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The Sporty Swimsuit Giving ‘Hot Camp Counselor’ Vibes

Basically a Speedo, but cuter.

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A black one piece bathing suit
Sweaty Betty Dolphin Swimsuit ($100)

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There are two kinds of people: those who went to summer camp (and, crucial distinction, enjoyed it) and those who didn’t. And while some of my favorite people are self-proclaimed Indoor Kids, those particular friends will never totally understand my personal holy grail of hotness: camp counselor.

I can technically understand why a string bikini might be considered “hot,” or why the Baywatch-era high-cut tank is making a comeback as the sexy swimsuit du jour. But for me, it’s a shrink-wrapped, Speedo-backed one-piece every time — preferably accessorized with rolled-down athletic shorts, Adidas slip-ons, and/or a lifeguard whistle. I even like the ensuing tan lines.

The irony is that the idea of the thing does not match the reality of the thing. The original TYR practice suits had skinny straps and a streamlined profile, but the unlined butt would turn threadbare halfway through a summer. And Speedo still makes a version of the suit, but the neckline lies in a no-man’s land between fashionably high and flatteringly low.

I am now twice as old as I was my last summer at camp and was until recently still in search of this elusive swim costume that stays put during activities, minimizes boobs, and, at this point in my life, doesn’t make me look like a mom or a teen.

Enter the Dolphin swimsuit. Never had I ever shopped at Sweaty Betty, but I’ll be damned if this little number doesn’t check every box for an aging wannabe camp counselor. It’s also black — appropriate for the New Yorker on an urgent mission to shop for, say, a three-day backpacking trip in Hawaii.

After so much time spent obsessing over my idealized Just One Thing, once it was on, it didn’t monopolize my attention at all: no tugging, no wedgie-picking, no re-tying straps. Turns out the real indication of a gold-medal swimsuit is never even giving it a second thought.