Uh-oh! It's that time of year again. For months, we eagerly await summer's arrival, but when it finally comes, the realization suddenly sinks in -- it's not just summer, it's bathing-suit season.
OK, don't panic. You can get through this. A few simple tips from the experts will help make the experience of shopping for a swimsuit not only easy, but fun, too! We checked in with Canadian Living's assistant editor, fashion, Jessica Ungerman, and Svetlana Sturgeon, vice president of sales with Phantom, a Toronto-based clothing/swimwear manufacturer, for the secrets to successful swimsuit shopping. Here's what they had to say.
“A key trend in swimwear is the return of the one-piece,” says Ungerman. “One-piece swimsuits are now being designed in appealing, sexy cuts and in great fashion-forward colours and prints. Swimwear trends often follow fashion trends, hence the trend toward a little more coverage with a one-piece rather than a two-piece. Also, some crossover trends from fashion to swimwear are black and white graphic prints, solid black, solid white and polka dot and animal prints.”
Finding the right fit
Let's face it –- no two women have the exact same body shape. So shopping for a suit that fits you perfectly isn't always easy. But there are general guidelines that'll help you find the right fit, given your shape. “Women have to remember to shop for their body type and not be seduced by trends or styles that may not suit them,” warns Ungerman.
If you have a big bust
“Look for a bathing suit that has a solid colour on the top and a printed pattern from the waist down,” advises Sturgeon. “This will attract attention away from your bust and bring focus to a slimmer waist. However, if you want something a little more sexy, V-neck suits always flatter a bigger bust,” she says.
If you have a small bust
“Look for padding; however, make sure the padding isn't larger than your chest,” Sturgeon says. “Any kind of ornamentation like beading or embroidery can give the illusion of a larger bust so try on many of these styles.”
If you have slim hips
“Make your waist look smaller by picking a one-piece suit that has a print across the torso,” Sturgeon suggests. “When purchasing a bikini, try low-rise bottoms that will draw attention away from your waist.”
If you have wide hips
“Spring for a tankini that has a bold print on the top, and match it with a solid colour on the bottom,” says Sturgeon. “This pattern will focus attention on your top half. You can also pair a solid skirt for extra coverage at a pool party.”
Shopping dos and don'ts
Svetlana dishes up these helpful hints to heed before hitting the stores:
DO take full advantage of the space in the change room and move around in the bathing suit. Mimic real-life situations like bending over, lifting your arms and stretching to ensure that the suit stays put.
DO get help from the professionals. If selling swimsuits is their business, then accept their assistance even if you may be uncomfortable. They know what they have and what will work for you.
DO consider applying a self-tanner before hitting the mall. After all, you will likely have a tan when you wear your suit.
DON'T refrain from trying on suits that may be a size up from your regular dress size. Bathing suits are cut differently than everyday clothing, so it is wise to bring a few suits within your size range into the fitting room.
DON'T be afraid to buy more than one suit if more than one style flatters your figure.
DON'T purchase a swimsuit in a colour that is too similar to that of your skin tone, or you'll look naked.
All right ladies, what are you waiting for? It's time to hit the shops and snag yourself a sensational swimsuit that you'll be dying to wear all summer long.