It’s the style conundrum, so many of us know all too well — finding the perfect swimsuit. Is there really such a thing? Or do you need to settle for something that falls somewhere in the middle — something that’s just “good enough?"
The simple answer? No way. With so many beautiful and flattering styles available to suit every body type, shape, and size, there’s no reason why you can’t rock the suit of your dreams and feel so confident that it radiates from you. That’s sure to set you up for the most amazing beach and pool season yet, and it’s well worth taking some time to find the suit that lives up to your needs. But what’s the secret? Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you begin navigating the wide world of swimwear.
Before you grab that tankini you’re eyeing, it’s important to keep in mind a few basics of swimsuit shopping. These focus on the most important factor of all — your comfort! So it’s a good idea to keep these basics in mind since they’ll help you narrow down your choices to the picks that are just right for you.
At a bare minimum, look for nylon blend and polyester suits. They’re ultra-soft, stretchy, and highly durable. They feel incredible against the skin, provide a great fit, and will never restrict your movements. If your suit has an underwire, it should conform to your body nicely instead of biting into your skin. You can test this by bending forward; if it feels like you’re in a vise, it’s too tight! Move on.
Then consider the seams of your bathing suit’s top. They should never dig into your skin and leave telltale red marks behind. Those are clear signs that it isn’t right for you, whether it’s a standard women’s bikini top or a swim dress. Test this element by running your finger beneath the straps. You should be able to do that easily, which indicates the fit is just right — not too snug or too loose.
Finally, make sure your suit of choice sits flush against your skin. Feel free to walk, bend, crouch, stretch, reach, and move around just as you normally would at the beach or the pool. That’s the ultimate test because if it restricts your movement in any way, you’ll know immediately. You’ll also be able to tell if the fabric doesn’t sit well. It shouldn’t bunch up, ride up, or look wrinkled.
So you’re between sizes. You can usually figure out what you want in a pair of jeans, but what should you do about, say, a two-piece swimsuit ? That’s a decidedly trickier task because sizing up means you’re likely to end up with some bagginess. And sizing down means your suit might feel uncomfortable, whether you’re splashing around in the water or soaking up the sunshine.
Keep in mind that swim materials stretch when you’re in the water, so you can either stick with your usual size — whatever you tend to wear when you’re in that “between” space — or even size down one if you plan to spend most of your time swimming. But if you’re planning to relax by the water instead of taking a dip, going up a size may help you feel a little more secure. Experiment with different cuts if this is the case.
You know how well nylon blends and polyester perform. Swimsuits made with these materials incorporate a touch of stretch so you can move easily in and out of the water. But don’t skimp on the quality of the fabric. Just because it’s made with the right type of fabric doesn’t necessarily mean it’s The One. The material should feel thicker and richer to the touch. Steer clear of those that feel unreasonably thin. Whether you’re shopping for a modest swim dress or a plus-size swimsuit , you want something that feels substantial to the touch.
That’s for more than just your comfort — although that is by far the most important factor. It also ties into the swimsuit’s durability. Your bathing suit will be exposed to all kinds of elements, from potent ultraviolet rays to saltwater to chlorine. All of those have the potential to take their toll on the fabric. The thinner and lower quality the material, the more vulnerable it is to falling apart in the washing machine, developing snags, and losing its integrity. And that means it will fit far less comfortable over time.
If you’ve ever slipped into a bathing suit that doesn’t fit all that well, you know it’s usually because it’s not supportive enough. That might be because you feel pigeonholed into wearing a certain style just because it’s often recommended. For example, if you have a large bust, you may think you absolutely need to wear an underwire swimsuit . If it’s comfortable and you love it, then yes, you absolutely should wear it.
But what if it doesn’t feel all that great? You aren’t limited to underwire-only suits. Try something with an adjustable band instead. You can change the band’s setting depending on various factors, but the key is that it should still feel a little snug even when it’s on the loosest one. So as your suit stretches with time, it will still fit just as well as you tighten the setting. And don’t skimp on wide straps, as those are also key for adequate support.
Even swimsuit bottoms can lose their support over time. The right amount of coverage is crucial to your comfort, and a thinner suit that loses its integrity may begin to sag. This is where both cut and fabric come into play. High-waisted bikini bottoms are great for this purpose. Classic-fit one-pieces are also ideal for providing optimal coverage and support.
No matter what you choose, remember that it all comes down to how you feel in your suit. When it fits like a dream and makes you brim with confidence, you’ll know you’ve found the swimwear that’s just right for you.