It’s right up there with unclogging your shower drain of hair. Many of my 30+ female clients abhor the task of parting with a faded, rotted elastic, 4yo swimsuit and finding its replacement when spring/summer rolls around.
It can be a daunting experience walking into a swimwear store.
They’re often plastered with posters of tanned, trim as hell, barely-out-of-their-teens models in exotic island locations, with the perfect amount of breeze (or battery operated fan, held by a photographer’s assistant) blowing their hair back, while they suck on an ice block, that never melts in the sun and is perfectly colour matched to their itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny bikini.
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The sea of colours, patterns and styles (that seem to have even less fabric than last season) is enough to make your head spin and want to hard U-turn and head out the door for an iced coffee and a vanilla slice (or two) at the café next door.
Here are some tips to get you through:
1. Never do it in a hurry – set a time/day aside just for that task only.
2. Take a trusted girlfriend or female family member, who’s style and fashion compass you admire.
3. Be open minded.
4. Know your body shape and the colours that work for your skin tone, before you head out.
5. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that are easy to take off and put back on. Keep in mind you must wear underwear, in the interests of hygiene, while trying on swimsuits, so a g-string is a must.
What to look for:
Larger bust – look for a wider strap or halter style to support ‘the girls’ and avoid string, tri-bikini tops that lack support. Avoid narrow bandeau tops. Under-wiring is good. Go for dark and plain colours to play down the area. Use your brights on the bottom half of your body.
Smaller bust – cupped tops with the option to add padding are good for adding volume and shape. Strapless can look fantastic (though not as practical for swimming). Use frills, ruching and patterns to add volume.
Tummy conscious/fuller tummy – seek out a style with slight ruching across the tummy. Swimsuits with built-in control panelling will be a little more expensive but you will love the effect. Tankini and one piece styles will provide comfort and are great for hitting the waves with grace.
Undefined waist/rectangular torsos – create a sense of shape with spliced colour patterning, prints, fringing, frills on the top AND bottom or cut-outs on the sides, if you’re comfortable with the idea.
Wide hips – Skip the boy leg which innately feels great for coverage but ladies, those horizontal lines are doing you no favours. They will create a widening effect on the area you don’t want to widen. Hipster cut works nicely – don’t go for an ultra-high cut pant and avoid high-waisted styles that will accentuate the curve in the area. Keep it plain and dark on the bottom half and draw the eye line upwards with a bright or patterned top or top with embellishment, frills or shoulder widening straps to balance out the bottom half.
Narrow hips – look for boy short cuts with an angular cut leg (rather than straight across) to give a sense of shape. Solid width tie sides are also fantastic.
Fuller backside – Hunt down a pant that perfectly dissects your butt on the angle from inner upper leg to outer hip to create balance. Anything too skimpy will accentuate fleshy fullness and anything too full will seem like a whole lot of fabric trying to mask a generous tush.
Flat backside – I call it the IKEA backside aka the flat-pack…I’m allowed to do so because I have one myself! Opt for a tie-side pant. Tied firmly they will give your butt a lift. Brazilian cuts with vertical ruching will add a sense of volume and curve.
Toned & shapely backsides – Cheeky styles (Brazilian cut, as opposed to full g-string) will enhance your ASSet without leaving too little to the imagination. You’ve likely worked your backside off trying to get it in shape, in which case, you’ve probably earned the right to be proud of it!
The one-piece is on-trend again. Amen. Classy, comfortable and able to be taken from beach to bar with the addition of a styled sarong, kaftan, a bit of statement jewellery (cuff or neck piece) and stylish sandals or wedges. They can be used as bodysuits for double duty too. We love that!
When you find the cut, style and brand that works for you, never forget it – it just might take the time and heartache out of finding next year’s swimsuit.
Salty Ink Designs are available at www.saltyinkdesigns.com.au – visit the website to find your local stockist.
Seafolly Australia designs are available in Seafolly stores country wide. For details www.seafolly.com.au
This article originally appeared on Style Chamber’s blog and has been republished with permission.