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Slim Fit : When should you hang up your bikini strings ?

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A few years ago, I read a quote by filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron that embedded itself in my brain the way only an Adele song or the memory of a perfect chocolate-chip cookie can: “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go right this minute, put on a bikini and don’t take it off until you’re 34.” I was 30 then smack in the middle of Ephron’s bikini book ends. I thought I had many string-bikini years ahead of me. After all, I was the kind of girl who worried not whether her sequined tap shorts were too look-at-me tiny but whether those sequins would lose lustre in the pool.

Description: When should you hang up your bikini strings?

When should you hang up your bikini strings?

Description: I was 30 then—smack in the middle of Ephron’s bikini book ends.

I was 30 then—smack in the middle of Ephron’s bikini book ends.

But at 32, inching precariously closer to Ephron’s cut-off, I found myself increasingly grappling with what to wear to the beach. With Canada’s brief summer season, choosing the right swimwear assumes sartorial importance verging on the monumental, and the fear of outré outfits not properly showcased or savoured lingers like steam after a summer storm. For Ephron, 71, it’s all about maximizing the time you have with the pieces you love. “It isn’t that I regret not having worn them,” she tells me over the phone from New York. “It’s that I regret not having worn them more often.”

Description: “It’s that I regret not having worn them more often.”

“It’s that I regret not having worn them more often.”

Thus inspired, I looked for bikini role models and found that an impressive number fell outside of Ephron’s age range. While Canadian women tend to be very conservative with their swimsuit choices, in other parts of the world women of all ages octogenarians included wear bikinis. Take Helen Mirren, who, at 63, famously rocked a red two-piece with the verve and ab tone of a woman half her age.

I foresee my geriatric self-wishing I’d made a bandeau bikini top and high-waist shorts my beach uniform of choice. So, in an effort to mitigate sartorial regret, I recently spent a week-long Florida vacation wearing that very ensemble. I felt more comfortable as the week wore on, but I also realized that feeling comfortable isn’t the same as feeling awesome. And a bikini needs to make you feel awesome. Wearing something because you won’t have a chance to wear it later is like eating an entire chocolate cake because you’re not sure you’ll taste something as good again. Of course you will. It’ll just be different.

Description: And a bikini needs to make you feel awesome.

And a bikini needs to make you feel awesome.

While I struggle to figure out where I fall on the Ephron-Mirren continuum, I take comfort in knowing that while I may not be able to wear my bikini for much longer, it’s partly because I have worn it nearly threadbare. In so doing, I’m le to look forward to the more mature ruched one piece I’ve had my eye on. “The luckiest thing that has happened to any of us over an age is black,” muses fPhrOn, who cites suits as her current swimwear of choice. “Black has saved us.

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