Choosing a Bikini You Can Rock
Admittedly, when it comes to fashion and style, I am by no means an expert. I have no problem wearing leggings or shorts and a tank top every day. If you ask me the last time I went shopping, even before the quarantine, I couldn’t tell you. For a Mother’s Day project my son was asked what his mom’s favorite store is. He responded with “Dollar General, I guess.” But there is one article of clothing that I am passionate about….bathing suits. Especially recently, I have fielded numerous questions regarding the number of bathing suits I own and which one is my favorite. And to be truthful, I haven’t counted my suits, and don’t ask me to choose a favorite…I love them all. But I have received some questions that do resonate with me. They are ones asking me to help choose a bathing suit that will be most flattering on them. So although, I am far from an expert in terms of fashion, I think my bikini background allows me to offer some insight as to what bathing suit you can rock this summer.
Cut – Just like everybody is unique, every body is shaped differently. It’s important to keep this in mind when choosing the cut of your bathing suit. I often shop for suits online, and I’ve fallen into the trap of choosing a bikini solely because it looks stunning on the model. When the package arrives and I try it on, I’ve been disappointed. If the model is built differently than I am, it makes sense that it won’t fit me the same way it looked in the magazine. So, really consider your own body type. Make it a point to accentuate your own assets, and if you have a few areas you want to downplay, keep that in mind as well. For example, if you want to make your legs look longer, choose a suit that is cut higher in the thigh. This will give the illusion of longer, leaner legs. If you are concerned about your midsection, choose high-waisted bottoms or possibly a one-piece bathing suit. Moderate or boy cut bottoms can help downplay your posterior. High-necked tops can make you look curvier on top, while triangle tops can accentuate the curves you are blessed with. If your shoulders are an area of strength, opt for strapless or off-the-shoulder looks. Just remember, that we are all unique. Embrace your own positive features when selecting a bikini.
Color – Depending on your skin tone, different colors and patterns can have differing affects. For darker skin tones, reds, yellows, and whites can really add a pop. But keep in mind that colors like red are going to attract attention. So, if you don’t want all eyes on you, you might want to choose a less dominant color. White can look amazing on darker skin tones, but it can also appear dingy if it becomes dirty, so from the practical perspective of a mom, be careful if you choose this option. If you have a lighter skin tone, whites and pale colors blend in. Darker blues, pinks, and purples can be safe choices. Remember that black offers a slimming effect as well. And if you want more subtle attention, it can be an effective choice. Personally, I tend to stick with solid colors, but if you like patterns, don’t forget a few rules of thumb. Busy patterns tend to draw your attention to that area. So, an onlooker’s eyes will naturally be drawn to patterns. So, if you don’t want all eyes on your chest or bottom, steer clear of overly busy patterns. Remember that strips, especially horizontal ones, can make you appear wider, so choose them with caution.
Style – The four main style types of tops should also be carefully considered. Underwire tops help lift, shape, and bring together your curves. This can help if you desire some lift without all the extra padding. The major downfall of underwire tops are that they sometimes pinch, so sizing is important. If your chest area needs additional lift and volume, choose a push-up. Just realize that any time padding is added to the top, it will cause fill with water when you get wet. This can result is extra weight and dripping once you are out of the water. Removable padding is a great choice as well because of its versatility. Lightly lined tops are the best choice if you don’t need more volume or push-up. The extra layer also provides more safety and security if you are concerned about the material type being see-through. Unlined tops are best for those who possess lots of confidence. The material there is what you see and get. They can be effective at downplaying curves, but keep in mind that the fabric can sometimes be more transparent. Ruffles, sequins, and lace can also add to the look of a suit. And while they may look appealing, they may also have unwanted consequences. When large ruffles get wet, they become heavy and cause dripping. Sequins and lace can cause itching and irritation. Chains and embellishments can also add to your look, but I’ve found that they are often cheaply made and designed and often fall apart. Take caution when choosing bathing suits with these additional features. Again, choose the option that best suits you.
Purpose – The reason I find it most difficult to choose a favorite bikini is because I have different favorites depending on the activity for the day. Allow me to illustrate. When my twins were toddlers, my mom and I decided to take them to the local water park. It was one of my first bikini wearing outings since the babies were born and I donned my favorite string bikini. You can likely see where this is going. We were in the lazy river when my son innocently stepped his foot on my hip, inadvertently untying the double knot on the bottoms. Luckily I was able to quickly tie the side again, but a valuable lesson was learned that day. Some bathing suits are more appropriate for certain activities. String bikinis are more appropriate for sunbathing and lounging on the beach. The same is true for strapless bikinis as well as bikinis that are fastened with straps that are not made out of fabric. Exercise caution with these types of straps as they are often unreliable. Bathing suits that have sturdy hooks are better suited for water parks or public pools. Bikinis like this are also best when you are partaking in beach or water activities like volleyball or even jet skiing or water skiing.
Fit – Determining the right fit for a bathing suit is essential. Tops and or bottoms that are too large end up sagging in unwanted places, especially once they have been submerged. This is never a comfortable feeling. On the other hand, bathing suits that are too small can result in skin rolling over the fabric. In addition, bathing suits that are too small can flatten, pinch, or elongate your curves. So make sure the fit of both top and bottom are comfortable. I prefer to purchase bikinis that allow me to buy the top and bottom separately to ensure that I have the best possible fit.
The most crucial point to remember is to choose a suit that makes you feel beautiful. The goal is to feel confident and comfortable while you enjoy your time at the beach. So, try different options and see what works best for your body type. And regardless of the color, cut, and style, get ready to rock that suit on the beach, pool, waterpark, or even your backyard this summer!