As the holidays begin, Rebecca Siddall and Stephanie Smith have tips on how to make swimwear-buying less stressful. Plus sales picks.
No two words scare most women quite like “swimwear shopping”, from pale, pasty limbs to the unflattering changing room lights that many shops seem to insist upon.
However, it is the middle of summer and so the perfect time to grab swimwear bargains on the High Street. Needs must. Whether your desired destination is Blackpool or Barbados this year, with the big summer holidays now finally here, what better time could there possibly be to invest in swimwear that you can actually wear now, so it won’t have to sit in your drawers for months on end?
Trying on swimwear can be a stressful experience, of course. It comes in an array of different styles, so it’s essential to know the features and benefits of each particular one, as some can definitely make you look and feel better than others.
To avoid at least some of the stress, there are a few things that you can do to make your shopping experience more pleasant and useful.
Don’t leave it. Start shopping now while the shops still have the good stuff. Soon, all you will be able to find in the bargains corner is a ridiculously bright bikini top two sizes too small.
Unless you look like a swimwear model, it’s hard to picture what a bikini or swimsuit is going to look like on you. Knowing your body is definitely the most important piece of advice when buying swimwear, as the wrong styles may draw attention to areas of your body you would rather disguise.
Buy now, try later. Most of us will not feel as relaxed in a changing room environment as we do at home, where we can make use of the space, comfort and lighting that we work with every day. Just remember to leave the hygiene strip intact in swimsuit and bikini bottoms, otherwise you can’t return the pieces you don’t like.
Try, try and try. The style and body shape tips that you can find in the magazines at this time of year are only a guideline and may not apply to you.
Robyn Caldwell, of online retailer SimplyBeach.com, says: “The most important thing to remember is that you feel happy and comfortable in your swimwear. Shopping for swimwear can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. The best way to overcome this is by trying heaps of stuff on.
“Keep your options open in terms of style, pattern and fit. For example, if you are conscious about your tummy, high-waisted bikinis are a perfect middle ground between swimming costumes and bikinis, which can be extremely flattering for lots of body shapes.”
Consider taking a friend. An honest one. A second opinion can make all the difference, especially if you begin the swimwear selection process with the mindset that everything is going to look horrible. Or take your mum. Most mums can be brutally honest, even when we don’t want them to be.
Take accessorising seriously. The right shoes, kaftan and sunglasses will enhance your swimwear look.
Kaftans are the perfect cover- up from beach to bar, and simply choosing statement necklaces and bangles will add interest and confidence in having a pulled-together, considered outfit.
Practise standing in front of a mirror so that you know your best postures. Shoulders back and back straight, and you can make your legs look longer in photographs by standing at an angle, placing one foot slightly further back than the other and settling your weight back onto it, so that the forward thigh appears elongated and more lean.
Most of all, relax and feel happy in yourself, no matter what your size or shape. You’re supposed to be on holiday, enjoying yourself, not worrying about how you look. Meanwhile, hit those sales.