The monokini the author wore. (Photo: Photo Courtesy Of Heather Siegel)
The monokini the author wore. (Photo: Photo Courtesy Of Heather Siegel)

the author wore a monokini The photo is courtesy of Heather Siegel.

Five years ago, I filled a cart with items I didn't need and had no intention of ever using, when my cart accidentally hit the bathing suit section. When I was unable to break from the premises without at least browsing for every category of my life, I began to sift through the rack.

As I carried a red two-piece to a distorted mirror and held it to my body, I became aware that this anxiety was more than just the usualtrigger of imagining, in winter, how it would feel to wear the tiny swaths of fabric

I had never felt good about my stomach, so the bikini had never really been mine, but it seemed like the years to wear one had vanished along with my younger past. In their bright colors and skimpy bottoms, they reminded me of a person I could no longer identify with: the 20-something reckless me who splay out on beaches while sipping corn-syrup-based pia coladas.

The 5-miler per day walker cringed when she thought about that and moved to the one-piece section.

I was hurtled back in through time to the first inklings of middle age surrender, something I never got behind then, and still wasn't sure I was ready for. The white Calvin Klein suit and navy Ann Taylor numbers were both nice but boring.

The sexy, younger woman who was comfortable donning a red-rhinestone thong was the sexy, younger woman who found tankinis. She couldn't do the skort and skirt swimsuits on the most unsexy days.

What was left for my middle-aged self, who with the right under-eye concealer, root dye, pushup bra, Spanx jeans and lighting couldn't pass for younger?

Is it a tank top and shorts? Do you mean a long-sleeve sun shirt and bikini bottoms? Do you mean a Laura Engles dress?

I was about to go to the cosmetics section when I saw an alternative suit that caught my eye.

I held it under the lights after plucking it from the rack. The suit was not a bikini, one piece, or tankini. It had a bikini top and bottom that were fused together with a lot of criss-cross straps that made it look like it was covering all the right places. There was more to the story.

I had always wanted to own a sense of confidence. It was of moxie. It was even of fantasy.

I don't want you to remember who I was or what I had been. I don't know who I could be now.

Is that a dominaTRIX?

Someone is a high-end fashion model.

What is the name of the person?

I plucked the monokini from the rack, unaware of the suit's origin in 1964 when Austrian American fashion designer, Rudi Gernreich, created a topless version by attaching two shoestring ties to a bikini bottom. When I stepped into the aisle, I looked left to right so as not to be seen, and held up fabric to my body.

I said "hell to the no".

The appeal of transformation was strong, like it is with a fedora or a trench coat.

I peered at the tag. Kenneth Cole created the designs. I decided to try to embody the woman who wore this suit when I went to the dressing room for the discounted price of $29.99.

I put on my clothes and looked in the mirror. I didn't see anything that would interfere with my ego. For one day, I was told to wear the miniskirt by a good friend of mine.

The body wouldn't get any better. I had always been a sporadic worker. Why ruin my name now? I was thankful for all the good times that the body had given me.

I put it in my cart and went to the checkout.

I put the costume in my drawer after I took it out of the plastic bag at home, like many good fashion purchases that require transformation and belief in one's ability to pull off that transformation.

For a long period of time.

The flu came and went. I became closer to being the person who would consider a skort suit. I didn't own one when the pool invite party came through from an acquaintances.

There would be a celebration for Independence Day at a new club, but we all knew that it was also a welcome back to civilization party. I wouldn't know anyone, save for an acquaintances, because of the isolation.

I had one chance to present myself and make a good impression, and 15 minutes to do it.

My husband spoke from the other room.

In less than a second! When I called back, I had to dig through my bathing suit drawer.

I walked into the living room where my daughter and husband were playing a game.

It's well? I tried to stifle a laugh by calling.

the author in the suit (Photo: Photo Courtesy Of Heather Siegel)

The author is wearing a suit.

My husband looked up from the mirror and adjusted his contact lens. He said it was a bathing suit.

My daughter lathered on lipgloss and didn't bother to look up.

That's really serious?

She looked away from the reflection on her phone. She said it was okay.

The time is 9 minutes.

Is it a good idea?

I need a good cover up if that is the case. I ran to another room.


Right now.

It's The.

The house is small

I went to the pool and dropped my towel next to the person.

She exclaimed, "So I guess we won't blend in?"

I said that I thought not.

As a group of strangers chatted and lounged in the pool, each in their own world, I found myself feeling freer among them. I stood taller and pushed back my shoulders when a group of women approached.

They were one-pieced, tankinied, bikinied, and one skorted, of mixed age, while I was one-pieced, tankinied, bikinied, and one skorted.

I knew it was my time to shine because she wished she could pull that off. There is aBonjour de Paris. When the skorted one stepped forward, I opened my mouth to fire off a self-deprecating witticism about pulling off the suit, even though I was once famous.

We worked the book sale at the same time.

There is a person named Merde.

Negotiating was tiring. It's even more difficult to transform. In all its beauty and perfect imperfection, acceptance was mine for the taking, and in my future filled with skorts and skimpy bikinis.

I relaxed my shoulders and said I believed we did.

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The article was first published on HuffPost.