What You Actually Need To Know About Shopping For Swimsuits

I absolutely adore summer and because I am the quintessential water baby, I always spend as much time as I possibly can swimming. Also it’s theee season to get a little color in you while having fun. But ever since the weather started warming up this year, I have been avoiding any serious water time because every single bathing suit that I own is faded, stretched, and basically falling apart. I know it’s time for me to get a new one, but I absolutely HATE shopping for bathing suits – like, with a passion!

But no matter how much I don’t want to do it, my sorry excuses for swimsuits have to be replaced. I’ve already searched Discountrue for coupons for JCPenney and other shops so I can hopefully afford more than one new swimsuit, I have set aside a whole day to find the perfect one for me and I searched online to get every bit of swimsuit shopping advice I could find. So while I procrastinate a little longer, I’m going to share what I think are the best tips for finding that perfect swimsuit!


Ignore that shape rubbish

There are tons of people who will tell you to ‘identify’ your shape before you start shopping for any kind of clothing. But that is a load of blooey because NONE of us fit exclusively into just one of them. For example, my hips are wider than my waist and I have a small bust which would normally make me a pear – but I have wide shoulders so that makes me more of an hourglass. Or maybe an inverted trapezoid – whatever that is! I would suggest checking out this post on Huffington Post for the best ‘size’ guide out there.


Figure out which features you want to highlight or hide

Decide which of your features you want to highlight, which ones you want to hide and what you want to ‘boost’. For example I have a small bust, so according to the experts I need to look for a bright or printed top that is molded or padded (I don’t want to look bigger so no ruffles!). I think I have a great butt, but I also have wide hips and some cellulite so I want to highlight the one while disguising the other. There is a lot of conflicting advice about these two features so I guess I’m just going to have to try different bottoms till I find one that works for me!


Examine your closet

Most women have a variety of underwear, shirts and all their old swimsuits – I mean they were PERFECT and how do you donate a used swimsuit to anyone? So try it all on in any combination and decide which items suit you best – does that string bottom make your butt look amazing but the top leaves you flashing? Then see what it looks like with that halter neck crop top that makes you feel like a supermodel! This is also the time to see what patterns and colors you like most – if your closet is full of blues and greens in simple patterns, it’s unlikely that you’ll choose a bright pink wildly patterned swimsuit!


Get some color

Whether you find yourself a tanning bed or you use tanning lotion, get a little color in you before you go stand in front of a mirror, under glaring florescent lights in what is essentially underwear. If you’re going to use tanning lotion then make sure you do it at least 24 hours before you start your shopping, and also choose a shade that is as close as possible to the color you will turn with some real sun (or that you’re going to use all year long).


Browse the current styles before you start shopping

When it comes to clothing you’ll generally find the same or similar styles in every store and from every brand – but this does NOT apply to swimsuits! You will find different styles of swimsuits in very store you go into, and even if two stores have the same style they’ll have completely different designs and patterns on them. And they will change EVERY month – even in the middle of winter! So before you start actually shopping for a swimsuit for yourself, go online to see what styles are currently on the shelves so you have an idea of what you will actually be able to find when you start shopping. Check out what different brands are doing when it comes to styles and designs, find which stores are carrying the kinds of swimsuits you actually like and try to look for pictures of what women with similar figures to yours look attractive in – or don’t look attractive in as the case may be!


Dare to be different

You may have noticed that most stores don’t sell bikinis as paired tops and bottoms anymore. This is mostly because some women who fit comfortably into a small bottom NEVER fit into a small top, or who need a small top but actually need a medium bottom. So take advantage of that fact and mix and match tops you like with bottoms you like – even if they’re from two completely separate swimsuits in two different stores! Pair a patterned top with plain bottoms, try a sports bra style top with a string bikini type bottom, get a top and bottom in different but complementary colors. These days, a full piece swimsuit is not just for professional watersports and there are hundreds of gorgeous styles – so why not try a sexy one piece instead of your usual two piece? And just because one style has always worked for you, it doesn’t mean you should only ever look for that style – be adventurous and try something you’re not sure you really like, you might just find something that is ten times more flattering and that you absolutely adore!


Don’t get too attached to your ‘regular’ sizes

For some unknown reason the people who make swimsuits can’t seem to agree on their sizes and neither do the sizes match regular clothing sizes. So don’t get depressed if you normally wear a medium but your swimsuit is a large and it really doesn’t make a difference if your usual bra size is a 34C and yet every 34C swimsuit top you try is WAAY too small! Just make sure that the swimsuit you buy fits you snugly, but not too tightly (it shouldn’t dig into your skin anywhere) and cut off the label if you don’t want to be reminded what size it is! Remember that swimsuits stretch when they get wet so opt for a more snug fit than a loose one. And please – test how well a swimsuit stays put before you buy it! Stretch your arms over your head, do some lunges, bend over, sit down, cross your legs, do jumping jacks and whatever other movement you can think of that might make it move about. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a swimsuit that doesn’t fit just right whatever you happen to be doing, or that has a tendency to ride up, slip down or shift over whenever you wear it!

Now that you know everything you need to know about choosing a swimsuit, it is time to be brave, bite the bullet and actually go out to buy one! My last word of advice is to shop all year round – not just in or just before summer because I have found some of my favorite suits in the middle of winter! You’ll also need a thong so you can get the best idea about the fit (no lines, bunches or bulges to fight with) and also make sure you can disrobe easily!


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Have a fab weekend my beautiful sexy beasts!