Am I the only one who hates trying on swimsuits?

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in the world who hates trying on new swimsuits.

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Bondi Beauty Founder Renae Leith-Manos in the change room on the Gold Coast yesterday trying on a Seafolly Bikini. “I felt like I looked awful, none of the swimmers fitted correctly and I felt bad. My self esteem plummeted during the experience.”

I have spent the last few days on the Gold Coast, and what does a girl do in her down time on the GC? Shop for swims suits, of course.

There are an inordinate number of swimsuit stores, and given the weather, and the bodies of most Gold Coast Girls, it is little wonder. This week, even though it is winter, I saw plenty of brightly coloured bikini tops peaking through chambray shirts both by day and night. This is a town where summer never ends, no matter what the weather.

But back to the swimsuit shops – it has to be one of the worst items of clothing we have to shop for, and yes, I think we unfortunately have to go to the effort of actually showing up and trying them on to ensure we are wearing one that fits right and looks flattering when we hit the beach.

I have bought several on the internet before and what a mistake that was. There are three things I cannot shop for online – swimsuits, foundation and bras. I need to try them on to ensure they are right for me.

So what is it with the hideous lighting in change rooms? Is it only me who looks horrible in them?  I felt like a freak – and that the lights made my skin look even more pale, maybe even blue, and my skin isn’t looking great to start with at this time of the year, and I looked bloated.

And what is the etiquette when there are three women in a swimsuit shop, two with partners with them, and you want to step out of the change room into better (hopefully) light to really have a look in a full length mirror?

I don’t want other women’s guys looking at me in a swimsuit in a store in the middle of winter, but how can I see if it fits me in those tiny cubicles? It’s humiliation at every turn, anxiety overload.

Then the sales girl is so busy with other customers, to select another style or size, I again had to parade past a shop full of people in a swimsuit I knew didn’t fit right. I took to taking a few selfies so I didn’t have to leave the change room, but that didn’t really work either.

Thirty minutes later, it all amounted to the same result – I felt like I looked awful, none of the swimmers fitted correctly and I felt bad. My self esteem plummeted during the experience. Needless to say, I didn’t purchase anything, and left as fast as I could.

Next time I will definitely take a friend, and perhaps the answer is to turn up when the doors of the store opens, no-one is there and I can’t be seen? I think swimsuit brands need to become more aware of the challenges women face when de-robing in broad daylight in a room full of strangers. It’s no fun.

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Renae Leith-Manos

Editor and Founder of Bondi Beauty

Renae Leith-Manos loves fitness, new beauty products, long chats and long flights. She is at her best when traveling the world writing about luxury hotels and Michelin Star restaurants ( She has had a colourful media career as a journalist inmagazines and newspapers, in Australia and Asia. She spends her time writing, cooking, consulting to new businesses, running and working out.

  1. Thank you for your article Renae. I wholeheartedly agree. I really do not derobing in a room full of strangers and find it confronting too. I hope the industry makes it more comfortable for non exhibitionists like me.

  2. I blog frequently and I really thank you for your
    content. This article has truly peaked my interest.
    I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once
    a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

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