Yes, I put a photo of myself in a bikini on my blog. Why? To remind us all of what it’s all about – having fun. Swimsuit season, a.k.a., SUMMER, is meant to be enjoyed, not dreaded!!! In the moment this photo was taken, the last thing I was thinking about was my body, my tan, my cellulite/muffin top/boob issues, etc. I was having FUN! So let’s focus on getting to that moment…
NEVER try on swimsuits at a store. Like, really, NEVER. You will never look in a swimsuit how you seem to in a store – indoors, with bad mirrors with weird angles, and horrible lighting. Don’t do it!!! When I shop for myself or a client, I BUY IN BULK. Lots of styles, sizes, and colors. Put it all on the credit card and bring it all home to try on. I guarantee that you will have an amazingly different experience!!! You’ll find the right suit and you’ll return the rest.
Look for a cut similar to your favorite underwear. If you have a bra that fits great and makes your chest look good, look for a bikini top with the same amount of support, wiring, or yes, padding. If you have a panty that you always feel good in (I’m not talking thongs here, ladies) then make note of why – is it a boy cut that flatters your thigh? A higher cut that elongates your legs? A brief that covers a lot of your tummy? In this day of separates being sold by most swim designers, you have the luxury of mixing and matching to your hearts content!
Buy a color that will flatter your skin tone. Unless you are extremely tan or of a darker skin tone, don’t buy a white suit. And if you do, make sure that thing is LINED! I’m all for brighter colors in celebration of summer, but I think we can all agree that neon is out and Hawaiian prints are for grannies. Jewel tones look beautiful on just about everyone while pastels will most likely wash you out. (If you can swing it, get in a few tanning sessions before trying on swimsuits or invest in a self tanner!)
Make sure you are going to be comfortable – physically and style wise. If you buy a bottom that is too small, you are going to be tugging it out of unwanted places. Too big and you are going to be pulling it back up over your rear every time you come out of the water. If you try on a style of bottom and find that you are in between sizes, move on. There are so many swimsuits out there, you don’t have to settle. Same goes with tops. Even if it’s “the cutest top EVER”, if your boobs are getting cut in half, the answer is NO. Don’t agonize, keep looking! If your boobs are not filling out the top, go for a smaller size, or look for a top with a little “miracle” inside!
Get a versatile cover up. For vacation a very sheer cover up is great! For transport to a pool or for an outing with your kids, you need something a little more full coverage and modest. It can still be fun and sexy, but any lady walking around a family friendly pool with a skimpy somethin’ somethin’ is going to get a bad rap. Or rep. Either way, to be avoided.
Be kind to yourself. I mean it!!! My top rule when working with a client is that you are NOT allowed to say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a friend. Would you refer to your friend’s post baby waist-line as a spare tire?! NO! Would you tell her that she was fat/ugly/disgusting/chubby or that she had “cottage cheese thighs”?! NEVER, NO WAY! So please ladies, please please please, do not say it to yourself. It’s just not okay.
Keep perspective. Summer is short. TOO short, I say!!! If you get to be out in the sun near cool water, count your blessings, take a deep breath, and make your priority to have fun, not look good. Notice I didn’t even go after “perfect”… Even the best bodies we see are not perfect, and they’re not supposed to be. Thank God we’re all different!!!
Now, we all like a little matching game, so here are my picks for the skinny and the curvy…
PEAR: Slim on the top and curvy on the bottom, your best suit is going to be one with a simple or skirted bottom and a top with some fun detail like a ruffle, some ruching, or beading. This suit from Victorias Secret has a push up top and skirt with just enough coverage and no extra volume.
CURVY: Okay, my little coke bottle girls! If you’re bigger than a B cup, you are going to need more support than the average gal. Look for a swim top with an underwire and halter top straps that will give your shoulders a break. I fall into this category and I always buy a halter bikini top or the new bandeau tops with removable straps for the rare chance I get to actually lay down in the sun. I love this little retro two piece from J Crew, if you’ve got a pinup shape, have fun with it!
BOYISH FIGURE: If you’re long and lean, look for a suit with feminine details, and have fun with the fact that you’ll probably look good in anything! I love this bikini from Anthropologie with ruching at the bust and the hip to accentuate your subtle curves.
APPLE: If you are like most women, you carry weight in your tummy area and a two-piece is definitely not your thing! Or you’ve carried a baby or two and have some stretch marks you’d like to keep to yourself. Fortunately, the all powerful tankini has come to save the day! Here is a great one from Victorias Secret and a sexy one piece from Old Navy.
MODEST: If wearing a swimsuit at all is like being naked to you, stay modest and try a fun swim dress. I swear, they are getting cuter every year! Here are two available at Target.
MATERNITY: Oh, pregnancy in the summer, how …. hard. As a mom of two summer babies, I was one of the very pregnant ladies you found yourself staring at while swimming and sunning during summers of 2005 and 2007. It was rough. But oh, the sun and the water are the best medicine for a tired pregnant woman!!! And there are so many cute suits now, even more than when I was in the baby making stage a few years ago. This darling polka dot suit is from Motherhood Maternity.
So there it is gals, remember to shop in advance, buy in bulk, try at home, and be kind to yourself! And don’t forget to accessorize with big sunnies, a fun sun hat, colorful earrings, a cute cover up and some sweet sandals! And as always, if you just don’t have the heart to do it yourself, give me a call and I’ll be at your doorstep with a wide array of swim apparel for you to try in the comfort of your own bedroom!
PS. And please, no one buy one of those weird one pieces with the cut-out sides. It just never should have occurred to anyone. :)