The Internet is full of articles about how to pick the best swimsuit for your body shape or how to get yourself bikini ready. I promise, this is not going to be one of those, as I don’t believe that anyone should worry about what anyone else thinks when they’re out enjoying themselves. You will not be seeing any mention of pears or triangles, and if you have body, then it’s bikini ready, period.
There are some things, however, that you should consider when you’re making the decision about what swimsuit to choose. Before just diving straight into what’s trendy this season (no pun intended!) have a think about these points below:
What kind of activities will you be doing?
So, what’s your primary reason for buying a new bathing suit? If you’re planning to do a lot of water sports, proper bust support is important so you don’t feel like you’re spilling out of your bikini top while swimming laps. Move your arms and legs to make sure the fit is comfortable and the shoulder straps do not restrict your movement. If you’re going to be spending a long time out in the open water, think about adding a rash guard or leggings to protect yourself from the sun, wind and sports equipment.
For the lazy loungers out there, is your goal to work on your tan or do you burn easily and need to protect your skin? Think about what you’ll need to feel comfortable for a few hours in the sun. For the mums of little ones, make sure your swimsuit can withstand the tug and crawl test – it will stay put even with little hands yanking on it in the pool, and you’re not constantly pulling a wedgie out of your butt when you’re on all fours building sand castles.
How does it fit?
When trying on your swimsuit, examine everything from top to bottom. Do the shoulder straps fall down easily? If you have a larger chest, consider a top that has a built-in shelf bra or underwire to ensure you have enough bust support and the straps do not dig into your shoulders. Check the front and sides – is there any uncomfortable spillage or side boob? If you have a smaller chest, think about a suit that gives you enough options to add padding if you so choose. Will you feel self-conscious if your nipples or belly button show through the fabric? Remember, this will happen more if your bathing suit is a light colour or when it’s wet.
For the bottom, think about how it fits around your belly and hips. Does it cut in anywhere or create any bulges that would make you uncomfortable? Ensure the leg cut and bum coverage are enough for your needs – do you care about, ahem, landscaping down there, and if so, how often does the cut of your swimsuit require you to do so? Do you feel cheeky or do you prefer full rear coverage? Do some squats, bend over, climb some stairs - does everything stay in place or are you getting fidgety already?
Then, jump around! Twist and shout! Get out the vacuum and dust under the sofa! This is where picking a brand that has a generous try and home or return policy is important. It’s not easy to know if a suit fits properly just from trying it on in a tiny little fitting room. It’s like trying out shoes and romantic partners – you want to be able to test drive a bit first before committing. Remember the swimsuit will get slightly larger when wet and will loosen over time so better to go one size down than one size up if you’re between sizes.
How much wear can you get out of it?
Quality is the word of the day – pick a swimsuit that will last. Not only does that make it more sustainable, it’s also easier on the wallet. Even if it costs more than fast fashion at the outset, it can last you for 5-10 years if you take care of it properly. I highly recommend picking a swimsuit that contains Xtra-life Lycra® to prevent it from losing its shape after multiple wears. Bonus if the fabric is treated to be chlorine and saltwater resistant, as these conditions are super hard on fabrics.
Think about a classic swimsuit shape and colour so that you’ll never look dated (remember those neon neoprene colour-block bikinis with the black outlines? So 2015, am I right?) What about getting a reversible swimsuit so you can get two looks in one? If you’re going on a trip, consider a swimsuit that you can also pair easily with skirts or shorts so that you don’t have to pack as many pieces. Or see if you can also wear your sporty swimsuits for other activities like yoga or running. Can you go carry-on only?
How does it make you feel?
The perfect swimsuit will make you feel amazing, and that in the end is what is most important. It’s all about confidence, after all. So, swim on, my lovelies and show the world just how awesome you are.
August Society Founder / Creative Director