Taking The Plunge, Navigating The Tricky World Of Swimwear

Long before the 1977 suspense thriller movie “Jaws”, something else made us scared to go in the water, shopping for swimwear!

I suspect we have all done it, usually at the end of winter, when magazines are showing us images of bronzed babes looking amazing. Here we are, faced with gorgeous models, frolicking on the sands of some exotic destination like the Maldives or the Caribbean, looking hot in the latest designs.

So what in our right minds sends us into the changing rooms, carrying a few extra kilo’s (or pounds), complete with lily white legs, thinking that it will end well?

Are we delusional from all the chocolate consumed over the cooler months?

So I am offering a few tips on how to start. These ideas may be obvious to most of you, but sometimes it is good to have a little reinforcement.

Rule number one, go shopping on a day you feel mentally prepared.

Girls, this means no PMS shopping. You will only end up disillusioned and depressed, I know first hand!

At this time of the month it easy to see flaws that don’t exist, we are all our harshest critics.

Next, it helps to get a spray tan a couple of days prior, or use bronzer. A sun kissed glow makes us all look better.

Have a idea what suits your body shape and colouring. Make the most of your skin tone, this goes for any fashion purchase.

Research different brands, and don’t be afraid to try on lots of different styles.

You may be pleasantly surprised at what can work for you.

Think of your needs. Will you be swimming laps or jumping about in the surf?

Or are you like me, taking a quick dip, between enjoying something cold and refreshing while reading a good book?

The JM Barrie Ladies Swimming Society is probably a better novel choice than “Jaws” in that case!

A string bikini will be lost in the surf, along with your dignity. Good support is needed for swimming laps. It pays to plan carefully.

Now, to be more specific, body shape and size!

We are fortunate that many designers realize we need different cup sizes in our swimwear. A well endowed young thing many have the body for a barely there bikini, but maybe she does not want her cup running over!!

Many mainstream brands go to a D cup, with some offering a DD

Being able to buy separates is fantastic too, much more practical.

How many of us are the same size top and bottom?

As with clothing, please do not be intimidated by size, it’s just a number and not even universal these days.

It’s all about fit! If you are unsure how it looks and feels, try the next size up or down.

This will help validate your choice. Buy it for the fit and NOT the number on the tag!

Colour is your next decision. Most everyone looks great in slimming black. White is another story altogether. In any case it is imperative to choose a well lined swimsuit

I discovered a lovely Aussie label online called Sirens Swimwear. A gorgeous capsule range of vintage inspired styles. I loved the “New Classic”.

The ruched torso would be flattering to all figure types and ages.

The “Miranda”, features a flirty skirt for a little extra coverage around the tush, and goes up to a DD cup.

Seafolly, Zimmerman, and Jets by Jessika Allen are all fabulous Australian brands.

As a nation of sun worshippers, we have the climate to be experts in this area of fashion.

Brazillians also know a thing or two in this realm. I remember buying a Brazillian brand (the name escapes me) years ago.

It was THE most flattering bikini I have ever owned, the cut immaculate. I literally wore it out!

The “Miracle Suit” is another amazing item. Look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds, is it’s claim.

I have heard great things about this label.

I loved the “Solid Chamberlain” with detachable straps, for a different look.

The “Solid Rialto” in turquoise was stunning too.

I discovered a beautiful label “Jamu Australia”. These costumes are bright, modern and feminine.

They are also specifically designed for mastectomy needs.

Designer Lydia Leong’s ambition is to give to those who survived the ordeal of breast cancer, a range of sensuous mastectomy garments that give them back their sense of femininity.

She has done just that. It’s a thoughtful, flattering collection.

She has a range of underwear too, all available online.

So with these things in mind, I hope the experience of swimwear selection can be a more positive experience.

Ultimately, whatever your choice, the most important thing is sun protection.

A wide brimmed hat and 30+ sunscreen are your best accessories for the summer.

Go on take the plunge!

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle 2013


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