Monday, June 17, 2013

My Daughters’ Modest Monday ~ At the Pool

You knew it was coming…a what-do-we-wear-to-the-pool post. J

Actually, we don’t go to the pool very much at all. And it’s not necessarily because of modesty. I am terrified of my children drowning, and only three can swim so far. We have flotation devices and take all the necessary precautions, but we have had three VERY close calls and they have left me scarred. The others will learn to swim in time, but for now, the pool is a nerve-wracking place for me.

There is another confession I have avoided because I don’t want to come across as an oddball. I chalk it up to introversion, but maybe it could be something else. The bright sunlight, especially when it glints off the water, as well as the noise and activity are just too much stimulation for me. It’s exhausting to be out in the summer sun for long, and many of the children are the same way. So, I said it. Call me a weirdo if you want in the comments. J

When we do go, either on vacation or in our neighborhood, we try to go when no one else is there. I’ve had six babies and my body is just not what it used to be, so I don’t need my husband up close to teen girls in bikinis. Any other mamas with me? God bless him, my husband leaves his glasses at home when we go, but that won’t work for my growing boys.


Now, introductory material aside, my girls did not want their pictures taken in their suits, so my photo is a little boring.


The 13yo and the 11yo wear the same ~

Boys swim shirt
Boys swim trunks
Exercise-style undergarment
Regular underwear


They’re not terribly feminine, but we try to girlie them up with a Lilla Rose Sea Inspired Dolphin flexi clip.

Places like Lands End sell swim shirts for girls in all sorts of feminine colors and designs. Long sleeves even. And the girls and I adore the look of the modest swim suits available on many different online sites. But we have not made either of those purchases simply because of the cost.

Other suggestions I’ve seen include wearing regular shorts and tee-shirts over a swimsuit, sewing a pair of bloomers or a skirt out of swimsuit fabric, or turning a pair of boys/mens swim trunks into a skirt.


The biggest benefit to modesty in the summer is protection from the sun. This post seems particularly appropriate as I’m going to the doctor this Friday to have him look at a suspicious spot on my upper back. I’ve had squamous cell carcinoma removed before, and I don’t dilly-dally when an odd spot appears. I would have loved a suit like this when I was younger!








How do you swim modestly?




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24 comments:

  1. We avoid "public bathing" for several reasons. The most prominent is that wet clothing (no matter how modest) is clinging and revealing. We would rather not expose our boys to girls wearing wet, clinging clothes (or in public places, clothing that leaves little to the imagination and can cause a boy to stumble in his thoughts). Girls can also struggle in this area as well, and we don't want our daughters to be a stumbling block either.

    Also the pool chemicals and germs (pool pee...gross!).

    I can identify also with the over-stimulation associated with public swimming. Back in the day when we did go to the pool (17 years ago), I remember always leaving exhausted and with a headache. Maybe it's a combination of the sun on the water, the noise, and pool chemicals-?

    Our children do swim (in similar clothing as yours) in the creek that runs through our property. And on those few occasions when we've been at the beach, we have gone during off-season (another advantage of homeschooling!) and try to find the most secluded spots. We teach our boys (ages 12, 10, and 3) to guard their eyes, and thus try to avoid putting them in compromising situations.

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    1. I didn't get that mentioned in the post, Cheryl, but that's another reason I love homeschooling. We take our vacations at times when the crowds are light and the pools are relatively empty. And thank you for mentioning the pool germs. Ick!

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    2. I'm not into pool chemicals either. But I do love lake swimming, especially when it's nice and quiet at the beach!
      I do find that it makes a different what kind of modest swim clothing you wear - certain materials are more prone to holding water and being clingy. I sewed my own bathing suit a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surpised at how easy it was to sew with 4 way stretch spandex. As long as I pull it away from me when I get out of the water, to get me to my towel, then towel dry myself a bit, I've found it to not be clingy. (I've checked, for the very reason you mentioned!)
      And I either leave the beach wet or wait until I'm fully dry to put my shirt and skirt back on, because otherwise you get wet spots in places you don't want eyes drawn to...
      Sometimes life is complicated! But dressing modestly has been so worthwhile and freeing to me!

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    3. Life definitely is complicated, but it sounds like you found a great solution. Thanks, Juf, for sharing!

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  2. A couple years ago, I bought a two-piece (tankini) suit that had a skirted bottom. I took the top apart and sewed it onto the skirt, so it came just over my knees. Then I bought a rashguard top online at www.swimoutlet.com that coordinated perfectly. I wear one of those shapers that look like bike shorts (knee-length) under the skirt, and a sports bra that is made out of swimsuit-like material under the top. It works fabulously, was inexpensive compared to the most modest suits, and is really cute!

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    1. A terrific idea -- sewing two swimsuits together. There are ideas like that for sewing two pairs of jeans together to make a skirt. I should have thought of that for a swimsuit! My girls would love it. Thanks, KL!

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  3. I just finished sewing the second swimsuit for my five year old daughter this morning! We're taking private swim lessons through ISR(infant swim rescue), and they go five days a week. I found a vintage swimsuit pattern online that had fluttery sleeves and a high neckline and back. The pattern also included a pattern for a skirt coverup and knee-length shorts. At first glance I didn't think I could use the pattern because it was for a standard (circa 1987) one piece and two piece variation, but with the way the top is and the options with the cover ups, we were able to mix and match up the pieces the way we wanted them. I'm no expert at sewing or especially sewing swimsuits, but after doing two I feel like this is a great solution for us. I got the pattern off etsy for a couple dolllars, and with a little imagination can see many easy variations. And you don't have to hem the material! Older patterns often have at least some modest parts that you can combine with something else, and you can make them as feminine as youlike just by adding ruffles ;)

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    1. I love it when that happens -- being able to piece together patterns to make something work. Super suggestions, Sarah! Love your creativity!

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  4. I think your swimming clothes are just great! I used to always wear boys swim shorts and a t-shirt with a regular girls swimsuit underneath. Last year I discovered an online store (pangaswimwear.com) that miraculously had a really cute modest swimsuit in my size on clearance for $10. Now I won't wear anything else! I love it!
    I certainly don't think you're crazy, i get so overwhelmed at the pool as well, summer days are exhausting! We prefer going to the beach at the lake where we can play in the sand.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Kourtney! What an amazing price for a modest suit...I'm going to check out that site. :)

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  5. We very rarely swim. Such a chore! The most economical feminine choice we have found is a shorter polyester, lycra, etc. skirt with long bike shorts under and a 5 dollar rash guard shirt from WalMart. Pretty, feminine, cheap. We have done swim dresses with bike shorts and layering shirt, too. A shirt from the men's execise section with sweat proof capris suits me. We have found some of the expensive suits to have too much material for safe swimming, but we love the Swim Modest suits and can somewhat recreate them with the first thing I mentioned.

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    1. Great suggestions, Val. And amen to the effort of swimming! :)

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  6. Hi Meghan, I saw you at the raising arrows link up! We share a lot of the same ideas about swimming modestly. I did a similar post about this if you're interested. :) http://www.oliveplantsandcornerstones.com/time-for-swimsuits/

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  7. We rarely go to the beach... usually only when we are camping which we do before the other kids are out of school. We also have a pool in our backyard so we don't go to the public pool either. My sisters and I have worn different things for swimming over the years, varying from t-shirts and boys' swim trunks over regular one piece bathing suits, to athletic type shirts with girls' beach cover up shorts over one piece bathing suits. When we were little we wore just one piece bathing suits but I personally prefer to cover a little more skin. I don't find swimming much fun when I feel like I am exposed to everyone's view.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean about feeling too exposed, so we've never been to the public pool. Sounds like you've tried some good options. Thanks, Justine.

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  8. thanks for sharing your way of modest pool fashion. We are going on a family vacation in july and I didn't really know how to apply modesty to it, so I really appreciate your post as well as the comments on it.

    Good luck on friday, I'll be praying for a good outcome at the doctor's!

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    1. It has been a terrific discussion, hasn't it? Lots of amazing ideas!

      And thanks for your prayers, Bibi.

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  9. You're not odd. You're lovely. I agree with you entirely. Unfortunately, my husband and stepchildren just think I'm weird and I'm constantly embarrassed by the scanty things the three teenage girls wear, and appalled by the prospect of my husband being confronted with a view of half-dressed teenage girls. I don't have any particular worries about him having a roving eye...but I do believe that we're affected by what we see and hear around us. It's very hard to be 'in' this world but not 'of' it, but it's definitely worth being uncompromising about my faith. Unfortunately, my husband of 2 years (a widower) is an unbeliever. He described himself as Christian and said all the right things before we married so it came as a surprise to find that the truth was different. When it comes to subjects such as modesty and the appropriateness of certain movies etc, we simply don't agree...I've learnt to say my piece quietly, stand by my own convictions...and pray hard! It's good to find like-minded women like yourself. Many thanks for your great blog.

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    1. We are definitely affected, whether we think we are or not. And some day we will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and give an account. I know it's a cliche, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Stay strong and continue living a life full of grace and firm faith. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope it continues to be an encouragement to you!

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  10. Hi, I have a suggestion for what to wear to the pool (or beach, or even exercising). I've worn skirts only for much of my life, but could never figure out WHAT to do about swimming. So recently I bought a pink top(similar to the one pictured)in the women's athletic wear section at walmart, and sewed similar fabric in black to the bottom of the shirt to make it like a dress. I sewed it with a zig zag stitch in such a way that the hem of the shirt was still showing. Then I wore one size stretchy leggings (found at Ross) under it. This is very girly without being immodest which is what I was aiming for. And you don't have to worry about your top riding up either.

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    1. It sounds like the tee-shirt dresses I've made for my girls and sooo cute. That one zig-zag stitch would be easy, too. Thanks for the wonderful suggestion, Hayley!

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  11. Check out walmart swim suits, they have a two new style that have a higher neckline and better backside coverage. You still may need to add a swim skirt/shorts for more modest coverage but they are a great starting point, for us.

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    1. Our Wal-Mart only has bikinis near the main aisles, so maybe I need to go back in that section a bit? I'll check it out. Thanks, Nora!

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