Thursday, June 9, 2016

Suburban Reviews Things: An Inexpensive Burkini

Today on Suburban Reviews Things, I'm going to tell you all about a 3.8 OMR burkini Conservative Swimsuit that I found last week in Carrefour. Having never tried one before, and intrigued by the competitive pricing, I grabbed a large and threw it in the cart. For a mere 3.8 OMR this burkini Conservative Swimsuit comes in a variety of sizes, a variety of hideous floral prints, and includes a matching hideous floral swimming cap. Ever wondered what it's like wearing one? Read on, and be enlightened.

You can have it in Black with Flowers, Black with Flowers, or Black with Flowers. 

Great, but why exactly do you need one of these, Sub?

I'm glad you asked! My daughter adores swimming, and given the choice would only leave the water to eat and sleep. Unfortunately for her, I do not much like swimming. There are several reasons for this:
  • Swimming pools are disgusting. You are swimming in a bath of filtered chemically neutralised urine. Add to that the boogers, drool, dead bugs, bird poop, fecal matter and long stray hairs floating around. Ick. Ick. Ick. 
  • The ocean is full of seaweed and other floaty things and possibly raw sewage or toxic contamination.
  • Fish are unpredictable and scare me. 
  • Jellyfish
  • The water in either the ocean or the pool is almost never the right temperature, so I am either too warm or too cold. 
  • The whole swim suit thing. Think about it: You are basically wearing your underwear in public, except it's ok because this underwear is made of lycra. Weird, right? 
Anyway, almost every afternoon I suck it up, put on my skimpy-ass swimsuit, grab the kid, and face the horror that is the ocean, unpredictable fish and all. I take her snorkeling because when you are snorkeling, it's impossible to talk about Minecraft.

With Ramadan in full swing, I wasn't sure how I wanted to address the snorkeling / skimpy swimsuit issue. The beach we go to is part of a private facility where western beachwear is the norm, but conservative dress is recommended during the holy month. What's a girl to do? Enter Carrefour and the 3.8 OMR imitation Burkini. The first thing I noticed was that the size LIES. I'm somewhere between a medium and a small size, but I bought a large to ensure it would be extra baggy / conservative. The large size just barely fits me, (defeating much of the point of modest swimwear) and is a struggle to get in and out of. That however, is really the only major drawback I could find with the swim suit. Below is a list of Pros and Cons of the imitation Burkini. 

  • No more awkward moments when you run into your kid's teachers or husband's boss at the beach and you are like, basically in your underwear. 
  • Excellent value for money
  • Protects against jellyfish stingers 
  • Protects against other floaty crap and seaweed in the water that might drift past my skin and freak me out.
  • Provides some protection against sunburn
  • Has little padded disks over the breast area to prevent pooky-outy-nipple issues if the water / air is cold. (If you are my husband Stone, this lack of nipple potential would go in the "cons" category)
  • Since it completely covers your armpits, legs, and V-Jay, you may never need to shave or wax again!!! (Stone also thinks this should go in the Cons category)
  • Enables me to avoid having to hear about Minecraft for at least an hour every afternoon, even in Ramadan
  • New awkward moments when you see your friends who are used to seeing you in a bikini and they are all like " WTF is wrong with you? Why are you wearing that? You look like the curtains in my auntie's house."
  • Slows you down when swimming. Lots of drag. 
  • Terrible sizing
  • Hot as hell outside of the water. I don't know what sort of cheap-ass fabric they made it out of but it's like a magnet for humidity. Everything except the flowers is black, which makes it like, crazy hot in the sunshine. 
  • Difficult to get into or out of. Would benefit from a zipper. 
  • Not really as conservative as I had hoped due to the scoop neck and aforementioned sizing issues. 

So, there you go. I think that as far as swimsuits that cost less than 4 Rials go, it's an excellent value and a great weapon for your summertime wardrobe. I like mine so much I'm going to keep a lookout for a really nice one that I can make a permanent part of my ocean-phobia toolbox. 


Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...


As the owner of one of those cheap horrible floral burkinis I loved your review (mine was from Lulu). Mine may have been even cheaper since it doesn't have nipple padding;). The only thing I like about it is the swim cap (which I wear with abaya and toss my scarf once I am in the water. The rest depressed me. Not stylish enough lol. Not practical enough.

Another con is, say you are at the diving club? More people stare at you when you head down the beach to swim in that than when you swim in an abaya (and you do look like a Polynesian print seal but...;) ).

They do totally have better quality ones (usually Australian brand and super expensive like 200 USD) they sell for professional Muslim chick divers and lifeguards. They don't seem to sell them in muscat but in Sharjah (closest branch) they havea sports goods store for Muslim women that sells them. It is in that mall thathas that buffet that Omanis all seem to congregate at in Sharjah? (I forget its name---if my husband wasn't napping away his ramadan I'd ask him now). Great store. Especially for running;) not just swim. They have some non hideous options.

Nadia said...

Hilarious post. They sell nice ones at that two-storey sports store at MGM and I believe at the (Sun, Sand, something?) shop in Seeb City Centre.

Ian Robertson said...


Hopefully, I am heading out to Muscat this coming August and read your blog as part of my prep. Highly enjoyable. You are a decent writer.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back to a much missed voice of sweariness, cynicism & other meaningful rants.

Ania James said...

love it, thank you