The Perfect (or at least improved) Pool Party Experience

by Jen

By Jenna Kim Jones

Swimsuit options, cover up ideas, the pros and cons of waterproof makeup, what to do with wet hair, and party tips for the perfect pool party.

It’s officially summer and with summer comes the highly anticipated and often times mortifying pool party experience. I expressed my distaste for this unfortunate season in the following poem:

What to Wear to a Pool Party

Grandma says,
wear a one piece with
a reasonably high neckline
but throw on an oversized
t-shirt and shorts to the knee
after lathering up
with 45 SPF sunscreen.

Elle says,
three triangle shaped
patches of fabric,
a couple pieces of string,
maybe some glue,
grapefruits and water,
6,000 lunges, and you and the pool boy
might score more than
a few points in water volleyball.

European Elle says,
Swimsuit? What’s the point?

I say,
I think I’ll skip the pool this summer.

Ok, so truth be told, I LOVE the pool and I DON’T want to skip out on a pool party just because I’m embarrassed about wearing a swimsuit. But at the same time, where is the happy medium, especially in terms of modesty, when it comes to dressing for a pool party? How can a young woman feel comfortable and dress modestly at the pool? After a little research, I’ve come up with some swimsuit options, cover up ideas, the pros and cons of waterproof makeup, what to do with wet hair, and a few party tips for the perfect or at least improved pool party experience.


Swimsuits are an investment and often a pricey investment. Usually one or two suits are all our wardrobes allow because they can be expensive and because it’s hard to find a suit that works with your body type. The first two things I suggest when looking for a swimsuit are:

1. Be willing to look anywhere and everywhere, including the Internet. There are a lot of options online. If you are too young to shop online and you don’t have a credit card, perhaps explain to your parents that you are looking for an affordable modest swimsuit and maybe they will be more excited to help you in your quest.

2. Be willing to take chances. You never know where your search may take you. I have a one-piece Speedo swimsuit from Costco that I LOVE and it was only $19.99.

With that in mind, what makes a modest swimsuit? Well that’s up to the wearer. In my opinion, I can tell you what a modest swimsuit isn’t. It isn’t a bikini. Dressing at the pool is obviously completely different than dressing in everyday attire so the rules of modesty are slightly redefined. Sometimes it is easy to justify wearing immodest swimwear, because one-piece swimsuits and modest tankinis are hard to find. It’s true that there are not as many options in the mainstream fashion world when it comes to one-piece swimsuits but it is possible to find at least one that you might like.

Target has a great selection of swimsuits in stores and online at There are actually more options online but again if you don’t have that resource, the store is also a good place to look. On their website they have dozens of one-piece options and right now most of them are $29.99 or less.

Gap has a small but incredibly fashionable selection of one-piece swimsuits all on sale right now at They have two or three animal print one-piece halter swimsuits that are feminine and flattering. A halter one-piece is an attractive look for a young woman because it highlights your collarbones and makes your shoulders appear less broad. Also, the patterns and prints are a fresh take on the standard solid swimsuit. Look for swimwear under GapBody. is a GREAT website for modest and affordable swimwear. They have an amazing selection and if that isn’t enough, you can design your own perfect swimsuit. Use the promo code “jenswim2008” to get 10% off your swimwear purchase.

Remember, be willing to look and take chances. Try on different styles. Take a look at your body and decide what would be the most flattering fit for you. Also, most swimsuits run small so don’t be discouraged if you wear a size bigger in your suit. Don’t squeeze yourself into a swimsuit because once it is wet, it will hug every curve. Lastly, take extra care of your swimsuit by washing it out afterwards and hanging it to dry. The chlorine can eat away at your swimsuit after a while leaving it sheer and misshapen. Swimsuits are an investment and should last the whole season.

With all this in mind, swimsuits shouldn’t scare you away from the pool this summer.

Swimsuit Cover-Ups

I generally wear swim shorts with my swimsuits but that is just a personal preference. Swim shorts are easy to find these days. Roxy, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Gap, American Eagle, almost every store carries one or two styles of shorts that look great over almost any swimsuit.

Here are a couple ideas of what to wear over your swimsuit. Light and colorful dresses are a great way to stay covered when you aren’t in the water. Yellow is very in this season and makes you look especially summery. Since long shirt-dresses and tights are the rage for young women these days, why not take a long shirt-dress and wear is over your swimsuit, minus the tights. Another swimsuit cover up option is to take an oversized button up collar shirt, maybe one of your dad’s or your brother’s and throw it on over a swimsuit. (Make sure he doesn’t want it anymore.) Just button one or two of the buttons and roll the sleeves up a bit and you have an original swimsuit cover-up that is totally stylish.

Waterproof Makeup and Wet Hair

At a pool party, it’s hard to decide whether or not you should wear makeup. Waterproof makeup is always an option. Almost every brand of makeup carries waterproof mascara, foundation, eye shadow, blush, and even lip-gloss. Water resistant doesn’t mean waterproof so if you have makeup that is water resistant, it may still run in the pool. If you really want to wear waterproof mascara or any other form of waterproof makeup in the pool, you also need to be willing to purchase make up remover. Clinique has two different makeup removers, one specifically for eyes and one for all kinds of makeup. They are called, “Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes, and Lips,” and “Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent.” (They run at about $16.50 and $14.50 a bottle.)

It’s important to buy this product or some product like it otherwise your makeup won’t ever fully come off. Your eye lashes will become dry and are more likely to fall out and your pores will become clogged and create zits and other skin irritations.

After you are finished swimming and your hair is all wet, make sure you have a comb, not a brush, and some kind of clip, not an elastic. And if you can, rinse your hair out. Brushes have a tendency to break off the ends or your hair when it’s wet. Elastics can rip out your wet hair and also cause further tangling. If your hair is dyed or very blonde, it’s also important to rinse off the chlorine as soon as possible as it could affect your color or leave your hair with a slight tint of green.

I personally don’t wear any makeup when I go to the pool except maybe some lip-gloss and really most girls don’t even need that. The natural look is a beautiful look, especially when you are wearing a cute swimsuit and cover up!

Pool Party Snacks

What’s a pool party without snacks? I know what you are thinking. You shouldn’t eat and swim right away but I figure that everybody knows that rule and will take precaution before they eat and swim.

If you want to feel like a kid again, here is a stress-free and fun poolside snack menu:

  • Bite size PB & J Sandwiches-This couldn’t be simpler. Just use your favorite bread, peanut butter and jam to make the sandwich. Then cut them into small triangles or little squares.
  • Carrot sticks—If you really want to make this feel like the good ol’ days, don’t just buy the mini carrots in the store. Buy the actual carrot and peel and cut it into sticks.
  • Grapes—Buy a big bunch of grapes and cut it into individual sized bunches. People will love the option of fruit.
  • Baked Lays—These are a nice alternative to regular potato chips because they are quite a big healthier. They come in all kinds of flavors and won’t leave grease marks on your bathing suit.
  • Otter pops—What is summer without otter pops? If you have a small cooler, fill it with ice and frozen otter pops for everyone to enjoy.
  • Rice Krispie Treats—A perfect dessert because they aren’t too heavy but satisfy any sweet craving. The recipe is located on every box of Rice Krispies.

Now that you know what to wear and what to eat, it’s time for you to throw your own pool party. If you don’t have a pool and you know of a neighborhood pool you can use, check their regulations and see if you can have a party there. If you don’t have access to a pool, pull out the old slip and slide, a couple of water balloons, and throw the party at a park or in your own backyard!

Be confident in whatever you are wearing. With your modest swimsuit and cover up, you won’t have to skip out on a party. Make swimsuit season your favorite season!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah June 30, 2007 at 1:55 am

I just had this problem! thank you so much for this article! Like most women, I’m not the same size on top and bottom, which makes buying separates very tempting. The big plus of the one piece I found was that there was a horizontal strap in the back so that the straps didn’t fall down while I was playing pool volleyball.


marlieex33 July 8, 2007 at 11:23 am

Jen ,
My name is Marlie & i’m LDS . i have alot of friend that wear the 4 tiny triangle bikinis . they think that they’re SOO cute , but they don’t think about where the boys are looking . when i look at what you put in that article , i really appriciate why you made this online magazine . these days it’s so hard to find a decent swimsuit that covers my belly , boobs , & butt! they either don’t have tankinis or they cost a FORTUNE!! i really appriciate that you’re giving us girls appropriate clothes/swimsuit sites 🙂 that makes me & my parents very happy :))) keep doing what you do .

with love ,
Marlie <33


Anonymous July 20, 2007 at 11:06 am

Thank you so much for this article! It came just in time for me to read, consider, then reread before I was asked to put it into use. You helped give me confidence I hadn’t had a long time in a swim suit, for a date, no less. Of course, finding just the right suit helped, too. 🙂 Thanks for covering modesty in all areas of life!


Anonymous August 20, 2007 at 9:29 am

This was a good article! Here’s another great site for modest swimwear. I couldn’t find it on your site…

It seems pretty popular too on Google.


Anonymous August 31, 2007 at 3:39 am

I am LDS too and I am a mother of two girls. I do believe there is a balance and that we should not give our girls hangups about their bodies. This can lead to many problems later. Believe me I have seen it happen. There is a balance between modesty and uptightness.



Kate October 25, 2007 at 5:12 pm

I am forever on the quest to find ‘the perfect swimsuit.’ And as the oldest with three younger sisters, I try to set a really good example for them to be able to look up to. this year I found an awesome swimsuit at It’s cute and stylish. The one I got has a skirt attached to it. And ladies this swimsuit is the most comfortable swimsuit I’ve ever worn and it’s well worth the price! When I got in and out of the pool I wasn’t worried whether or not I was ‘hanging out’ or if everyone behind me was seeing more than they should. has many choices and they are mostly all modest.


Anonymous December 14, 2007 at 6:41 pm

hey jen,
thats a great article, thanks for the hair idea, my hair goes CRAZY when i swim, and this is great! here’s another GREAT swimsuit website-i have one, and its super cute and it’s not too snug!
Hope you love it!


Courtney December 20, 2007 at 8:29 pm

I looked @ and your right it is pretty darn cute.
Thanks Jen for all you do 🙂


Jen December 21, 2007 at 10:57 am

Thanks for the comments!


nate December 23, 2007 at 10:55 am

Who’s this jenna jones that wrote this article? She sounds amazing? I’d really like to meet her someday.


Anonymous February 10, 2008 at 11:57 am

So I was swim-suit searching early this year (I’m going on a cruise and i needed a swim suit) anyway, I was on a site for a school project and it showed a bunch of cute swimsuits that would be vintage now- so i looked around and found a few sites that had really really cute modest swimsuits that wern’t too expensive- i just typed in vintage swimsuits in google. Love Jen!! Keep up the great work.


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