Swimsuit Guide: Shopping, Fit, Shape, and Care Tips
Most people would say that swimsuit shopping is as much fun as going to the dentist. For those of you who love going to the dentist, kudos to you! I’ve put this guide together to make the process less painful for you, and hopefully a little fun. This Swimsuit Guide is packed full of expert tips to make the most of your shopping trip, fit suggestions, shape advice, swimsuit options, and care tips to extend the life of your new (or existing) bathing suit.
- Avoid overwhelm. Have an idea about the general colors or prints that you want before you get to the store. Once you arrive, let your eye scan the area and head to the specific area you see the color(s) you are interested in and then move out from there.
- Make sure you plan enough time. Give yourself a good hour to shop and head to the fitting room.
- Have an open mind. Choose a variety of styles. Your go-to swim style may have changed over the years.
- Bring in two sizes. Sizes vary among styles and brands. Separates (pieces that are sold separately) might be your best option if you cannot find the right fit on top and bottom.
- Wear the right underwear. A high-cut nude pair is your best option and will work under most suits.
- Since you are out shopping, check out the cover-ups (if needed) and sandals to go with your new swimsuit.
- Find out what the return policy is – whether you are purchasing it in a store or online.
- Once you have the suit on, sit down, stretch, and move around. This will give you a good idea if the suit works for you.
- Check these areas:
- Shoulders: Raise and lower your arms to make sure the suit stays put.
- Bust: Lean forward to ensure a comfy, no-gap fit.
- Sides: Check for skin bulging or spilling over on the side of your top and bottom.
- Back: Look for a snug, but not a tight fit.
- Butt: If you notice wrinkles or sagging on the fabric, that means your suit bottom or one-piece is too big. Go down a size to see if the fit will be better.
- If you have a large bust or are curvy…look for support and coverage. Pieces made with enough fabric will give your chest support and coverage. Halter styles, medium to thick straps, and underwire or molded-cups are all great options. A solid colored one-piece will streamline you. Ruching and vertical ruffle (one-piece) will slim and elongate you.
- If you have a small bust…look for embellishments and clever details on top. Ruffles, ruching, shirring, and flowy fabrics will help add dimension and enhance your chest. Subtle padding and underwires will add the right amount of lift.
- If you have wide hips…look for tops that widen your body or details that bring the focus up. Ruffles and embellishments attract the eye up and wide-set straps give the illusion of a broader upper half.
- If you have no curves (straight up and down)…look for styles that enhance your bust and create a waist. High-waisted, boy-cut, string styles are good options for your bottom. Details that create curves are ruffles, ruching, and patterns.
- If you have a short torso…a high neckline with a vertical pattern on a one-piece will give the illusion of extra inches. Keep as much of your middle exposed with a bandeau top or string bikini and low-rider bottoms.
- If you have a long torso…look for a two-piece that pairs a longer top with a shorter bottom, or vice-versa. A wide vertical stripe under the bust will make your torso appear shorter.
- If you have a soft tummy…choose a style that has detail in the middle. Look for ruching, a lively pattern, wrap-style pleating, or soft draping. Swimsuits with a little bit of spanx offer some sneaky slimming.
- Accentuate the part of your body you love the most!
Whether you prefer a one-piece or a two-piece, a pattern or solid swimsuit, here are some flattering and fabulous options.
Keep your swimsuit looking great by caring for it with these simple steps:
- Wash by hand in cold water with a mild detergent made for swimwear.
- Swish it around and rinse it well.
- Squeeze the water from your suit (resist the urge to wring or twist).
- Lay it down flat to dry indoors.
- Spandex needs 24 hours to retain its shape. Pick another suit to wear the next day and alternate your suits.
Before you head outside, make sure you apply your sunscreen (preferably naked – before putting your suit on). Let it soak in and dry for a few minutes and then put your swimsuit on. This will help prevent any sunscreen from getting on your swimsuit. You might need to apply again, depending on if you are going in the water, sweating, or out for an extended period of time. In that case, some sunscreen may end up on your suit.
Here are the steps you can take to remove sunscreen from your suit: