I am a plus-size woman, and I like swimsuit shopping! Yes, you read that correctly. I actually enjoy swimsuit shopping. But that hasn’t always been the case. I used to dread having to buy a new swimsuit. I didn’t like trying them on in those little dressing rooms at the store, and I definitely didn’t want to come out of the dressing room to check myself out in the big mirror. Mostly, I hated trying on swimsuit after swimsuit, and not finding one that fit right everywhere it should.
But now that I am a mom in my 40s, I not only feel more confident about myself, I know much better what styles of swimsuits I prefer, and which ones I should avoid no matter how cute they might look on the rack. And better yet, I have found a new way to shop for swimsuits that takes virtually all the hassle out of the experience. I buy them online.
Here are a few tips that will help take the pain out of your swimsuit shopping experience, and help you find a great choice online, too.
Know your size, don’t guess
Don’t guess your size when it comes to swimsuit shopping, and don’t assume you will wear the same size in selections by different designers. It is important to measure. You’ll need a tape measure, and maybe a little help from a friend. Don’t worry, you can measure over your bra and panties.
First, measure your bust, going around the biggest part. You don’t necessarily need to know your exact cup size, because swimsuits don’t offer a very customized bust, but I’ll address that further below. Second, measure your natural waist, and them your hips at their widest point. Then use the size charts to find your correct size based on your measurements.
Separates offer stylish solutions
If you find that your measurements call for one size on top, and a different size on the bottom, you may be a lot happier choosing separates. You can purchase individual pieces, and even mix and match tops and bottoms to make your own customized bikinis, tankinis, and even two-piece swim dresses that fit you well all over.
The right top for your bust
Most of the swimsuits I’ve seen online offer tops sized for about a C cup in standard sizes, and a D to DD cup in plus sizes. Of course, women don’t all have the same size breasts, so it’s important to know what styles will work best with your bust. A smaller breasted woman may want to choose a top with a more form-fitting cup, or one with adjustable padding or straps.
As a larger breasted woman, I have learned to avoid things like tops with empire waist bands that should sit right below the breasts, but tend to ride up and hit in the wrong place. I’ve also learned that although halter-style tops are very attractive, they hurt my neck because the weight of my bust is placed fully on the halter and not distributed over my shoulders. If you don’t know what styles work best for your body, you can try on lots of different styles at the mall, or order from a company that allows returns in case the fit isn’t right.
Study the return policy
I won’t buy from a company that doesn’t allow easy returns in case a product doesn’t work out. That’s one reason I chose to buy my swimsuits the last two years from Swimsuits for All. They guarantee the fit, and you can return your swimsuit for store credit and pick another one with no hassle as long as you have not worn it other than to try it on, washed it, or taken out the protective panty shield. They even include a return label for easy shipping.
As long as your check your store’s return policy, and make sure you’ll be able to exchange your swimsuit if the fit is wrong, you should be able to shop with ease, painlessly avoiding all the hassles you’re used to, and get a swimsuit you’ll love shipped right to your door in no time.
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