That’s how I felt the first time I wore a bikini — like I was finally experiencing a major part of life that had been denied to me for so many years. With a 34DD and a few extra rolls around my stomach, I had never been able to wear a bikini before, partly out of a discomfort at showing my stomach and partly out of a belief (largely true) that no bikini would ever provide enough support.
Enter Malia Mills.
I had heard about Malia Mills increasingly over the past few months, full-figured friends swearing that, if I am willing to spend the money, I could be a bikini-wearer. I checked out the website and confirmed that indeed, she did make bikinis for a DD cup. “Love thy differences,” the website proclaims. And while many of the models did have bodies of, well, models, there were certainly a few who had “differences” in their tummies or thighs.
I went to the Malia Mills store on the upper westside. The experience was, simply, delightful. The saleswoman was encouraging without being condescending. She showed me two styles that would fit a DD cup and agreed that the Bettie was the one for me. The suit uses some type of boning to provide support, without using uncomfortable underwire. Not entirely sure how it works, but trust me, it does. As the saleswomen were ringing up the most expensive piece of fabric per square inch I’ll ever put on my body, I chatted with them about my upcoming beach weekend and my plan to move to Los Angeles at the end of the summer.
I then hopped on the ferry to Fire Island where I strolled down the beach wearing nothing but my bikini. It was so liberating to not be forced to make accommodations because my body was different — I was finally like everyone else. And by everyone else, I mean — as I realized after looking at the other bikini-clad women on the beach — that all of our bodies have quirks. The only thing that was stopping me from wearing a bikini before was a lack of confidence (and, of course, my ignorance to the wonders of Malia Mills underwire-free super-supportive bikini tops).
A few weeks later, I received the following note in the mail:
Thanks for shopping at Malia Mills Columbus Avenue. We hope you enjoyed your midnight blue suit. Good luck with your move to Los Angeles.
The Gals at Malia Mills
Well, that is some pretty good customer service. Next time I’m in New York (sadly they only have stores in NYC, Connecticut, and Chicago) I will certainly go back. Perhaps I will even get one in leopard.