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When Is Swimwear Inappropriate For Toddlers?

toddler bikini mermaid

Vegas, baby!

In my search for toddler swimwear yesterday, I came across tons of cute stuff. I also came across a lot of suits that made my jaw drop. We want our toddlers to look cute, and sometimes, making a toddler look like an adult can be downright adorable in a mini-me kind of way. However, in my eyes, when it comes to swimwear, there’s cute and fine, and then there’s crossing the line.

Remember last year’s Abercrombie push-up bikini  controversy? While I haven’t found any push-up bras for toddlers, many of the suits I saw were emulating breasts, even though the wearers of the bathing suits wouldn’t have them for a dozen years or so.  Some of them weren’t really sexy, just hideously uncomfortable-looking and not pool or beach appropriate. Think Toddlers and Tiaras, instead of sand and surf.  The idea of sticking chunky one year-olds in suits like these is comical, but even with my love of comedy, I’d still never do that to my toddler.

Here are some suits I would never let my toddler girl wear. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have one.


  • Juicy Couture Sailor Babe Halter $85 1 of 8
    Juicy Couture Sailor Babe Halter $85
    You read that right. Not "baby" halter, "BABE" halter. I can see a Kardashian wearing this in Malibu.
    From Zappos
  • J Crew $49.50 2 of 8
    J Crew $49.50
    While I actually think the top of this suit is pretty modest, I think the bottoms are a bit high cut for a toddler who might also be wearing a swim diaper. That's not cute.
    J Crew online
  • Burberry Bikini $95 3 of 8
    Burberry Bikini $95
    First of all, the fact that Burberry makes a toddler bikini is kind of comical in itself. Secondly, string bikini for a toddler? Why not just let them go naked?
    At Nordstrom's
  • Shebop/WeeBop Mermaid Swim Diaper $35.95 4 of 8
    Shebop/WeeBop Mermaid Swim Diaper $35.95
    I'm just so overwhelmed by this number, I don't know quite what to say. I mean, there's a sequined fin on the tush??
    See it on Swim Outlet
  • Baby Gap Ruffled Two Piece $29.95 5 of 8
    Baby Gap Ruffled Two Piece $29.95
    This seems more impractical than inappropriate. It reminds me of something on Dancing With The Stars. Don't get me wrong, I love that show, but this seems too spicy salsa for the toddler set.
    See it on Gap.com
  • Kate Mack Flamingo Skirted Two Piece $62 6 of 8
    Kate Mack Flamingo Skirted Two Piece $62
    This also seems beach unfriendly to me. Tutu + sand = ruined $62 bathing suit. For the record, this is the only bathing suit I could not picture on an adult, unless you count Lara Flynn Boyle.
    For sale on Zappos
  • Lands’ End Shirred Ruffle Bodice Knit Denim One Piece $29.00 7 of 8
    Lands' End Shirred Ruffle Bodice Knit Denim One Piece $29.00
    Lands' End is normally known for modest clothing. This bathing suit achieves modesty for an adult, but why the obvious shirred boob emphasis? Do we need to be reminded that the child will one day have breasts?
    See it on the Lands' End website
  • Roxy Angel Hearts Ruffled Bikini $38.00 8 of 8
    Roxy Angel Hearts Ruffled Bikini $38.00
    This suit reminds me a lot of Valley Girl.
    While this is one of my favorite movies, I'd like not to be reminded of it while looking at my toddler.
    Available on Roxy.com

Tell me, do you agree with my assessments? I’d love to read in the comments.

More by Naomi
12 Adorable Toddler Swim Suits for Summer 2012
8 Benefits To Taking A Parenting Break For A Weekend
How The Time Magazine Cover Made Me Take Up Knitting

Read more of my posts on Toddler Times.
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