How to Choose A Swimsuit: Tips and Tricks

How to Choose A Swimsuit: Tips and Tricks

When I was in college, I spent my summers at the beach. But, instead of working as a bartender or waitress like my housemates, I worked at the area’s trendiest clothing store (naturally!). Unpacking new merchandise was a thrill and employees got first dibs on all of the newest styles. Rationalizing that I was living at the beach, I purchased an absurdly large number of swimsuits every year in a huge variety of styles, colors, and patterns. Some were real hits, and became essential go-tos for the season, yet I did have quite a number of “misses,” too. If you are headed somewhere warm and tropical this spring, you may be wondering how to choose a swimsuit that is comfortable, durable, and still stylish. It’s a problem we all face! And, with sandy beaches and palm trees beckoning, it’s one we simply can’t ignore any longer.

Choosing a swimsuit can be a challenge for any woman, even a fabulously fit, child-free, 20-something like I was back then. But, have you had children? Are you over 40? Neglected your workouts during the hectic winter months? Or, maybe — like me — all three?! 

Fear not! There are realistic options for those of us searching for modest, but stylish swimsuits that will make us feel confident and beautiful. The key things to look for in the perfect swimsuit? Detail, color and fit.

How to choose a swimsuit? It’s all in the details

It’s those tiny details that can make all the difference between a ho-hum suit and one with serious style. And, memorable details can accentuate your best features, as well as camouflage any areas you are simply not satisfied with yet.

Design. For example, interest at the neckline draws attention away from the midriff, thighs, and hips. Conversely, you can show off a tiny waist (or whittle one down visually) with banding, cutouts and strategic placement of color or pattern. Choose a suit with details that are placed where you want to draw the eye.

Slimming color. A black or black-and-white combination is one of my perennial favorites. And this year, the options are oh-so-sophisticated. Plus, it’s easy, matches every sarong in my drawer, and (bonus!) is incredibly slimming. Black not your style? Try navy, which offers visual slimming of black, with a distinctly nautical feel

How to Choose A Swimsuit: Tips and TricksFabulous fit. The perfect fit is crucial. Short-waisted? Large bust? Sloped shoulders? The proper fit can correct all these – and more!

Construction. And, don’t forget to inspect construction. Not all swimsuits are created equally. No matter how adorable the pattern or style, if the construction is shoddy, if the suit does not have a proper lining, or if the strap / support is weak, you will wear it once – and then it will languish in your drawer.

Size.Try not to get hung up on size! (I know it’s hard.) Instead, choose the swimsuit that is the most flattering (and then simply cut out the size tag).

A few of my personal faves include the Graphic Scoop One-Piece Swimsuit from Ralph Lauren, pictured above. This pretty suit calls to mind the blissful beaches and cliffside mansions of Monaco. The sleek silhouette also features a deep scoop back. Retail: $170.00

I also love the Miraclesuit® Untamed Avanti One-Piece Swimsuit from Nordstrom Rack, shown. The brand’s fit begins with its exclusive fabric Miratex® which delivers three times the control of other swimwear fabrics. It also has an innovative bra support system. Retail: $89.97

Finally, no one does swimwear like J. Crew! Sleek, ruched one-shoulder design makes a statement in classic navy and white strip. Or try one of the many other colors – this suit comes in a veritable rainbow of colors from cherry red, to vibrant fushi, plus more. Retail: $64.50

Don’t forget to add a sassy sarong, cute sunglasses and some fabulous new sandals and you’re ready for a day (or week!) of fun in the sun. Enjoy!

Thanks so much for reading! While you’re here, please don’t forget to enter our most recent fashion, beauty and style giveaways. And, if you enjoyed this How to Choose a Swimsuit post, visit Women’s Fashion for even more style inspiration.

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DISCLAIMER: No financial compensation or product samples were received in exchange for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers.

Named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone, Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. From must-have fashion, handbags, jewelry and accessories, to gorgeous gardens and gardening tips, stunning interior design, plus the latest products for chic parties, you’ll find it here. Editor, author and entrepreneur Susan Conforte McNeill is also the co-founder of the Delaware based literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!


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    • 2

      Lands End has some really great styles. I have cute a black and white print that’s probably four years old and still looks like new!

  1. 3
    Lauryn R

    These are great tips, thank you so much for sharing! I probably dislike shopping for swimsuits the most, I never have any luck and always feel like they are unflattering to my body. Hopefully I have better luck this year!

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