It’s beach season, and if you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to pick up a new swimsuit for your next vacation or trip to the pool.
Right now there are so many styles to choose from, whether you’re looking for a classic bikini, a sexy one-piece or a more modest design. Finding the perfect one can be challenging though, and when you add in the stress of finding a suit that makes you feel good, it’s no wonder so many women put off bikini shopping for as long as possible.
To get the lowdown on how to embrace swimsuit shopping and turn it into a positive experience, we spoke with swimsuit expert Maryanne Terzis, owner of Bikini Haus, Toronto’s premium destination for on-trend, designer swim and resort wear.
We asked Maryanne for her expert advice for making the most of your shopping experience, starting with what to do before you even step foot into a store.
“If you’re someone who’s really struggling to find swimwear and really get anxious over the experience, then I would just do as much research as you possibly can on your own,” she recommends. “All the e-commerce sites have size and fit guides, and [you can] cross reference to their Instagram and see how people are wearing it - including different body types.”
Using social media, it’s easy to see how real women are styling their swimsuits by looking at tagged photos of brands that you follow. You’ll get a better idea of how a swimsuit fits through user-generated photos, rather than marketing or product shots provided online.
Once you have an idea of a style that you like, you should then take into account what kinds of activities you’re planning on doing while in your new bathing suit. “It depends where you’re going, where you’re wearing it, who you’re going with, and what the purpose is,” says Maryanne.
A bathing suit that you plan on spending all day lounging poolside will be completely different that one that you’ll wear while snorkelling in the ocean. Fabrics that work best for each kind of activity will also be different, and you should take into account the end use before making a purchase.
According to Maryanne, salt water and chlorine are harsher on your suits, meaning you’ll want to choose one made from a material that will hold up if you’re planning an active vacation.
“If you’re doing a lot of activities, if you’re in chlorine and it’s strictly a performance suit, then polyester is the way to go,” she says.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more luxurious feel that gives you softness and stretch, you’ll be better off with a swimsuit made from higher quality materials like Italian lycra or a ribbed construction.
In terms of finding a flattering fit, Maryanne has a few suggestions for cuts that work best on different body types but is quick to recommend that what works based on your lifestyle and comfort levels matters more than your body type.
Instead of sticking to any preconceived rules for what’s going to work for your body, Maryanne recommends keeping an open mind and working with your sales associate to highlight your best features and minimize any body parts you may feel uncomfortable about.
“Let’s find something that accentuates what looks really good on your body,” she says. “Choose your best feature and what you want to hide. That we can nail.”
Take a look at our top swimsuit picks of the season, and shop the selection of summer’s best bathing suits below.
SHOP IT: Bikini Haus, $213
SHOP IT: Aerie, $36 (originally $60)
SHOP IT: Urban Outfitters, $82
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