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Pursuit of it All

How To Choose A Bathing Suit

Summer Style: How to Choose a Bathing Suit

The pool is officially open!

Which means, summer has officially started.

It’s an event that, as a kid, you probably looked forward to more than many others.

As an adult, eh, maybe not so much.

I can count on one hand the number of grown-up women I know who get excited about bathing suit shopping. Because not only is it time consuming and expensive, it generally brings us to the realization that, even though magazines and websites have been telling us to do so for months, we’ve still not gotten bikini ready for this season. Or any in the foreseeable future.

Never fear, grown-up ladies with human bodies! You can still look pretty spectacular without baring all the wiggly bits on the beach and around the pool this summer.

First, some basic tips for bathing suit shopping.

Summer Style: How to Choose a Bathing Suit

  • Don’t assume that more coverage is the same thing as more flattering. Covering the right parts of your body based on your shape and your comfort level are key. Covering all of the parts in excess is probably not gonna be your best bet.
  • Try on ALL OF THE SUITS. Your body changes from season to season as do the styles. What worked for you last summer or – gasp! – 10 summers ago when you bought your last suit, may not actually be working for you now. So pencil in a couple of hours for shopping if it’s been awhile since you’ve last done so.
  • Snap pics. The camera does not lie. At least not until you put the Instagram filters on.
  • Be prepared to make an investment. Unless you are basically Taylor Swift, you’re probably going to want a suit with both bells and whistles. If you want underwire, and thick material, and ruching, and patterns, and skirts, and strong Spandex, be prepared to pay for it. Your days of rocking the $19 suit from Walmart with joy are probably long gone.
  • Worry more about what works for you than the current style trends. Remember that boy shorts aren’t best for all bottoms. Just like string bikinis aren’t best for all bust lines, and high waists aren’t best for all torsos. If you find a classic suit that makes you look and feel awesome, buy her. Buy her fast.

10 Stylish Swimsuits For Regular Ladies

Need some inspiration? Look no further!

Summer Style: How to Choose a Bathing Suit

Striped suit, Target; Dot print tankini, Old Navy; Pleated one-piece, Land’s End; Scoop neck one piece, Land’s End;  Bandeau tankini, Land’s End; Rash guard tankini, Land’s End; Paisley print suit, Macy’s; Tiered ruffle tankini, Macy’s; Ruffle front suit, Neiman Marcus; Scalloped one piece, Anthropologie.

Amanda recently changed her spirit animal from the unicorn to Pegasus; wings are cooler than horns. She enjoys cute shoes, oversized bags, and telling her budget to suck it. Also cupcakes; every day is a cupcake day. Sometimes she does super fun things with her kids, but mostly that's because paying a babysitter would mean buying fewer shoes. She also loves professional football, Stephan Curry, taking amazing pictures of gorgeous people, and getting into dance battles in the grocery store. Wegmans on Tuesday, that's what's up.

Comments (12)

  • really good post! I’m a fan of Athleta – they look sporty and make me feel confident!

    • I love Athleta too, Kristen! And I hear they make “tall” now….

  • I think the most important thing for me was learning to appreciate how I am built (short legs, long torso) and realizing some styles work and some don’t…no matter how much I wish they would. Great post!

  • Thank you so much as I need to go bathing suit shopping like yesterday and could use all the help I can get!

  • I so needed this!

  • Leila

    I love bikini shopping. I love Summer. In fact, I spend most of my working days in Summer outside in a bikini, with my laptop and BB in tow! I don’t like one piece suits because I find them uncomfortable and hot, but I do love several of the stylish choices above.

  • I need the one with all the black and white diagonal stripes. That’ll confuse the hell out of everyone and they will never notice my tummy, right? Now my thighs on the other hand… 😉

  • These are gorgeous! I love that you went outside of basic black and into patterns too—I feel like I would buy every single one of these suits! Love it!

  • Robin Leahy



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