So we were, at one point last week, weighing whether to write about swimsuits or snow shovels.

On the one hand, it’s a shovelly kind of month. On the other, if we have to look at/pick up/use another shovel, we might hurt someone.

And call us crazy, but after bundling up to deal with approximately one billion inches of snow, we’re ready to show a little leg. Since pantless roof-raking is so 2012, the choice was obvious.

Swimsuits or, er, bust!

Some quick take-aways from our spin around a few local racks:

The tankini is still king.


The swim skirt separate wants to be king and is right now plotting to overthrow the tankini.

Um. How do we say this delicately? Some of the padded cups out there? MAN. There’s a love seat factory missing cushions.

So put the shovel down and suit up with us!

* Jamaica Beach black tankini, JC Penney, $30.80

With purple, pink and blue circles and a scalloped edge. Attention-getting without being pantless-roof-raking attention-getting. Pair with:

* Jamaica Beach flat-front swim skirt, JC Penney, $30.80


One of at least half a dozen swim skirt/boy short/swim skort options leading us to believe these will be all over the beach, when the beaches are, someday, free of snow. Someday. Sigh.

* Stylus bikini top, JC Penney, $25.99

In blue, black, orange or red-and-orange print. Best for ladies who are not happy with their, um, endowment. This top is heavily padded. And not just heavily padded like a bra. Heavily padded like you’re preparing for a crash landing from 30,000 feet and desperately need to protect the girls at all costs. Guaranteed to instantly turn any A cup into a C-plus cup or a C cup into a have-you-had-work-done? cup. Pair with:  

* Stylus bikini bottoms, JC Penney, $25.99

Mix and match colors. Unlike the top, the bottoms are not padded. You decide whether that’s good or bad.

* Arizona Jeans fringed bikini top, JC Penney, $22.40


Aqua top with purple fringe. Lots of fringe. Like, someone may mistake you for a 1960s hippie who traveled in time to land poolside in 2015. Apparently, it’s the anti-padding option: Pretend the girls don’t exist by tricking the eye with a fringe camouflage.

* Azul by Maxine of Hollywood one-piece, JC Penney, $56

Black and silver plus-size one-piece suit that looks like a two-piece, tankini top and skirtini bottom. Flattering to any body shape, functional and pretty — the swimsuit trifecta.

* Nike swimsuits, Olympia Sports, $19.96

Who knew there’d still be swimsuits on the clearance rack? (Something tells us there won’t be any shovels on the clearance racks … ) Regularly $84 to $88, these one-piece suits are now just $20. Sizes are limited (6, 8 and 12), but they’re a great deal if they happen to fit. In blue, black or pink blocks of color, with T-back or X-back straps and support up front. Great for swimming through warm Caribbean waters as a cabana boy waits on shore with a pina colada and a smile.

Sorry, we digress.


* Liquid men’s board shorts, $19.99

Men need swimwear, too! Green, orange and blue shorts in medium, large or (one left) extra large. Also on clearance, marked down from $35. Keep racking up savings like that and you can skip the next three snowstorms altogether and just hop on a plane to Florida.

* Wearabouts, JC Penney, $26.60

Choose from a variety of styles, including a black lattice, sleeveless cover-up and an oversized, down-to-the-knees button-up boyfriend shirt in white or soft denim. Your old band camp T-shirt will be jealous.

Best find: Free Country steel and fuchsia tankini and swim skort, JC Penney, $88 for both (or, maybe $61.60 for both. They were marked as on sale online but not in the store.)

This tankini had an underwire and a super long torso with side strings for the wearer to ruche/shorten at will and the back straps can be worn conventionally or as an X for a little extra flair. We love the idea of all that personal tailoring.


Think twice: Azul by Maxine of Hollywood, JC Penney, $63

One-piece suit with a bold flower print, ruching along the front and gathered material at the bottom. This suit is not flattering. To anyone. Not you, not your best friend, not any supermodel/movie star/Kardashian. This is not the swimsuit you’re looking for.

Honorary shoutout:

We never know what we’ll stumble upon when we set out on a topic here at Bliss and this time we found the following on the website of Maine-born swimsuit designer Joanna Kinsman.

In the world of sentences, it’s one of the more amazing ones:

“Joanna has worked her way up to attract the attention of affluent bikini connoisseurs all over the world.”

Go, Joanna! These tankini connoisseurs salute you.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who can now climb snowbanks to the roof) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at and

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