In the past month alone, I've gotten no less than ten inquiries about my swimsuit. This, combined with the ominous cloud of the approaching swimsuit season, is why I've decided to set the record straight with a rapid fire Esther Williams Swimwear FAQ:
Are Esther Williams swimsuits really as awesome as you say they are?
If Esther Williams swimsuits were handed out as free gifts to every person in New York, would it have the same effect as blaring (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher from the Statue of Liberty in the climactic scene of Ghostbusters II?
Who is Esther Williams, anyway? Is it Madonna?
No, no, silly. Esther was a swimmer/movie star (best combination ever) in the 1950's, and now she designs adorable retro swimsuits that are flattering and comfortable. She is a hero and a patriot.
Seriously though, a swimsuit that's retro and flattering and comfortable? No way. Shut up.
So, Esther Williams suits are custom made to order. How does this work? Is it easier than ordering a sandwich at Subway? Cuz that's sort of involved and annoying.
Don't worry--it's way easier than ordering your five dollar footlong. Here's what you do:
1. Go to Esther's website.
2. Don't let the 80's-tastic photos faze you.
3. Pick out the style of swimsuit you fancy.
4. Pick out the fabric you fancy (so many cute options--I want them all).
5. Place your order.
6. In two weeks, receive your suit and look amazingly retro glamorous.
7. Begin spreading the gospel.
Since these swimsuits are custom made, they must cost, like, $500, right?
That's where you're wrong, friendo. All suits are around 80 bucks, which is way less than most designer suits churned out in third world factories, and way worth it.
Are there plus size options?
Yep. They carry sizes 6-26.
Soft foam cups sound good, but that "3/4 inch elastic under bust for support" bit makes me nervous. Will I feel saggy and naked in this thing?
As a chesty girl, I can measure my life in the number of swimsuit bust support systems that have let me down (quite literally) in frustrating and horrifying ways, so I was also nervous about the soft foam cups. I was pleasantly surprised by the suit's support--I think it's all about the quality of the fabric and getting a good fit. I wouldn't jog in it (I also wouldn't really jog, period), but I definitely don't feel saggy and naked in it. Praise the lord!
I hate buying a new swimsuit every damn year. How do Esther Williams swimsuits hold up?
Well, I got mine in September of '06, and it's still going strong. Here is a list of some of the things my swimsuit has been through:
- Daily lounging and lap swimming in a chlorinated pool during my five month stay in Hawaii.
- Snorkeling and swimming in the ocean in Hawaii.
- Halfheartedly splashing around in the ocean before screaming, "Holy shit it's cold!" and running away from the ocean in Oregon.
- Pretending I know how to boogie board.
- Teaching a man who may have been Danny DeVito to pretend how to boogie board.
Before you look (you already looked, didn't you?), I want you to know that I got to snap one photo before my stupid camera died, so this picture really doesn't do it justice:
But if it still looks cute tossed hastily onto my living room floor, think how cute it looks on a person, poolside, with a pair of Jackie O shades and self-esteem to boot! Bonus: the halter strap can be tied around the back for a cute strapless look and no tanlines.
This style is the 1 Piece Classic Sheath and the fabric is called...wait for it....wait for it...Polka Dot (White on Black).
Is Esther Williams paying you?
She's not, I swear! I just really love my swimsuit and want to share the Good News.
Updated to add: Today I received an email from wonderful reader Stephanie, who recently bought an Esther of her own: "In the spirit of sharing, I attached a bad picture of my swimsuit tossed hastily onto my bedroom floor."