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How not to hate swimsuit shopping

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Learn how not to hate swimsuit shopping so you don't have to shed a tear

Learn how not to hate swimsuit shopping so you don’t have to shed a tear

Winter is coming to an end, and you know what that means. Spring flowers, April showers, and oh yes, swimsuit shopping. That annual ritual we women love to hate.

It’s not that we don’t love bathing suits. We do. And we love the pool and we love the beach. What we hate is the trip to buy that swim suit. It’s seeing that absolutely adorable bikini and wondering whether it will fit … or knowing for sure it won’t.

But above all, it’s about that moment in the dressing room, under those lights that would make a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model look fat and yellow, when you have to turn and face the mirror.
Agghhhh!  Yup, that’s the part we really hate.

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So is there really anything we can do to make swimsuit shopping less miserable? Surprisingly, yes. Before you head out for your annual spring ritual, try these tips to make the whole thing a lot better — and easier.

1) Look online before you shop in the stores 

Before you plan that shopping trip, spend some time looking through online swimwear catalogs to find the styles, colors and cuts that might work well for your body type. 

Make a list of designers, shops and details you want to find in the stores, You might want to print out pictures of the suits you like or save them to your tablet to take with you. You can even create a Pinterest board to keep track of your finds. (And since you can now create a “secret board”, no one else will have to know you’re suddenly pinning bathing suit shots.)

Do make sure the suits you’re selecting are realistic for your body type. Selecting swimwear that’s too young, too revealing or too tiny for your body is a great way to set yourself up for shopping day failure.

2) Do NOT look at swimsuit models in magazines.

I cannot emphasize this enough, ladies. Do NOT even glance at the swimwear models in fashion magazines. And that goes double for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Hide them, burn them, drop them into the recycling bin or use them to line the cat box.


It’s simple. Those air-brushed, Photoshopped images are one of the biggest reasons the rest of us mere mortals hate to try on swimsuits. But if you can stop yourself from looking at them, you can reduce the urge to compare. And that’s a very good way to make the experience less stressful.

3) Get ready to shop like you’re getting ready for a date

One of the mistakes too many of us make is to go swimsuit shopping on the spur of the moment. So there we are, nearly naked, under those awful lights (why do they use those lights??). with hairy legs, unshaven pits, no makeup, and our hair pulled back into one of those “I didn’t have time to wash my hair” buns. And if we’re really lucky, we have some of those weird lines on our ankles or calves from our socks. And we wonder why every suit we try on looks horrible?

What you need to do is get ready like you’re prepping for a date with [insert famous heart throb’s name here] and you want everything perfect. Shower, or even better, take a long bath. Shave or wax your legs and pits, and don’t forget that bikini line. Get a mani-pedi. Do your makeup.

Make sure your hair looks its absolute best (need a color touch-up? Have it done now, before shopping day.) You may not have an airbrush artist handy, but you will look and feel your best. And that will make the suits look better, too.

4) Dress to shop

Wearing the wrong clothes to the store can also make it miserable to shop. Opt for slip on shoes with no socks. Wear a thin bikini panty, to minimize the bulk when you’re trying on a suit.

Leave the pull over tops at home, and choose a button down or zipper top and jacket instead. That way you won’t muss your hair and makeup each time you have to change.

5) After the mall, go back online

I love stores, I really do. And when it comes to something I might need to return, it’s handy to be able to drive over and drop it off. But swimsuits aren’t one of those things.
So unless you’ve found the bathing suit of your dreams, and there’s only one on the rack in your size, I’d suggest that you ask the store to hold your choice for a day. Then head home, and look through the online swimwear catalogs for the exact same item. You might be able to save a bit, and still have the suit of your dreams.

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And if you did buy it in the store, and you love it at home, why not check online and see if you can find a second one. After all, not having to shop for bathing suits again next season might turn out to be the very best way to not hate it!


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