Let’s face it; buying a bathing suit is a stressful experience for most of us.
You walk into the store, only to find an incredible collection of suits seemingly designed for super models, which, sadly, you are not.
Eventually, after some snooping around, you find the small section of the store where they keep the suits for “people with your shape” and start looking through them. Among them there are a few categories:
- Suits your grandparents would wear on a cruise
- Suits for Olympic athletes who care about things like resistance and not about things you care about, like “will a ketchup stain come out of this?”
While we can’t promise to make this a totally painless process, we can offer some advice to make it as tolerable as possible.
The foundation of swimwear shopping is the same as clothing shopping; it has to fit properly in order to look good. Beyond looks though, you should consider sun-protective bathing suits and cover-ups/t-shirts to help provide coverage from the sun.
We spoke with a swimwear expert from Bikini Village who gave us her top tips for keeping the swimsuit shopping process simple (for girls and guys). Here’s the rundown of the most common factors to consider before taking the plunge.
Bathing suit shopping made easy
If you’re not sure where to shop for swimwear, research swimwear stores that offer a large selection of quality products. If you’re shopping on a budget you can often find a good selection at department stores. Another benefit to shopping in a department store is that you can count on regular sales, clearance items and in-house brands with lower prices.
You can buy swimwear online but it’s hard to trust the sizing or check the genuine quality of the fabric if you can’t try the swimsuit on. Online shopping is great for restocking favorite items – especially if you can’t find your favorite style in the colour or size you need at your local mall.
What’s your body type?
Everyone has a unique shape and size, but “body types” are usually broken down into four common categories: Apple (round), Banana (straight), Hourglass and Pear. This may sound silly at first, but think about those shapes and you’ll notice that your body is more likely similar to one of the four. Once you determine your body type you’ll understand what to buy and learn which styles and shapes compliment your frame.
Body type tips:
- To highlight features you like, choose swimwear that is bright in the area you want to feature; it will draw attention to that area.
- For pale skin, muted blues, greens and jewel colours look great.
- Ruffles will add volume, while ruched fabric has a flattening appearance.
- One-piece swimsuits tend to hide your waistline; so do high-waisted bikini bottoms and tankini’s because they draw attention away from the waist and to where there is skin showing.
- Don’t be afraid to buy mis-matched tops and bottoms!
Ask a professional:
Expert tips from Yolanda, Manger, Bikini Village, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
* Always shop with an open mind. Women’s bathing suits look much better on then they do on the rack, so don’t be afraid to try different styles before you buy!
* Pant sizes are different from the sizes created for men’s swimwear. Always keep that in mind. Don’t be alarmed if you’re wearing a larger or smaller size in swim shorts than you do in pants or regular shorts.
Tip for Everyone:
*ALL swimwear stretches about half an inch over time! So when shopping for swimwear, always go with the snug fit and not the looser fit.
Now that we know what to expect when searching for swimwear, what else should we consider before going shopping?
Once you to start shopping for swim wear, you will also have the bathing suit cut, color, fabric and primary use to consider. There are lots of theories on which cuts work best for which body type but the best advice is to stay open minded and try on a few different styles until you find swimwear that is suitable for your purpose, fits well and matches your personal style.
Don’t forget; you can always accessorize with great flip-flops, cool T-shirts, wraps, hats and sunglasses.
Now that you know how to buy a bathing suit without having a nervous breakdown, there really is no need to stress before going shopping!
And before you hit the beach, remember to pack your sunscreen and find a spot with some shade nearby. In addition to making it easier to read your magazine, it also could save your life.