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Adventures in swimsuit shopping

Did you ever stuff yourself with cupcakes while browsing a random swimsuit catalog you got in the mail, pitying yourself and the fact that you’ll never look as good as those models in a monokini? And if you did, you probably thought you’re the single most unlucky girl in the world, right? Well, that’s far from the truth – we’ve all done it, skinny or curvy, but now we have some interesting news to rely on. An Australian scientific study recently showed that trying on a swimsuit in a dressing room is one of the most stressful things for a woman, regardless of her size and complexion. It’s not only more stressful than trying on jeans or a dress, but it’s actually more harmful for a woman’s ego than wearing the suit out on the beach! Yes, this goes for the Gisele type, too. What the specialists advise us is to stop comparing ourselves to someone else and embrace our bodies as a whole. Easier said than done…

One of the few times I felt “so fine” in a swimsuit was at the age of 12, when my grandfather bought me a floral two piece with a bandeau top, and we all went for a picnic. Of course, I still had my child-like figure. Some older boys noticed me sunbathing, and one of them said something like “forget it, she must be 13 or so”. I was still pretty happy about the extra year they gave me.

And then came my womanly body: pear shaped, with a small bust and a nice waist, but with hips that I hated. One thing I tried to do is hide them in a hipster – that looked nice in the upper half, but being petite, my legs appeared super short. Only later did I find that hipster bottoms are for athletic girls, while I should’ve gone for string bikinis – they make your legs look longer and you can adjust the fit just right. Another big mistake of my part was to choose swimsuits in a small size, according to the size of my bra – and then realizing that the bottom was way too tight – embarrassing! Thank God for separate pieces, which are now so widely available, helping you get the perfect size on each part. Then I learned a few other tricks: balancing the silhouette with more details at the top (prints, ruffles, even some thin pads) and keeping it minimal at the bottom (full, dark colors, and a simple cut). There’s also the one-piece swimsuit, but I’ve always ruled it out because I like to show off my flat tummy.

So you see? The only way to embrace your figure in a swimsuit is by finding the right one for you – you can do it the tough way (you live, you learn), or the easy way (take advice from fashion specialists who want what’s best for you). In short, you need to find your best features and emphasize them, minimizing the attention in the areas you don’t love.

Daria is a blogger for the fashion site Cheapmonokinis.com.

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