Taking your measurements before shopping for a new swimsuit can make the process much easier. When you have a rough idea of what size you need, you can skip past things that don’t fit and focus on suits that will make you look and feel beautiful. Best of all, taking your measurements is simple and only requires a few minutes of your time.
Make sure you have a flexible cloth measuring tape to take your swimwear measurements. If you don’t have one, they can be found at most grocery or craft stores for a couple dollars. Also, you should always undress before measuring yourself; if you do it while wearing a heavy sweater and jeans you won’t get accurate results and could end up buying the wrong size swimsuit.
To measure yourself for swimsuit bottoms, simply wrap the tape around the widest part of your hips, which should be roughly 8 inches below your waist, and write down the number. That’s it! But while you have the tape out, keep going. Next, encircle the widest part of your bust with the tape and jot down that figure, too. Finally, wrap it around your natural waist, which should be a couple inches above your belly button and a little below your last rib, and see what it says.
Now that you have your measurements, you can compare them to charts online to figure out your size in different brands. Remember that size often varies dramatically from label to label, so always do your homework and don’t get stressed if you wear a large from one designer and a small in another. And never buy a swimsuit just because of the number or letter on the tag – it really doesn’t matter.
Think carefully before buying a pair of swimsuit bottoms and consider what style works best for you. If you have a soft midsection, consider high-waisted bikini bottoms made from tummy-control fabric to hold you in. They’ll also eliminate muffin top, which is an added bonus. If you have a small bum, you might like bottoms that reveal a little cheek, or have layers of ruffles – this will give your rear-end a boost and make it look fuller.
Women blessed with a curvy, round bottom should look for swimsuit bottoms that provide more coverage. Anything teeny-tiny might reveal more than you like and will probably ride up. Lands’ End tugless swimsuits have a generous cut and won’t move around, so you can walk, swim and be active without them feeling uncomfortable. Be wary of high-rise bottoms if your bum is looking a little saggy though, as they can exacerbate the issue.
If you have wide hips, consider bottoms with adjustable side ties. These can be tightened or loosened as needed to create the perfect fit, and are great for women who find themselves between sizes. This style is also nice for women with a full bum, as it can provide the extra room you need. Remember that swim bottoms should never look saggy or droopy, which means they’re too big. And though they should fit snugly, it shouldn’t feel like they’re strangling you.
Finding the perfect swimsuit bottoms can be tricky, but opting for swim separates is the best way to go if your body is one size on top and another on bottom. For example, women with full hips and a small bust often find one-piece suits are loose in one place and too tight in another. When you buy separates though, you can concentrate on making sure each piece fits perfectly on its own instead of settling for something that doesn’t work.
Choosing swim separates doesn’t mean you have to get a bikini, either. A tankini looks almost like a one-piece suit and keeps your midsection covered. Instead of skimpy bottoms, you can also try a swim skirt that reaches to your hips or knees. Swim shorts are another comfy option and are great for anyone who’s always on the go.
Always try on swimsuit bottoms before buying them. Measurements are helpful, but you have to put something on to know how it really feels and looks. Wear your smallest pair of underpants when trying on swimwear, as large undies can get bunched up and make it hard to see how you really look. Take off your socks, too. You won’t be wearing them on the beach after all, and they make it hard to determine if something looks good or not.