I don't always buy things based on blog posts, but the Target swimsuit romper with pockets was an exception this summer. A mommy blogger posted her review of the suit and I was hooked by three words: "It has pockets."

The two words that strike fear in my heart every spring are "swimsuit season." In my life, I've worn a variety of swimsuits: ruffle-butted toddler one-piece, rainbow-striped elementary kid, swim team/lifeguard athletic cut, college bikini, honeymoon bikini, maternity mama, nursing mama and allowed-in-public teenager mom. From skimpy to covered with shorts, I've felt comfortable and confident, but also spent a lot of time pulling elastic down over my butt. After I had kids, I've relied on a variety of cover-ups and shorts and skirts, partly for the coverage and partly to be able to chase after them.

Searching for the perfect swimsuit is practically a hobby for me at the point—and I thought maybe I'd found it in the Target romper suit.


Buying swimsuits for my son has always been easy: board shorts. It was easy for my daughter, too, until she hit middle school. I watched her go through the same struggle of wanting to be comfortable and cute but also not expose anything or dress in an 1800s striped to-the-ankle swim costume. She ended up in athletic one-pieces and tankinis all the while doing that familiar dance of trying to stay covered and a little uncovered and have fun all at once.

We've searched for swimsuits together. Me, handing options over the dressing room door. Her, begging me to come out in my choices. We've both always looked for the UNICORN of a swimsuit. The Target swimsuit romper with pockets seems like it could be just that: Available in solids and florals. Solid coverage. A shorts bottom over a traditional swimsuit base. But most of all, it has pockets. You can wear it poolside, partyside or just show off your good side. However, the swimsuit overall also has issues that keep it from being "the" swimsuit for me. Many of the features that were initially pluses became minuses as well.

The good

  1. It. Is. A. Romper. A romper is made intrinsically cute by the name and style. It has built-in shorts over a traditional swimsuit bottom for double coverage, and it's cut well for a wide range of ages and sizes.
  2. The pockets, of course! Most of my jeans don't even have functional pockets. I could imagine an easy summer with my keys, ID and change purse easily packed away in my swimsuit.
  3. It's available in solid colors and bold florals with cute neckline details.
  4. The swimsuit comes in a wide range of sizes, including plus sizes.
  5. Removable padding in the bust area keeps things covered up (and gives you the option to swing a little freer, if that's what makes you comfortable).
  6. I wouldn't have to buy an extra skirt or shorts to cover up like with a one-piece or tankini.

The bad

  1. It. Is. A. Romper. Cute as the idea of a romper is, and as much as I love that idea for my non-swimsuits, I found that a swimsuit romper is not my style any more than non-pool rompers are. I felt exposed AND too covered up all at once, due in large part to the fact that the shorts were much shorter than I would've worn outside of a pool setting.
  2. One word: bathroom. I forgot for a minute that quick bathroom trips are harder when you're wearing a one-piece swimsuit. Trying to get a swimsuit romper off and on was even harder, especially when it was wet.
  3. While I appreciate the removable padding in the cups, it was also an all-or-nothing situation. I needed the coverage in that area BUT I didn't need the additional padding. Either I gave everyone at the pool a wet swimsuit contest view OR I went up a cup size or two with the included padding. The swimsuit fabric on its own wasn't enough and the padding was too much.
  4. The sizing seemed a little inconsistent. I am 5'8. While the romper may work for a variety of heights, my longer torso and legs meant that I was a bit too tall for the romper styling. The neckline was higher than a traditional tank-style one-piece, which meant that I felt restricted in my usual size and sloppy in a size up.
  5. Bumps and lumps. While very cute on the hanger, the romper felt less cute and like it needed a little more spandex to keep things held in.
  6. It still has a hint of "skirt swimsuit." A romper sounds cute and au courant and young. I'm not sure if it was the fabric (the bold blue print I loved online felt dated in person) or the styling but these rompers still made me feel like I might as well be wearing a skirt. My teenager chose a different style even though the romper idea appealed to her initially, too.

The verdict

The Target romper swimsuit with pockets may be perfect for different shoppers. It has all the elements of a great idea for a summer swim option. But personally, as I emerge from my sweatpants to the pool and beach, I'll still be tossing a cover-up over my ordinary Target swimsuit, wishing for a swimsuit unicorn to swim by and save me.