in honor of fourth of july weekend, i am going to share with you my bathing suit shopping trip! ahh! i know, it is a terrifying experience for most people, unless of course, you are a model. this year i promised myself a brand new bathing suit if i reached my fitness goals. i did not, but, because i did not reach them, i need a new suit for other reasons. i currently do not own one that flatters the body that i now have.
we have all tried ordering suits online and we have all had to send suits back. we have all tried heading to the mall, walking through department stores and big box chains and quickly realizing that our top and bottom do not fit in the same size bracket. this has to be one of the most frustrating types of shopping. i love to shop. but i don't love to shop for what we can think of as bra and underwear to wear in public. this year, i decided to try something different.
if i am going to invest in a swimsuit, i want to see a professional. i figured somewhere that specialized in swimwear would be the place to start. in maine, it is not easy to find many places, but i did find one, sun city tanning and swimwear. they are even fully stocked with bathing suits in the winter. and for those of you with a little something extra on top, they sell sizes higher than dd, all the way to e! sun city has been in business for our 10 years and the owner, donna, has so much knowledge about swimwear.
let me tell you about my personal experience here:
i went in to a wednesday morning. when you first walk in to sun city, it may be a little overwhelming. there are a lot of suits and a lot of styles & colors. i kind of thought to myself, how am i going to find what i like. how many damn suits will i have to put this semi out of shape body in. this is where donna comes in. when someone there asks you if you need help, PLEASE say yes! she literally pulled out each different style and explained to me how each one fit and which ones would work best on my body and honestly told me which ones would not work. this information made it easy to narrow down hundreds of bathing suits to only the few styles that i liked and that would flatter. after i decided which styles to try, i had to decided which colors and prints i want. i guess this part was easier because i know what colors i like best.
then came the worst part.. putting the suits on. it is one thing to try them on in private and it is a completely other thing to try them on and show someone else. i knew after how approchable donna had been so far, i felt comfortable enough to show her. i had 6 different colors with a variation of styles to try and i needed an opinion. it was so easy to pick the style of the top i wanted. i love a bandeau and i love something with a vintage feel. so after only trying on two tops, i knew what the style had to be.
next was picking the bottom. my legs are the part of my body i am most conscious about right now and not cutting them off or having something too tight on my butt was a big concern. i went through many styles and many sizes. got some honest feedback and found two i loved.
it all came down to picking the colors. i was torn between a purple top or a yellow top and a matching printed bottom. the yellow one wasn't in stock in the size i needed. donna told me she could order it. i knew after all that work it would be hard to leave the store without a bathing suit in hand, but i really couldn't walk away from the yellow. she let me keep the other suit on hold with the yellow's matching bottom until the top came in.
the top yellow top arrived, only a week later. now was the final test. i tried on both suits one last time. the yellow top had been on my mind, but i had to see the purple before i could make the final decision. the yellow won by a landslide. i love the purple top (same style as the yellow), but the whole suit together just didn't make me feel as great as the yellow did. i'm super excited to put on a bathing suit and actually feel good in it!
had i not let someone help me, i may have left without a suit. it is easy to look around and without feeling confident & without information, get discouraged and leave. it was the honest feedback and no judgement, just real knowledgable information that made this such an easy, positive experience.
just like i am in the business of using clothes to make women (and men!) more confident by making the right choices, donna does the same with a bathing suit. she wants every customer to leave happy and feeling beautiful in a suit that fits and flatters.
tips for swimsuit shopping
#1: look and feel good about yourself before entering the swim shop.
(at least put on a little makeup or a cute outfit)
#2 : do a few sit ups or jumping jacks before hand.
get that blood pumping and show the muscles you may have!
#3: ask for help. ask questions.
#4: be open-minded. the thing you thought you wanted
may be very different from what actually works.
#5: get a second opinion.
#6: don't worry about the size on the tag.
worry about the fit. no one will be seeing the tag.
#7: have fun!