Swimsuits for Girls: Shielding Their Skin and Their Innocence

Jeanne Sager
Big Kid

bathing suit
Photo from Hatley
Bathing suit shopping sucks.

And I'm not talking about my jiggly mom butt this time.

Have you tried buying a swimsuit for a prepubescent girl lately?

They leave a lot to be desired -- and nothing to the imagination.

I'm taking a page out of the so-funny-because-it's-true Celia Rivenbark book and officially refusing to "dress my 6-year-old like a skank."

Color me relieved Hatley sent The Stir the new addition to their summer line to check out.

Teeny-weeny ruffles! Flamingos! Age-appropriate coverage!

The little girls are begging for two pieces like their teen idols, and the flamingo tankini set ($39.99) fits the bill nicely. The bottom offers ample coverage on the butt, with an elastic waistband that stretches as they move. The ruffled embellishments across the top make clear this is still a suit for little girls -- with no intentions to dip down for imaginary cleavage.

Still clinging to the one-piece to preserve her childhood? Hatley's shop has a host of fun options, but my favorite is the sweet Sea Princess ($39.99) thanks again to full coverage and little ruffles around the leg that make clear she's still a little girl.

Keeping my eyes out, I'm also intrigued by the push toward long-sleeved tops and shorts with UV protection that works better than sunblock but still lets them in the pool.

My daughter will be sporting a UV Skinz top and shorts this summer on the days when there's a breeze over the town pool. She'll get UV protection -- protection from the cool air during swim lessons AND that nice coverage that makes me feel less like throwing a towel over her.

Are you frustrated when you take your daughter bathing suit shopping? What are your favorites on the market?

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