Summer 2012 swimsuits: 10 expert swimwear shopping tips
Determined to find the perfect suit for your body type this summer? Stylist Rachel Matthews Burton rounds up her 10 best swimwear shopping tips.
Swimwear shopping tips #1: Find a great store.
This is key, says Matthews Burton, who suggests trying the swimsuit experts at Melmira Bra & Swimsuits at 3319 Yonge St. in Toronto: “They don’t have any product on the floor—you make an appointment and it’s like walking into a five-star hotel.” Sales staff bring you tea before ushering you into a softly lit change room and putting together a selection of suits. “They are experts in fit and style,” says Matthews Burton. For locations across Canada, check out La Vie En Rose Swimwear boutiques.
Swimwear shopping tips #2: Check out runway trends in swimwear to feel super stylish on the beach.
No body type is left behind: Thin-framed and athletic built? Go for that itsy, bitsy Missoni bikini. Apple shaped? “A paneled swimsuit helps create really nice waist definition,” says Matthews Burton.
Swimwear shopping tips #3: Expect to pay for a good suit.
“If you’re somebody who has suffered trying to find good tailoring and good clothes because you have a tricky body type to dress, the answer is to spend a little more money,” Matthews Burton says. “Make an appointment at a specialist store. It might cost you a little extra money, but you’ll have that suit for years and you’ll always feel good in it.” Think of it as buying a good pair of jeans: “I think a swimsuit is the same because people will pay the $200 to buy a good-looking pair of jeans because of the way it makes them feel, not just for the designer label.”
Swimwear shopping tips #4: Mix an investment suit with fast fashion pieces.
“If you’re like me, the last one I bought was from Melmira, but I’ve worn it season after season,” she says. “It’s an investment piece.” She recommends buying one great swimsuit and mixing it up with less expensive pieces from fashion stalwarts like Old Navy, Zara or H&M.
Swimwear shopping tips #5: …But don’t let sales staff pressure you into buying beyond your price range.
Approach swimsuit shopping like you would buying a house: “Make your budget clear from the onset,” Matthews Burton advises. “It’s not embarrassing to put it out there—it’s smart!”
For celeb-inspired swimsuit shopping tips, read on..
Summer swimsuit tip #6: Look for a perfect fit.
The biggest beachwear fashion miss? “Fit!” says Matthews Burton. “A well-fitted suit, especially on the bottom half, isn’t that common.” Bikini tops also often don’t have enough support or shape to them. For days when you caved and ate that third helping of cake, just remember: “It’s all illusion and proportion!” says Matthews Burton. There’s no universally flattering swimsuit—the perfect fit emphasizes (and conceals!) all the right places.
Summer swimsuit tip #7: Choose a flattering cover-up.
Feeling shy? “I would go with something very light, almost sheer, rather than fully opaque—if you’re comfortable with that—and that has a waist or a drawstring that you can pull in as an empire waist, just under the bust, which can be very flattering,” suggests Matthews Burton. “It should also be a V-neck and have a loose and light comfortable sleeve that covers the top few inches of the arm.”
Summer swimsuit tip #8: Choose great accessories.
Beachwear is its own summery fashion arena. If the suit calls for it, suggests Matthews Burton, “add an arm full of bangles.” For total beach couture, slip on a pair of RED Valentino bow-embellished leather sandals and DKNY tortoise-shell sunglasses—in case those street-style photogs make their way to the sand!
Summer swimsuit tip #9: Look for a piece that suits your personality.
It’s a big statement piece so make sure it’s as vibrant and quirky as your own personal style. “Go big or go home!”
Summer swimsuit tip #10: See what your similarly proportioned celeb counterparts are sporting on the beach.
Petite and athletically built? Kate Moss is your swimsuit style go-to. For ways to frame—or accentuate— a large bust, look to the OTT glam beach style of Kim Kardashian.
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