How to Shop for Swimsuits Like a Pro
While some swimwear brands offer a huge assortment of products in all different styles, colors, silhouettes, patterns, and more, others have more limited selections, either in terms of the number of swimsuits offered or the looks and designs of the pieces. For ample product variety, focus on brands that primarily offer swimwear over other types of clothing, or look at large retailers like Amazon and Target that undoubtedly have a ton of options.
And if you’re not sure what type of swimsuit is best for your needs, Bruhn has some recommendations. “The always classic string bikini is a timeless look that never goes out of style,” she says. “Another popular style is an obvious underwire bra effect seen in both one- and two-piece bathing suits. These have the same effect as wearing an underwire bra and can ‘lift’ the chest area; they are really having a moment.”
With most swimsuits, “you should be able to wear your usual clothing size, but read the fit guide carefully” to be sure your measurements match, says Bruhn. Luckily, more brands now have inclusive sizing, often going from XXS to 3X or 4X, with some designating plus-size sections for an even greater selection.
“If you have a longer torso, you may need to go up a size in a one-piece suit,” says Bruhn. “If you are larger on the top, or a size larger on the bottom half, look for two-piece options that you can purchase individually. Buy one size for your smaller area, and another size for the larger!”
Every retailer has a different return policy, so make sure you’re familiar with it before shopping. On average, swimwear brands offer free returns and exchanges within 30 days, as long as you submit proof of purchase. Also, “the tags must be attached to the suit along with hygienic liners,” says Bruhn.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Rachel Simon, a writer for Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, The New York Times, and many other publications. She frequently covers fashion and beauty, and spoke to Angela Loucks, assistant department manager of virtual fittings at the intimates brand Knix, as well as Alison Bruhn, co-founder of The Style That Binds Us, to get expert insight on swimsuit shopping.