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treasure: fashionable, frugal swimming

June 30, 2010

Little Friend struts her Flap Happy suit on the swimwear catwalk.

Shhh.  Don’t tell.  I’m sitting here sneaking a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  Truly one of the guilty pleasures of my life.  That chocolatey-peanut-buttery mixture of salty and sweet gets me every time.  My willpower doesn’t extend very far, so I had Big Friend hide this particular box (yes, box…as in the fund-raiser size you can buy from Sam’s) over a year ago.  I just found it stashed behind a sack of macaroni in our basement pantry.  Somehow I’m able to exert enough self-control to avert my eyes from the calorie count on the wrapper but not far enough to keep my hand from my mouth.  Excuse me a moment while I go wipe my face and lick my fingers.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are not the only guilty pleasure in my life these days.  I’m currently on a little high from buying kid’s swimsuits.  Particularly suits that are adorable AND make my life easier.  While I love the chlorine fumes, summer radio, snack bar, damp towel days with the best of them, I can’t say I relish the soggy, overpriced swim diapers that are a toddler pool requisite.  I already have enough junk to cart around (sunglasses, towels, changes of clothing, sunscreen, snacks, flip-flops) without adding yet another diaper that’s just going to be money pitched in the trash after a half hour of wading pool fun.

Flap Happy Swim Bubble

Luckily, Flap Happy swimsuits have provided me a solution to the soggy-money-down-the-drain problem.  Flap Happy’s swimwear integrates a reusable swim diaper right into the swimsuit, making changing for the pool easy and affordable.  When I stumbled across a great sale on Flap Happy suits, I couldn’t contain myself to just one suit (see the parallel between swimsuits and Reese’s?), so into the shopping cart went a red and blue lobster Swim Bubble and a polka-dotted ruffle tank.  With designs that have a bit of retro flair and frilly fun, Flap Happy swimsuits are eye candy for summer days.  Personally, I like clothing that lets kids be kids and not just miniature model adults.  For example, the Flap Happy Classic Swim Bubble in red and white playfully bulges out around chubby belly, butt, and legs, while the snazzy stripes feel like fabric snagged from a trip to the Hamptons, circa 1910.  I also like Flap Happy’s departure from girlish pink in their elegant black and white Vintage Scrolls suit, a suit which also offers a design bonus of snapping at the crotch like a Onesie.

Shark trunks with integrated swim diaper

Lest I neglect to recommend Flap Happy for my friends with little boys, check out the fun infant Zootopia swim diaper or the Sharks Swim Trunks.  (Man-eating sharks, I’m sure.  All the better for little boys like my nephew who can’t say a full sentence yet but can make distinct shooting sounds and point pretend guns in the direction of peaceful deer à la Bambi grazing in his back yard.)

Boden's Swim Pants with "Nappy Liners"

If you’ve already bought the two or three swimsuits you’ll need for the summer swim season, but they don’t contain the ingenious integrated swim diaper of Flap Happy fame, may I suggest some other resources for reusable swim diapers to help you avoid disposables?  Boden, my favorite British clothing brand for men, women, and kids, has a killer line of swim diapers, or as their website puts it with such charming Brit verbiage, “For baby beach belles everywhere. With integral nappy liner.”  A nappy liner!  Who could resist?  Then again, these pants are almost too darling to stuff under some other swimsuit.  Personally, I’m a believer in the European swimwear mindset: give your little girl license to run around topless all summer long if her bottom is fashionably clad in Boden swim pants.

I also have to recommend my personal choice for a reusable swim diaper: Bummi’s Swimmi Swim Pants (not a Dr. Seuss rhyme but an actual brand name).  While not as darling as the Flap Happy or Boden models, the Swimmi Swim Pants are highly functional, slim-fitting, and hardy.  They will hold up through many dunks in the chlorine and spins through the wash.  Little Friend has worn her Swimmi for two seasons and the velcro still looks (and grips) as good as new.

Now finding a swimsuit that will look as cute on Mama, especially after two or three or ten Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…well, that might just be a different story.

Flap Happy swimsuits cost between $13 and $35, depending on the style. Boden’s swim pants are currently on sale for $19, but grab them fast because sizes are selling out at lightening speed.  A Bummi’s Swimmi reusable swim diaper costs $13 at Happy Baby Company.  Huggies Little Swimmers disposable diapers will cost you $9.00 for 10 diapers.  Count up the number of times your tot runs around in sprinklers or splashes in the baby pool and see if it doesn’t make sense (cents?) to have some fashionable and frugal swimwear in the closet.  Then go ahead and treat yourself to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

For more sanity-saving life tips, swim on over to Works for Me Wednesday.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 30, 2010 9:28 am

    Wow! What a great resource on summer baby swimwear. You’re right–don’t look at initial cost as over time, the cloth alternative is much more cost efficient. The suits are adorable!

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