swimsuit picks

Probably the most frustrating piece of clothing for a woman to find is a swimsuit.  And yet it is so vital if you live anywhere that is 100 degrees in the summer!  The best way to pass those hot days is to be in the water.

My husband and I went to Mexico for vacation back in June, so the hunt was on for the perfect swimsuit.  Being that I just had Ellis, my son, 7 months prior I was a little terrified at the task.  As I started the process I quickly realized that there are not a lot of places to actually buy cute, supportive swimsuits.  What you will find plenty of are two extremes…skimpy with no support or ones that cover you from head to knee.  I wanted something fashionably in the middle.

To start with, here are some tips that will hopefully make your experience easier:

1.  Determine your body shape.  This will help you decide on the style of swimsuit that will flatter you the best.  The Dainty Domestress has a great explanation for each body type, as well as a great graphic!

body type sketchesimage via The Dainty Domestress

2.  Think about the parts of your body that you like.  I know, it can be hard but the goal will be to highlight your great areas and camouflage your not so great areas.

3.  When it comes to bikini tops, tankini tops, or one pieces, keep in mind that you are basically buying a bra.  I say that because most women would not purchase a bra that does not support and hold up the girls.  Most swimsuit tops out there do not have underwire, barely have any padding, and supply absolutely NO support.  That is NOT what you want!

4.  If you are a bra size over a B then you really need to look at swimsuit tops (or one pieces) that are “bra sized”.  Not just small, medium, large, or number sized (6, 8, 10).  You want them to be sized by the cup.  If you stick with swimsuits “bra sized” you will have much more luck with them fitting correctly.

5.  Swimsuits run small.  Let me repeat that….SWIMSUITS RUN SMALL!  Knowing this, prepare yourself to go up one or two sizes.  It is not the size of the swimsuit that matters.  You want to look good, and most importantly  feel comfortable and confident.  If this means going up two sizes, then do it and promptly cut out the tag when you get home.

6.  How to know if a swimsuit fits correctly – when selecting a swimsuit bottom you want to make sure that your skin is not poking out over the swimsuit anywhere.  If it is, then you probably need to go up a size (refer to tip #5).  For the swimsuit top, make sure that you are supporting the girls adequately (refer to tip #3 & #4).  If you are looking for a one piece make sure that it is long enough for you.  You don’t want it pulling down and up….talk about uncomfortable.  And the same idea of skin poking out over swimsuit applies to one pieces as well.

7.  Set aside plenty of time to go shopping.  There is nothing worse than being rushed while trying on the most frustrating piece of clothing!

8.  Try on a ton of swimsuits.  You will not find the perfect one on your first try.  Just be nice and be sure to hang up all of the swimsuits!

9.  Don’t be afraid to purchase suits online.  Just make sure and check the return policy.  Ordering them online will allow you the ability to try them on in the comfort of your own home and without the retail stores funky lighting and mirrors.

Here are some online retailers that have some great swimsuit options.

HerRoom – has many different brands but you can search by your bra size which is very helpful & it is an easy return process (did that!!)

Victoria’s Secret – bra sizing for D & DD

Lime Ricki Swimwear – super cute modest suits at a great price

Rey Swimwear – retro styles and you can add underwire support

Albion – great style selection…one and two pieces with unique designs

Swim Spot – lots of different brands, but check out the Athena Swimwear…great styles and colors.  They also allow you to shop based on your body type.

Hopefully these tips and sites will make your swimsuit shopping a breeze.  PLUS almost all swimsuits are on sale right now.  So stock up!