Every woman is plagued by some sort of stress over buying swimsuits. Shopping online ought to make it less painful (no fluorescent lighting!), but the problems are just different. Something can look phenomenal on a model, then arrive to look just so-so on your frame. Or you think you’re ordering the correct size, and the reality is too tight/small/baggy/short/whatever. Then there’s the annoying hassle of dealing with returns, but also a little deflation of spirit. Basically, who needs the pool anyway, right?
Okay, wrong. Finding the right swimsuit for you shouldn’t be the world’s least fun shopping mission. Getting friendly with the sizing chart can save you all kinds of headache, and Monica Wise, founder and owner of L*SPACE by Monica Wise, says there’s a number we’re probably not paying enough attention to. “Your hip measurements are the most important because that’s where the bottoms usually hit. Make sure to measure at the widest part of your hips and around the bum,” she explained, reminding shoppers that it’s okay if the fit is a touch snug since some stretching will happen over time.
If you’re unsure where to even start, go with the style that’s the most universally flattering. “Tie-side bottoms are always a good idea if you can’t try the suit on in person. For tops, look for adjustability too. Does it tie? Can it be worn different ways to adjust support? Those are all good questions to ask when shopping online.” A career spent working with women and swimsuits has also made it apparent to Wise that most of us are misguided when it comes to what bottom will be the most flattering. “The more skin the suit bottoms cover, the larger your bum looks. Our classic, a standard cut that doesn’t offer full coverage but just enough, is ideal.”
Apart from fit, there are other factors you can’t easily discern from a website picture. What does the suit feel like? And, ugh, will it be totally see-through the moment you slip it on? For the former, Wise says to look for a blend of nylon and spandex with maybe a dash of polyester (the detailed listing should describe a fabric breakdown). Pricier designer suits should also be made to avoid sheer slips, but a trick is to see if the style is lined with Helenca fabric. “Chances are that if it is, it’ll be see-through,” Wise told us. “Good brands will line suits in the same fabrics as they do on the exterior, like a spandex and nylon blend, to prevent that see-through effect.”
Comfortable to do some online shopping now? Come check out which type of swimsuit is best for your horoscope sign.
Photos: Ted Emmons