A Plus Size Vacation

Memorial Day this year marked the 7th year anniversary married to my husband. To celebrate, we decided to head down to the Texas coast for a weekend full of R & R. It’s not something we usually get to experience with a two-year-old toddler in tow and our busy schedules. Luckily, she was left with the in-laws so we could have time to reconnect and really enjoy ourselves.

I love going to the beach, I really do. There’s nothing like walking on the sand while the ocean splashes over your ankles, the sun beating on your skin. But I’ve always had my reservations about it too. I know as soon as I hit the sand, it will be filled with beautiful women to my left and right, many that look a lot better in a swimsuit than I do. A lot better.

So knowing this going into the trip, I knew I had to be smart about packing if I was going to make this vacay work without turning into a ball of self-defeat before the whole thing was said and done. I’ll admit, I overpacked like crazy. I know I went overboard but there have been too many times when I’ve traveled somewhere and felt trapped with a lack of confidence due to what clothes I had brought with me. This time I wanted to arm myself, so I brought several outfits, all ones that I knew I’d feel good in. Then there was the whole bathing suit thing. This was where the pre-planning really needed to kick in if I was going to feel successful on this trip. So, I went shopping.

My shopping trip was very mission oriented. I was looking for a good coverup, cute hat and maybe a fun pair of sunglasses. I had already bought a new swimsuit that I felt fabulous in from my Target try-on. Something I’ve learned through time is that if you don’t feel confident wearing something but for whatever reason you need to (like a swimsuit or work uniform) the best way to combat it is to control everything else you’re wearing. That means hair, accessories, makeup, etc. So since I knew I wouldn’t feel totally confident in a swimsuit I wanted to bring a great hat, coverup and cute sunglasses. Last year, I couldn’t find a coverup that I felt was both flattering and affordable but this year, things changed. I found a cute coverup at Old Navy for under $30. The hat I happened to find at Plato’s Closet. Since I don’t wear hats that often, I didn’t want to splurge on this. Lastly, I bought some sunglasses at Target. I have a main pair that I like to wear but they are Kate Spade. I wanted to have some cheaper sunglasses to wear to the beach so that if I lost them, I wouldn’t be heart broken.

The outfit was set and the trip was made. The first day there, I saw different sized bodies everywhere. It was nice to know I wasn’t the only one there not looking like a total super model. With my fanny pack and watermelon hat, I felt fun walking along the shore. I may not have the most rockin’ body but I looked like the life of the party. That’s what it ended up being all about for me. Finding a look that made me feel good about myself. So here are my recommendations for your upcoming Summer vacation:

  • Buy a good swimming suit. Try on and try on some more until you find something you’re comfortable in. If you need some help, you can always check out my swimsuit try-ons in my Facebook group. Some good places to start are Target, Old Navy, Lane Bryant and Torrid.
  • Find the right accessories. Grab a coverup you feel good in. That way if you just can’t find yourself revealing your swimsuit, you’ll still feel good and look like you’re comfortable and ready to have fun. I saw all kinds of coverups on the beach. One of my favorites were girls wearing long sleeved button up tunics. It really dressed up their look.
  • Pack with care. Take some time before you head out to have all of your favorite outfits washed and ready to go. Only pack things you feel 100% confident in. Now is not the time to try something new because what you take is what you’re stuck with.

Any other tips you could add? Share them with me in the comments below.


Jillian Pedersen South Padre Beach


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Plus Size Vacation Tips

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