When a fashion trend troubles me, I find myself studying it intensely, attempting to mentally work out a solution. How could we keep this look but ditch everything that makes it absolutely horrendous? These questions plague my mind in dark, subconscious corners until I concoct a solution. That’s how, in 2009, I found myself publishing the first of many posts about the terrible plague of Long Butt caused by the wrong blue jeans.
And, in many ways, those problems have been solved. (And in many ways the fashion industry is trying to convince us that Long Butt is back in style. But it’s not, y’all. IT IS NOT.)
However, there’s a new long butt in town. And it is seducing both moms and non-moms, convincing them that it can solve all their problems.
But they lie. To solve one problem, they create two more problems in their wake. Do not believe the lies.
Let me introduce you to the Dastardly New Long Butt, and then give my proposed solution to fixing it.
It is…The High Waisted Swimsuit Bottom.
And most importantly, it tempts viciously with the promise to conceal our post-baby-having pooch (or our pre-baby-having pooch – I’ve had both.) Furthermore, those of us who suffered through all of our abdominal muscles and tendons being shoved and severed for our c-sections especially appreciate the value in having a pooch smoosher.
I just got back from several days at the beach and have seen many of these suits in person, and here’s what I’ve observed.
1. Even in front view, the bottom half of the woman in question always looks awkwardly larger than the top half, even when it is clear that the woman’s bottom half isn’t actually larger. The funhouse mirror optical illusion graciously provided by the super length (when a wearer hasn’t been airbrushed) is not delightful.
2. The butt. Oh, the butt. The problem is, you cannot fully tell in an unmoving picture what horrors the rear of this swimsuit does to ones backside. It’s when the backside is in motion that you can assess with wide-eyes, watching as the three-foot-long butt waggles back and forth. And, since it’s generally considered rude or at least a little weird to stare at another woman’s backside for a prolonged period of time, I’ve done all the staring for you. And no matter what the woman’s body shape, the butt is never flattered by the high waisted bottom. It’s not the lady’s booty’s fault – it’s the swimsuit.
In fact, most of the time you can’t even find an honest enough swimsuit company to show you the full view of their high waisted backsides – because even on the size zero model, that booty lengthens into a full-on Grandma-Butt. Even from this side view, though, you can see that they’ve taken her butt (which I’m sure is lovely) and stretched it long then pancaked it flat like they were rolling a pizza dough out of a full can of polka-dotted play-dough.
Here’s one that showed the entire backside tragedy, only multiplied by the ever widening polka-dots:
And here’s another that was even a bit more honest to the actual shape of an actual woman:This delightful lady’s butt deserves so much better, y’all.
Also, don’t fall for the high-waisted front gimmicks.
More Coverage! More distractions from your belly!
You know what this artsy little tie-waist becomes on a normal human? A pooch hammock.
You know what this trendy vintage buttoned look becomes when it’s not on a perfect model? Mickey Mouse pants. And I know you do not want every toddler at the pool running up to you for autographs.
And the ruched look, in real life, is a pooch beach ball. Play with the beach ball, don’t become it.
So. What, you ask, is the solution to this obvious fashion conundrum? Can we have our high waists without the long butt and maximization optics?
Yes, I believe you can.
Note: I’m not willing to try these on myself and show you the comparisons on the same body as I did in my denim posts – blue jeans and bathing suit bottoms are two VERY different animals. So you’re just going to have to trust my intense staring at the women I’ve seen and my dedicated study of the products on the internet. (Unless one of you wants to volunteer your assets for the sake of this post – I’ll gladly photograph you in all the bathing suit bottoms. No? Okay then. Let’s continue.)
Here’s the solution: a wide waistband.
A big butt may be in style right now, but a long butt is not. Nor is a long butt a naturally occurring feature – it’s only a lie of clothing that creates the catastrophe of long buttedness. So give yourself a waist instead. Wide waistbands in all areas of clothing have long been known to minimize width, provide support, and give a defined separation of butt and waist, thereby eliminating the eternibutt that high waists can cause. There aren’t many high-waist-wide-waistband swimsuit bottoms on the market yet, but my prediction and hope is that this is where the trend will head – because it’s the perfect solution.
Here’s a great example. Even though the waistband is subtle in the back, look how flattering both the front and back are when there is clear separation of waist. Study her butt and see how it doesn’t elongate it at all – it just cinches her waistline and offers an hourglass figure.
Note: white has to be the most dangerous swimsuit color for a myriad of reasons and I am not recommending the color, but there are other colors available – they just don’t show back views.
Let’s look at a couple side-by-sides and admire the ability of the wide waistband to limit the amount of butt perceived.
Here’s another great example. It is admittedly cheekier than I’m willing to be, but the extra-extra wide waistband is such a nice look. Notice how it cinches and provides that visual separation that is so vital to the proper length of our backsides.
How wide is wide enough?
This next one is not wide enough. A narrow waistband makes everything worse, giving the impression that your swimsuit is desperately trying to cinch your butt into a velvet satchel but can’t quite get it closed.
If you have to sacrifice one or the other, I’d recommend trying a slightly lower waisted bottom that still has a wide waistband rather than a narrower waistband on a longer waist. Most of us have the pooch low enough that these would cover it, and it still gives a flattering look without any cinching or long butt hangover:
Option 2 – the printed waistband offers an even more defined and lovely butt cutoff.
…But don’t get craaaaaazy with your separation – this is not the bottom we’re looking for, ladies.
So. Treat your butt nicely this summer. And gift it with a waist.
– How about a swim skirt? I personally love a good swim skirt, and I do not think that they elongate the butt, if you find the right one. Of all the shapes of swim skirts I’ve tried, I prefer the fitted side scrunch cut. I recently purchased this one and love it:
– What about fitted swim shorts? These usually tend to cut off on the widest part of the hips, giving an unattractive hip line unless you are blessed with slender hips. Not recommended.
– What if I pair my high waisted bottom with a tankini top? Will my butt still look endlessly long? No – as long as the bottom of your tankini comes to the top of your butt, it will work as a surrogate line of separation. If you’re going tankini, Land’s End has the most flattering ones out there, in my experience.
I receive no compensation or affiliate credits for any of the links provided in this post. All research is done out of my desire to advance the cause of flattering the already beautiful female form.