It seems that no matter how much we strive to accept ourselves just as we are, there’s always another layer of self-consciousness to peel away or another rock of insecurity to overturn. And shopping for swimwear has an uncanny ability to bring all of that to the surface.
The good news is that those bikinis and tankinis don’t have to ruin our day. There are steps we can take to emerge from the dressing room with our heads held high, regardless of what we saw while we were in there.
Six Tips for Confident Bathing Suit Shopping Tweet this!
1. Do your research ahead of time.
One thing I do not do is shop for bathing suits on a whim. No, I plan for the experience by scoping out which stores carry the types of suits I prefer.
As a card-holding member of the “I Have No Trouble Filling Out a Sweater” club, I’m on the lookout for super supportive tops with underwires. Which are not always easy to find, believe me! So instead of heading to the stores with my fingers crossed, I figure out ahead of time where my best bets are.
2. Plan a relaxing activity for afterwards.
That way if your shopping trip isn’t successful, you’re not immediately thrown back into a chaotic world of screaming children and dirty laundry. I think it’s totally fair to take an extra thirty minutes to sip a cup of tea at a favorite coffee shop afterwards.
3. Don’t go it alone.
Some people prefer to shop for swimwear in solitude, but I think it’s helpful to have a buddy along. Someone who knows you well enough to say, “You really do look great in that one!” or “Let’s get out here!” if necessary.
4. Wear something you love.
Bathing suit shopping can involve a lot of ups and downs, a lot of undressing and re-dressing. In between all of that you want to be wearing something comfortable, something that makes you feel great.
There’s nothing worse than stepping out of a bathing suit you hate only to put back on an outfit you also hate. That’s just depressing.
5. Take advantage of the internet.
The reality of today’s world is that there’s no longer any need to shop for bathing suits amidst harsh dressing room lighting. Instead, we can do it in our living room.
Obviously this means you can’t wait until the day before your beach trip, unless you want to pay an extra million dollars in overnight shipping.
I also recommend ordering more than one size, with the intention of sending back the one that doesn’t fit. The inconvenience of this step is easily overshadowed by the significant decrease in stress, if you ask me.
6. Maintain perspective.
At the end of the day, your goal probably isn’t to be mistaken for a model, right? No one else cares that you don’t look like one! If you find a suit that allows you to comfortably read a book poolside or—more likely—swiftly chase after your children, call it a win.
Because in the end, the bathing suit color will inevitably fade from too much chlorine and the fabric on the tush will stretch and sag. The bikinis and tankinis will be quickly forgotten. But the woman who didn’t let her swimwear diminish her confidence? She will be remembered.
How do you handle bathing suit shopping? What’s your swimwear shopping strategy?
image via Kim on flickr