I recently put out a survey on Instagram–how do you feel about swimsuit shopping?  The choices, though limiting, were 1) I go to the fetal position and cry and 2) I’d rather get a mammogram.  It is telling that my inbox filled with women sharing how anxiety-inducing  the process is, with someone actually suggesting she prefers her annual mammogram.

As a result, I shared last week my own body-Image issues on the blog in hopes of painting the picture of how I share the struggle with everyone else. This week, I hope to take some of the edge off the process for you all, as well as some fun styles for our generation!

Getting Started

Obviously, ordering a ton of styles from websites and trying them on at home is an option, but sometimes laying out that sort of cash isn’t really the way to go.  Returns and wrong sizes, the hassle and cost of shipping all make for a cumbersome experience.

That said, shopping at Target or your local mall comes with it’s own set of issues.  Regardless of which environment you choose, these are best practices to keep it as easy as possiblGo on a day that you PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY feel good.  There is literally nothing more important than this.  If you feel tired, have indigestion from pizza last night, or are annoyed by something, NOTHING you try on will feel remotely good.  I mention this specifically because I’ve had terrible gut issues lately which is why my swimsuit shopping was put off until late June–I needed to feel better.Shop where there is a MASSIVE selection to choose from.  Personally I like Target and Macy’s for this reason.

  1. Find a dressing room with the best possible lighting.  As much as I love to shop at Nordstrom, they have notoriously BAD mirrors and lighting.  Our Macy’s has a couple fitting rooms where the planets align and I don’t freak out.
  2. Consider using self-tanner about 2-3 days before you shop.  Seem silly? When you are WEARING the suit, you will be tanner, so why not replicate the look as you shop.
  3. Personally, I have my hair done and some makeup on.  It makes me feel better.
  4. Next up, choose a WIDE variety of styles.  Grab your normal go-to, but try something a little sexier and different, too. Do NOT assume that you just want to cover up everything. Personal opinion, the harder a woman tries to cover what she perceives as her flaws, the more obvious those flaws become.  As in, don’t grab skirted suits as your default.
  5. Start with one of each sort of STYLE.  You can quickly determine if, say, a two piece is even in your wheel house or if a one piece is going to be a challenge to fit (long-torsoed ladies, do you hear me?) You may be able to just eliminate whole categories from here.
  6. Speaking of long torsos–this is a really real problem in swimsuit season.  I deferred to a two-piece suit (whether tankini or traditional bikini for years simply because I couldn’t find a one-piece that fit.  Thankfully, in the past 2-3 years, designers seem to have heard us!  If you’ve missed them for similar reasons, try it again!
  7. Check the angles of the suit against your body.  Swimwear is NOT sized the same as american clothing–YOU SIZE UP.  What matters is where the lines of the suit flatter you the most.  For this reason, I often size up but choose a style that laces up–the suit can be adjusted for those inevitable weight fluctuations.

    The lacing allows for weight fluctuations, your personal shape, and the open detail also elongates the leg.


  8. Check the lining.  Much as I love the look of a white swimsuit, I’ve also witnessed too many moms at the beach with an underlined suit. Assessing the opacity of your suit is critical as a wet suit can reveal more than you wanted.
  9. Move around in the suit  Sit, lean, bend over.  Check for wedgies (hey, they totally happen), and gaps in molded cups.  Again, you really don’t want a surprising reveal like that.  Check the security of the fasteners for slippage.

    This top has customizable straps, providing for better coverage and securing the suit. Linked in the photo.

  10. Feature your favorite body parts.  I have very broad, strong shoulders.  Triangles, halters, and cutaways all work well to keep the eye focused on that.

    This cutaway style is my favorite to draw the eyes to my shoulders. This suit is linked in the photo.


  11. Look for variances in texture, color, and design.  Crotched designs are really popular right now, as well as embroidery.  The texture doesn’t lie as flat against the skin when it’s wet, providing a more predictable silhouette.

    The monokini and embroidery add texture and variance to create intrigue on the suit.

    The peek of skin through the crocheted suit is sexy but appropriate. Just REMEMBER YOUR SUNSCREEN BEFORE you put it on!!

  12. Find a fabulous sarong or duster.  Let’s be real, there is always a moment that we don’t want the backside showing.  A scarf tied at the waist, or a flyaway cardigan provide just enough coverage to run to the snack bar or take a walk in the surf!  
  13. And last but NOT least, just ENJOY!  Your smile, posture, and attitude are far more beautiful than any suit.  Rock it with confidence!

    Water and a floaty will always make for a fun swim day!


    Looking for more specifics?  Contact me for a style session!