Attention Ladies: How to Master Bathing Suit Shopping
NEW YORK - When it comes to the most dreaded shopping experiences, searching for swimsuits tops the list for ladies (followed closely by denim and bras). But don't let the fear of unflattering fluorescent-lit dressing rooms keep you from updating your swimwear this summer. TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com's Bobbie Thomas is here to give you a confidence boost with some tips to help you find the suit that's right for you.
Get a game plan
Women loathe bathing suit shopping for many reasons. It's intimidating to strip down under unflattering lights, or to have to step out in front of strangers to see a full-length mirror or get a different size. The experience can be overwhelming. As a result, we often avoid it until the last possible moment — the day before vacation or the morning of the pool party — and are then forced to choose from what's hanging on the rack.
However, if you take a little extra time to figure out which styles, colors and fabrics work best for you, it will be well worth it in the long run. Start at home in front of a familiar mirror and get to know your body. If you have bras or underwear you like, take note of their style. You can also explore your options from the safety of the Internet. Online retailers not only offer a larger selection and more flexibility than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, they also include lots of great body-shape information. Spend some time figuring out your favorites and then you'll be armed and ready to dive into the suit search.
Surf the Web
Once you know what you are looking for, you can literally build your own bikini online, with color, style and size choices for separates at sites like JCrew.com and Spiegel.com. While JCrew.com ($38-$55, Jcrew.com) is all about mixing and matching styles from among their signature color palette, some of Spiegel.com's ($29-$49, Spiegel.com) most popular suits focus on support and control in all the key places. Other sites, like gingersisland.com (approximately $120-$150 per custom suit), zenaswimwear.com and loricoulter.com will help you customize a made-to-order design. In addition to specialty sizing and more than 100 fabric selections, Ginger's Island will send samples directly to your home, allowing you to "try on" different styles and sizes based on your exact measurements, and will even replicate old suits that have seen better days.
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