so strong for U.S. girls & women, I have it too. I decided around age 40 to get over it & while I won’t say that process was quick or easy, it was ultimately very freeing. I highly recommend listening to Kara Lowentheil’s podcast series called “Unfuck Your Brain” where she walks through using thoughtwork to overcome body-shaming (and many other issues). So good! She’s feminist and funny as hell. Totally changed my approach to thinking about my mom bod. Definitely good to listen to before trying on swimsuits! 😆
    https://unfuckyourbrain.com/149

  2. You look FANTASTIC!! In all of them!! Silencing that negative voice in your head that says you can’t wear a swimsuit (or shorts, or anything for that matter!) is something that takes time, it took me awhile but I’m embracing my 59 year old body as well as my silver hair!

    Love you my friend! Glad y’all are back home. I also may have chuckled (only for a second!) at your hubby’s text about the plumbers foot through the ceiling, because that would totally happen to us!

  3. Love you in all these suits, Meredith! But that blue suit with the red lip – tres magnifique! Even though I can see how great you look, I know those body image demons can be LOUD. Thanks for your courage to quiet them long enough to write this piece.

  4. I’m still a bikini girl (pregnancy was kind) but for places like Great Wolf Lodge where I want to make sure I come off the waterslide without giving anyone a show, I have a Ralph Lauren suit that is very similar to the BLEU suit you chose (the straps across the front don’t go up quite as high but I’m a small B so it’s fine) and I LOVE it. I had it in a smaller size 5-6 years ago but 5 or so pounds later it was becoming a serious struggle to get in and out of, especially when wet. So a size up and now it’s much more comfortable and doesn’t leave angry red marks on my body. I love that it has the look of the deep plunge without the danger.

    I’m also a fan of crochet suits (and also pasty and part Ukrainian. Maybe we are secretly related?). I have a great high-necked crochet bikini from Target (maybe a Becca knockoff?) that I adore.

    Also, yes to the blue! Every other mom at the pool is wearing a black one piece. If you want your kids to be able to find you in a crowd, choose color!

  5. Posing in a swimsuit on the internet can’t be easy, but I’m so thankful that you guys do this for us! Love love love that suit you picked and now I want it too.

  6. Oh Jessica you SAID IT. Admittedly I’m nervous every time I see a comment come through. But it’s really nice to see so many positive comments and be in a community that gets it! We’re all out here working through stuff and I’m trying to be unapologetic about my body!

  7. Lord girl, your body is awesome! Beautiful skin, no cellulite to be seen. Embrace it because when you’re older, you’ll look at these pics and ask yourself “WTF was my problem, I looked amazing!”

  8. You look fantastic in all of these suits. Truly! I love the deep plunge one that you chose. I think I may give it a try myself. And thank you for sharing this with us. Especially given what you have going on at home this week! I don’t think I would have had the mental capacity, or fortitude, to deal with this, too! And I know hearing positive feedback from strangers on the internet doesn’t cancel out what your inner monologue is saying, but you really do look amazing in all of them! Maybe it will quiet the voices down a bit!

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