When it comes to fashion, nothing is harder to find than a perfect swimsuit. Picking a swimsuit is never an easy task. The older we get, the harder it can become. After all, none of us has a perfect body. I often tell myself that I need to work harder to get in shape for swimsuit season. Then I remind myself that I am in shape. Round is a shape; geometrically speaking, round is perfection.
While some folks have better bodied, we each have something we’d like a swimsuit to hide or to emphasize. Whether your problem is cellulite, love handles, saggy boobies, unsightly ripples or deepening wrinkles, there is some basic advice we all need.
Begin your search for the perfect swimsuit by finding a friend to go along with you. I recommend a friend who is equally or more ravaged by life than yourself. The last thing a 40 year old, 5’4″ woman who has given birth twice, and who wears a size 14 needs along when she shops for a swimsuit is a 22 year old, 5’9″ woman who wears a size 2. Whoever the friend is that you bring along, make sure it is someone who will give you good honest feedback. There are angles we just don’t see when out shopping. Better to have a friend pointing and laughing in the privacy of a dressing room, than to have the whole world pointing and laughing (or screaming in terror) as you head out to the local beach, lake or pool. Do not take a husband or boyfriend. They cannot go into the dressing room with you, and you do not want to have to parade out onto the store floor to show the world the swimsuits that do not work.
Remember that those who make their livings modeling swimsuits work with a whole entourage of make-up artists and hair professionals. They spend hours maintaining their figures. They have photographers controlling the lighting and snapping dozens of frames. After all that, you get to see their best picture. It has probably been airbrushed. You will not look like Tyra Banks. You may not even look like Ernie Banks. Just know that you have this one body and this one life to enjoy it. Do not hide yourself away because you do not fit some societal ideal.
As we get older, gravity effects us all. Get a swimsuit that will offer support lifting what needs lifting and holding in what needs holding in.
If you have the opportunity, plan your swimsuit shopping trip and prepare for it. Get out some self-tanning lotion to give you some extra color. Faux-tans (as long as they look real) make everyone look healthier. If you don’t have time to get a little color, make sure to use a little bronzer. If your diet needs a little incentive, improve it as you plan this trip. Add some abdominal exercises to your workout (assuming you have a work out) to help flatten your tummy a bit more. Every thing you wear, not just swimsuits, will look better if you look more toned.
As for the suit, look for one with flat and locked stitches. Serious swimmers choose this feature because it helps cut down on drag in the water. The rest of us want this because it helps prevent chafing around the legs and in the shoulder area. Stretch the elastic in your hands a few times to ensure it’s durable, and retracts firmly and fully.
Take your time when you go out shopping for swimsuits and try as many different styles as you need. Most of us own only one or two swimsuits at a time. If you’re going to spend time in a suit, make sure it flatters your body. Always try on a suit before you buy it. Cuts are different. Not all brands have the same fit. You are looking for a suit that stretches the right amount when you’re in it. It shouldn’t pull so much that it cuts into your skin. You certainly don’t want something that will sag.
I never recommend buying a suit on-line, but if you must, make sure to read the size charts. Designers vary in how they define particular sizes. If you’re shopping on line, you still need that friend to help. This time, you need someone to make sure that you have accurate measurements so you get a suit that fits properly.
If you’re like most women, your top half and your bottom half are not the same size. If you like wearing two piece suits, find a store that sells these portions separately.
The fabrics swimsuits are made from today act like body shapers. In fact, if I can find a good, neutral colored bathing suit I will sometimes purchase it for when I’m on vacation. It can double as a body shaper if I have to go out. If like me, you prefer a one-piece suit to a bikini, buy the suit for the larger part of your anatomy. Too large is more attractive than too tight. A little big and you can always comment on having lost weight. There is also the option of taking an off the rack suit in and having alterations to perfect the fit. Too many people believe that clothes that start off the rack can’t be changed. As to the fabrics, there are some today that become more transparent when they are wet. For some reason, some makers of swimsuits think this is a good thing. Take a bottle of drinking water with you. If a fabric seems to thin, and doesn’t have a lining, spill a little water on a discrete corner. Then stretch it out and see if it becomes too transparent.
When the time comes to check the fit of the bottom, kneel down. If it rides up into your tushy, consider one size larger.
For a proper fitting top draw a line with your finger from under your arm (where your breast begins) all the way under your breast to the center. If your suit has a built in support, the wire or support of the bra in your suit should match this imaginary line. If the wires are too short or too long, or if you notice unsightly bulges that aren’t normally there (either on the side or on top of your breast) you need to consider a suit that offers construction that better conforms to you. .
Back to the idea of having a suit altered, remember that both shoulder straps and bra backs are easy to shorten or tightened. Your main concern should be with the wire and how it lays under your breast. If you (or your friend) can pinch a strap to make it the right length, you can have it adjusted. It is not possible, however, to add fabric. If the straps are too type, skip it.
Keep in mind that a good swimsuit can do a lot to enhance your good bits and hide your less pleasant parts. You will never be able to hide everything. If you want to downplay a portion of your figure, try a dark solid color there. Put the patterns elsewhere. To hide too big hips, a black bottom with a bright color up on top will draw the eye away from your problem area.
After you have found your swimsuit, wear it with pride. Strut your stuff. A flat belly may be sexy, but there is nothing sexier than a woman who is confident in her own skin.