July 29, 2008

Fashion Week Day Two: Maryrose Wood

Our first Fashion Week guest author is Maryrose Wood. In addition to writing YA novels she's also written for the theatre. She's got a blog about the great summer dilemma: what to wear to the pool. (Being rather pale myself, I absolutely agree with her.)

You can find my review for HOW I FOUND THE PERFECT DRESS and enter the contest here.


How I Found the Perfect Bathing Suit (hint: it rhymes with fettucine!)

By Maryrose Wood

Anyone who has ever had to go anywhere dressed in clothes — and this is pure wild conjecture on my part, but I’ll assume that includes most of you out there in blogland — knows the following fact about fashion: the Holy Grail of outfit shopping is not prom dress shopping (an activity which looms large in my book, HOW I FOUND THE PERFECT DRESS, and includes some comical interference from the faery realm).

Nor is it back-to-school shopping. It is not even wedding dress shopping.

It is bathing suit shopping.

I’m wearing my bathing suit right now. That’s because I’m writing this at the neighborhood pool where my son has taken up full-time residence for the summer. He swims, he eats, he plays Dungeons and Dragons. This goes on for eight hours a day, every day. I wish I had such powers of concentration.

He’s also in his bathing suit. I’m surrounded by people in bathing suits. Little girl bathing suits with built-in ballerina skirts. Big boy bathing suits with pictures of skulls and flames and various intimidating military insignia. Teen boys in baggy board shorts, teen girls in teeny bikinis, moms in Speedos, grandmas in voluminous skirted numbers.

Let’s not forget the dads. They’re here too, in their less-baggy board shorts and mirrored sunglasses. Today there are no man-Speedos on display, thank goodness. However, I notice that many of the dads are sporting tats.

What’s that all about? Did I miss the memo where all the middle-aged dads went en masse to the tattoo parlor after soccer practice and before the PTA meeting? They got their ears pierced years ago, that’s old news. Now they have shaved heads and tats.

I’m not complaining; it’s just an observation. It’s a cute look with the BabyBjörn strapped on, especially if the baby is also bald and maybe wearing a temporary Hello Kitty tattoo on its chubby little forearm.

But back to bathing suits. My bathing suit may not have a built-in ballerina skirt, but it’s a sterling example of what is possibly the most important fashion breakthrough since the death of pantyhose. People, I speak of the tankini.

Say it. Tankini. It’s fun to say. All ini words are fun to say. Ini words practically ooze with fun. Bikini. Martini. Isabella Rosselini. I defy you not to be having the time of your life in the presence of those three items.

The tankini, in case you were in the tattoo parlor when this information was revealed, is a two-piece bathing suit that looks like a one-piece. Or, viewed another way, it is a bifurcated one-piece with all the easy functionality of a two-piece.

In other words, while wearing a tankini you can go to the bathroom without stripping naked in a skeezy public restroom or strangling yourself with wet spandex. This is huge. This is like the moon-landing of bathing suit concepts.

The mere addition of “ini” turns this fearsome tank:

into an adorable Land’s End tankini:

My tankini came from a great women’s sports catalog called Athleta. When I ordered it I decided to throw caution to the winds and embrace the duality of my tankininess by getting a different color top than bottom. Radical, I know!

The outcome of my daring fashion experiment? Success! It’s so mix and match! My two-tone tankini veritably SCREAMS that it’s more than a mere one-piece. It REVELS in its lack of consistency! Like that beloved relic of Americana, separation of Church and State, this newfound separation of Top and Bottom has done wonders for my own personal constitution.

I admit it. My tankini makes me want to visit the restroom. Often. Just because I can.

A bikini is all very well on a cake, but it provides little in the way of sun protection!

Now, I know some of you are rolling your eyes and saying: Maryrose, if the restroom convenience factor is such a big deal to you, why haven’t you been buying normal two-piece bathing suits all along? To you I say – are you mad? Some of us are very, very pale. Our skin does not ever want to see the sun unless absolutely necessary, even when we’re spending an entire summer poolside in a bathing suit.

Also, some of us write books for a living, and I am here to tell you that writing books is not a terribly aerobic or tummy-toning activity. It shows, people. It shows.

A tankini is not the only golden road to happiness, of course. For someone like me, who is adverse to the sun and prefers to avoid unflattering bikinis as well as inconvenient one-piece swimwear, there is another very good option, which is to stick to nighttime skinny-dipping at after-hours nude beaches.

If someone can point me in the direction of this kind of escapade, I am so there. I’ll even apply a temporary Hello Kitty tattoo for the occasion, and only my moonlit companions will know where it lurks.

In the meanwhile, my tankini and I wish you a rollicking and abundantly sun-screened summer!



“...it will capture your interest and probably your heart.” — Kliatt* (asterisk denotes "exceptional material")
“...[a] swiftmoving valentine to musical theater lovers..” — ALA Booklist (online)
“...Teens will enjoy the fast pace and humor in this uplifting novel.” — School Library Journal
“...Wood’s jangling, crescendo-building prose captures all the harmony of a hit Broadway number..." — Kirkus

“...I literally could not stop reading this book...I was thrilled to see the return of one of my favorite heroines...hilariously entertaining....a seriously fantastic book...." — Teen Book Review
“...full of sarcastic, witty humor, more hysterical magical beings, and meddling faeries...Wood has created an absolutely wonderful, sparkling read.” — The Compulsive Reader
“...A must for summer reading... Good luck stopping until you finish it. I know I couldn’t.” — Flamingnet, Top Choice Award
“...Morgan returns as funny as ever...This book is completely irresistible and unforgettable...There was nothing that could've made me put it down.” — Teens Read Too, Gold Star Award

Don't forget to leave a comment on this post for an extra entry to win HOW I FOUND THE PERFECT DRESS!


  1. Ha ha!
    My mother was using the same logic on me last week when we went out to buy a tankini for her vacation!

    Me: You bought a TWO-PIECE?
    Mum: But I can go to the bathroom as often as I want!
    Me: But.. it's a bikini!
    Mum: No, sweetie, it's a tankini.

    I still say my tummy is too round for one of those. ;)

    Great job on the books. You are one of my new MUST READ authors these days.

  2. If you're worried about your tummy, most tankinis are actually excellent at concealing it. Get one that's fitted around the bust but just has a loose panel floating down.

  3. Hmm, you're just a wealth of knowledge on a lot of things! Good thing I have your blog in feeds. haha

  4. Mmmm... fettucine!! Making me hungry! That bikini cake too! :P

    bunnybx at gmail . com

  5. I think I'll just stick with a one piece. Especially now that I've gained like 30 extra pounds that I still need to drop. I suck so horribly at losing weight, lol.


  6. one pieces work for me alright...but i do like the idea of a tankini, especially since it most definitely must work easier when trying to go the bathroom or anything.

    but honestly, bathing suit shopping is the WORSE! I hate clothes shopping in any form..but bathing suits are awful. they really just aren't that flattering on most people..no matter what you look like!!


  7. I love this tankini talk! Thanks for all the sweet comments.

    You know, the other thing about my tankini is that the bottom has that kind of boy-short styling. It's cute and feels a lot easier to wear than the cellulite-to-the-wind high-cut leg on most suits. I know that's meant to be flattering (lengthen the leg etc.), but it leaves nothing to the imagination!


  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Ha! I couldn't figure out what would rhyme with fettucine until I read the article! Brilliant! (This is also me entering for the book XD)

  10. Bathing suit shopping is the worst. I just go for any tankini that will cover my stomach. No bikinis for me and tanks are not flattering on my short, no-waist torso. :)

  11. Ick, bathing suit shopping! I do have a tankini and a one piece that I really like. I'd much rather go buy myself a new suit than find one for my 12 year old stepdaughter.


  12. Writing outside in a bathing suit, hm, that can spark a lot of imagination when you see so much! ;D

    That cake looks delicious!

    faked_sugartone at hotmail.com

  13. Looking to buy swim suit? Check out this online store for the best brands of swim wear! Those looking for best deals can check the bikini on sale section!!! http://www.verysexybikini.com

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