Whether it’s for swimming casual laps at the gym, racing, or simply lazing on Bondi beach with your girlfriends, there’s a swimsuit to suit every occasion. But, before you add to basket on that long-awaited bikini you’ve been eyeing, here are a few important things you might want to know before buying.
By Fashion Contributor Narissa Moeller
1. You need to consider what the purpose of your new swimsuit is, because you won’t last long surfing five-foot waves in a string bikini. Unless, of course, you’re looking to hook-up with a hot surfer! The three most common swimsuit categories are competition, fitness and fashion.
Competition swimsuits are designed to maximise your speed and reduce drag through the water, therefore compression is essential. They are all generally one-piece style and don’t offer much bra support due to their tightness on the body. You can usually pick a competition swimsuit as most are made out of nylon and a high Lycra spandex.
If you need a swimsuit for water-aerobics at the gym, playing beach volleyball or simply for doggy paddling in the neighbour’s pool, a fitness swimsuit that offers coverage, comfort and support is what you’re looking for. Just as a sports bra is essential for running and doing Body Attack, a supportive built-in bra is a must for exercising in the water. Steer clear of halter styles if you can as they can put pressure on the neck, and ensure the top and bottom’s waistband are made with strong elastic for a snug fit that won’t move in the water. There are many one and two-piece styles available, just be sure to look out for chlorine-resistant blends as those gym pools can kill the colour and lifespan of your new swimsuit.
As for fashion swimsuits, the options are endless. From itty-bitty polka dot bikinis and crochet cut-outs, to sarong-styles, retro, tankini’s, patterns, florals and more. This season, we recommend you choose a swimsuit that you feel your absolute best in and represents the happiest and healthiest you!
2. Always try before you buy. This can be a bit of an effort especially with the luxury of online shopping, but swimwear is one of those things that must fit right. You may be between sizes and need a different size top to bottom when buying a bikini. If you can’t make it to the store to try, then measure yourself first or as a last resort, go up a size.
3. After care, after care, after care. We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Sun, salt, sand and sweat will take a huge toll on your new swimsuit so as soon as it comes off at the end a session, rinse it out with mild soap and cold water and leave it to dry – preferably out of direct sun.
4. Big chested and worried about your nipple slipping when coming up from an awesome dive? We’ve got you covered. Find a swimsuit with a top that looks just like a bra. Styles come with underwire, soft cups and well-structured sides to stop your boobs spilling all over the place.
5. Finally, embrace trends and use them to flaunt or cover your assets. Love your cleavage? Then find a swimsuit with neckline detail or if you’re worried about your stomach, opt for a one-piece with ruching, mesh, or gathering on one side. It hides unwanted bumps. If you’re nervous about your hips and booty, simple wear black on the bottom half and brighten things up with a fun pattern or floral on top.
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