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The How-To Lounge: Bathing Suit Shopping

We are just one day away from Memorial Day weekend, the start of Summer, which means it’s bathing suit shopping season! When you’re a kid, it's all about finding your favorite colors and prints, but now we actually have to worry about how we look in a swimsuit. Is the cut right? Is anything going to pop out when I move? Is it flattering? Staring at your nearly nude body in a fluorescent lit fitting room can be a discouraging experience, and I’ve often left empty-handed and depressed, but I’ve figured out a few tips for making this experience more productive and positive. To see them,


  • Shop for your body! I can’t emphasize this point enough. If you know you don’t look good in a low-rise bikini bottom, don’t try a bunch on expecting a different result. This is why I love separates — you can mix and match to find what works for you.
  • Whatever you do, do not stare in the mirror and berate yourself. Beating yourself up only serves to make you feel bad — it doesn’t make you more fit or help you find a cute suit. Plus, I promise that you look better than you think you do.
  • It’s also important when you’re checking yourself out that you take in the entire picture. Don’t just focus on the one thing that you hate the most, but consider your entire body. No one is going to look that closely at your hips anyway!
  • Make sure it fits properly in the top. Just like with your day-to-day bra, a top that’s too big won’t lend itself to supporting you, and a top that’s too small is just plain unflattering.
  • On that note, if you have larger breasts, consider buying a bathing suit with underwire for extra support and comfort.


Join The Conversation
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
Greentea1203, I agree with you Express sizes seem to run large, I am usually an xs but I can't even shop at Express b/c their xs is really just too big. At Target their XS seems to fit just fine. I think it's Express that has the sizing problem not Target. But I agree that target has the great suites to choose from, love that place!
HappyKate HappyKate 9 years
I hate bathing suite shopping so much! ACK!
emalove emalove 9 years
I have a zillion bikinis and I always buy at least one more each year! I'm thinking of getting one of those cute mono-kinis this year instead...mix it up a little!
tatsauce tatsauce 9 years
Itty Bitty Titty Committee (like me, I'm talking an A cup)-go to Victoria's and match it with a string bottoms. I like string because you can adjust it versus elastic which creates muffin top.
oliveoyle625 oliveoyle625 9 years
I agree with the second half of your comment, bluebird. I'm so obsessed with my lack of boobage and my huge hips.
bluebird bluebird 9 years
Tidalwave, I had the same problem trying to find a swimsuit top at Hollister! 34D boobies are pretty much rebellious as it is, and those teensy-weensy tops barely covered the important parts! Just once, I wish I could see my body the way other people see it, without all of my criticism and disproportionate perspective.
Sydney-C Sydney-C 9 years
Thank you syako - That is very cute! I wonder if there is a chain store around here that has a similar skirt?? I will have to check b/c I plan on spending a large amount of time this weekend lounging by the pool!!
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Actually, topless beach was kind of liberating...
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
I don't really have a problem with Target's sizing...I wear a S in swimsuits instead of the normal XS I wear...but then again, as a gauge, XS at Express is a little too big for me.
Bookish Bookish 9 years
Tomatoshirt- seriously! I'd rather do a nude beach than a bikini. I just don't like swimsuits!
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
:) i love my bikini.....i bought it online though, no trying on...i really trust Victoria's Secret's sizes
syako syako 9 years
I don't know if this will work:
syako syako 9 years
sydney why don't you get like a little skirt suit? I know Lands End has tons of little skirt suits that are really quite darling.
vinnie vinnie 9 years
When buying a two piece suit it's helpful to shop at a store that offers mix and match tops & bottoms. That way you can have the perfect fit. I'm M on top an L on bottom.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
does anyone else have a serious problem with Target's sizes? I am an XS at Express but a L or bigger at target! I tried on their adult M bathing suits and couldn't even get them on they were so small!
Sydney-C Sydney-C 9 years
Okay ladies - here is my problem - I am not that big and my upper body looks pretty good in a bikini top, but I have *gasp* pretty bad cellulite...I know that boardshorts are pretty much my only option to cover it, but I haven't really seen a large selection of them out there this year - any suggestions???
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
I bought a 'monokini' at Target this year, and bought a bikini there last year. Great swimsuits!
thelorax thelorax 9 years
I'm going to second BrittanyK's endorsement of Target - they have a great selection and a lot of their suits are reminiscent of similar "designer" suits -- and last time I checked, each separate piece is only $15-$22!
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
I bought my bathing suit this year at Target. You can buy separates in different sizes which is necessary for me. Plus, it's cheap! Over the years, I've realized what works for me and what doesn't. I know that no matter how many string bikinis I try on they're not going to look right. I also know that I need an underwire top or a halter. Just stick to what works for you.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
TidalWave your post made me laugh! I love the idea of people bouncing around in their dressing rooms seeing what falls out! It never occurred to me but it's a great idea :) I normally don't love the GAP for a number of reasons, but I went bathing suit shopping there a couple years ago and found my favorite suit for the very reason that I could shop for each piece separately! I got basic black and was able to bottoms the right size and cut, and a top that is the right size and cut! Novel concept, right?
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
when i try on clothes, i always try to sit down with the clothing on. this is usually important for jeans, but even for bathing suits, i just want to make sure the thing is comfy. also, i know this sounds dumb, but jump! jump/move around in your bathing suit and make sure nothing falls out! seriously!
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 9 years
nude beach - problem solved... Just kidding LOL!
syako syako 9 years
Ha. I was recently doing a closet clean out and I have like 12 bathing suits or something ridiculous like that AND I don't even own a swimming pool or wear bathing suits that often :oy: I think I'm going to sit out on this year's swim suit shopping... ;)
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Underwire is key!!
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