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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again - Swimsuit Shopping

Say it isn't so! It's time to make our seasonal pilgrimage to the store to buy a bathing suit. If I had dime for every time a client brought up the dread of the how, when and where to buy a bathing suit, I'd be rich, and probably a millionaire. I, too, feel all the same emotions. For a lot of women out there, swimsuit shopping is about as much fun as shopping for a good pair of jeans. 

Normally I say eat a good meal before you start shopping, not to wear too many layers, start early in the morning and to bring a bottle of water with you. I am not going to go with any of these thoughts in this case except one. Bring a bottle of water and maybe a mint, as you will need something to grit your teeth on.

First, go to your drawer and evaluate last year's bathing suit.

Try it on. Does it fit? Is it faded or stained? If it is a one piece? Is it stretched out or is the fabric peeling?
If it is a two piece, can the top or bottom be worn? Last spring I enjoyed finding a skirted bottom that seems to hide all and be somewhat flattering. I bought the same style in two solid colors and have opted just to replace one top this season for my growing middle. Important to remember here the top and bottom colors no longer have to match, so if your top is in good shape, but you want to replace the bottom, you can do that. By taking the first step in deciding if you need to replace the whole suit or just a part of it, you'll start the process.

Time to think about what your bathing suits needs are exactly. 

Is the suit for sitting in the sun or active water sports like swimming or skiing? If you are a sun worshipper and plan to just lay there, then it may be easier to get a suit for just that. If you are looking for a suit that is for more than laying in the sun, opt for a one piece or tankini with sturdy straps. I have heard one too many stories of a woman's girlfriends popping out of the front of a suit during a water activity unintentionally. Yikes! I know there's not a lot of mystery in a swimsuit, but at most US beaches, topless is frowned upon.

Here are some great guidelines to think about when shopping for your swimsuit this summer:

If you want to add volume, look for molded cups, removable push up padding and gathering or ruffles.

If you are looking for swimsuit styles that support your breasts and give you the lift we are forever looking for, opt for contouring seams, underwire, molded cups, adjustable straps and wider bands around the bust line.

Give you some va va voom to your figure! If you are looking for that hourglass figure and the curves that you felt like you were not ever able to achieve on your own, opt for suits with princess seaming, a cut out in either the front or shoulder, the same print throughout and details that are balanced on the top and bottom.

Minimizing Your Bottom
Oh yes, my favorite of all the topics. Start with a dark fuller bottom and have the top of the suit provide the detail and focus to move the eye upward. Lastly, look for a longer tankini, if possible.

If you want to create the illusion of hips or just accentuate what you have, look for belted suits, bottoms that tie on the sides and brightly printed bottoms and solid or darker color tops. Please send photos if that is your goal. I'd love to see what you come up with!

To minimize your hips, look for skirted bottoms, wraps and skirts and of course opt for detail on the top of your suit around the bust.

For the appearance of longer legs, wear suits that are cut up on the sides and sit up higher on the hips and have a higher waistline. It automatically draw the eye up. 

Defining The Waist
If you want your waist to be the feature attraction remember to balance the top and bottom with the same pattern and look for a body style with a cutout. Embellishments on the bottom will always help draw the eye upwards to the waistline.

To minimize the waistline line opt for suits that flow away from the body and may have ruching, v-neck, color blocked or princess seaming.

Try More Than One Swimsuit Before You Buy

Regardless of your specific bathing suit needs, remember to plan on trying at least 6 to 8 swimsuits before you purchase. Always size up and remember to wear as thin of a panty as possible when trying on swimsuits. If you opt to go with an online company to do it in the privacy of your home, check the return policy and speak to the swimsuit specialist if she is available. Getting help to make the right decision for your body type and identifying the activities you will do in your swimsuit go a long way when speaking to someone who is trained in this industry. If you opt to do it in the stores, take a good friend who can be objective. If you opt to take your significant other, then I'd make sure they know you want the absolute truth. Regardless, keep your swimsuit selection age appropriate and realistic.

Happy Shopping! Be sure and send photos of the wonderful choices you have made. No need to send a the picture of you in it, just the suit!

From my closet to yours-

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