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Ask Rene: I’m 67 – What Should I Wear To The Beach?

Rene Mom Beach

Hi Rene:

I love reading your website, even though my own kids are grown and gone.

I have a question I haven’t seen addressed here yet.  What is appropriate for a 67-year-old, 140-ish pound, 5’3” grandma to wear for the beach?

We are planning an upcoming RV trip and I normally wear cotton summery skirts, but am the only one on the beach with this attire. I am trying to age gracefully, and my body is definitely showing the signs of aging so I’m at a loss. I am pretty conservative but still young at heart and love fashion.


Sign me,

Groovin’ Granny

Hi GG!

Thanks for checking in with us here.  First of all, congrats on what sounds like a fun, summer trip. When I read your letter I asked a few people what they would suggest. One of them is a neighbor of mine who’s spent her career working in the fashion industry. The other was my own mother (It’s funny no matter how old we get, we always end up there for advice). So based on what they told me there are two things I think you need to keep in mind, style and comfort.

STYLE: I totally understand what you’re saying here, dressing as we age feels like a bit of a moving target, we want to be fashionable without looking foolish. In fact, this was the topic of a recent debate here on the site. There are things I agreed with on the initial poll quoted in the piece, but I say it’s stupid to stop wearing a bathing suit just because you’re over a certain age.

My fashionable neighbor suggested a one-piece suit with a sarong. I like that easy, breezy look because you’re appropriately covered and stylish too. But you’re not going to swim in a sarong so you need a bathing suit.  I like the ones that cover the areas that tend to give us trouble as we get older, namely the bottom and upper thighs. There are some really adorable, skirted one-pieces that you might check out here and they aren’t terribly expensive either. Whatever you end up with make sure it has adequate support for your girlie bits.

COMFORT: This is the most important factor to keep in my mind. You go to the beach to swim and have fun. You can’t do that if you’re worried about what you look like or if you’re one wave away from a wardrobe malfunction. Opt for something that’s functional with wide comfortable straps, built in bra and soft material. Go easy on the elastic; too tight and it will cut off circulation to your brain!

But the best bit of advice came from my mother (check out the pic from this year at the top of this post!) At 78 years old, she’s still living life to the fullest and that means hopping in any body of water any chance she gets. When I asked her about your question she said this, “Don’t be afraid to have fun! There are all shapes and sizes of people at the beach; we see it all. Don’t let what other people say or think keep you from enjoying yourself. Go out and have a good time!”


Thanks mom, great advice! Good luck, groovin’ granny. I’d really love it if you’d take photo of yourself on your trip to share with us. Be comfortable and confident in whatever you decide, but something tells me you’ll be rockin’ it out this summer!

Do you have a question for Rene? She has an answer. Click here and fire away!


  1. Auntie Lisa

    June 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Rene — your mom rocks! What is her secret for looking-great-at-78?

    The only thing I would add to your comments would be this: you may have to try on 200 swimsuits, but you’ll eventually find one that is right for you. But you MUST try them on… check them in the mirror from every angle, test their comfort by sitting, stooping, bending, jumping and doing swimming moves.

    It should fit snugly enough to stay in place even when wet, but not so tightly that it exaggerates fatty areas, or rubs or digs into your skin. If you’re “between sizes” then try a different style.

  2. m.e. johnson

    June 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Shucks, I was tryin to think of something to add and could not. I don’t swim but been to many seasides and more than a few lakesides. I wear whatever I want to. I like breezy caftans or ankle-length sundresses. Grammy, wear skirts if you wanna. Aren’t you past the age/stage/phase of worrying about being the “only” anything? Keep doing it and you’ll start a new trend.
    Rene, give your mamma a hug from me. She lookin’ good and makin’ sense.

  3. pattyrowland

    June 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    rene, i haven’t quite hit 50 yet but i’ve been wearing a one piece w/a skirt for years…as long as you can find it in the store – it’s in fashion!!!! p.s. you’re going to be as fabulous in your 70s as your mom is!!!!!!

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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