Courtney is a freelance fashion, art and design writer and content creator for www.mrgift.com.au - an online boutique specialising in quality gifts for men. Read more of Courtney’s work at www.alittlepinkbook.blogspot.com.au
Published January 24th 2011
Shopping for a new bikini or swimsuit can be a terrifying experience. Bikini shopping often takes place at the start of summer when we are contemplating upcoming summer holidays. Our pale winter skin craves for some sunny days, we have comfort-eaten our way through the cold months and a bit of waxing wouldn't go astray.
The situation is exacerbated as we pace the pavement from boutique to department store to surf shop in quest of the perfect beach attire. More often then not, the search ends in vain and we revert to a worn out 'old favourite'. Fear not though, bikini shopping has come a long way over the last few years with new brands and boutiques catering for all shapes and sizes so the choices are refreshingly promising.
Swimwear Galore has something for everyone with key brands such as Seafolly, Sunseeker, Watersun and Fantasie. The Jets by Jessika Allen range features elegant, well-constructed pieces with clever design detailing. Strategically placed ruching, gathering and vertical panels (to slim the body) result in flattering pieces that suit most shapes. Prints and colours range from chic black and white to nautical stripes and tropical floral prints. Freya's range is designed for women with a fuller bust and features beautifully constructed bikini tops with excellent support. Miraclesuit's slimming one-piece costumes do just as the name suggests and suck it all in – you'll look so good you'll never want to take it off! Swimwear Galore's Melbourne stores are located on Brunswick St and St Kilda Road.
Despite the occasionally overwhelming atmosphere, department stores are often a good place to commence your swimwear quest. The range of brands in a department store give you instant choice, which will at least help to narrow your options down. Stores like Myer stock swimwear brands such as Seafolly, Rochford, Bond Eye, Moontide, Flamingo Sands and Calvin Klein as well as their own in house brands, such as Cozi by Jennifer Hawkins.
Although it can be tricky to get the perfect fit, online shopping is quicker, easier and less stressful that ever before. Many companies, such as Seafolly and Swimwear Galore also have online stores. Seafolly boast a beautiful website packed with fashionable, yet wearable designs. Flattering core silhouettes are updated each season with unique, fun prints and colours. Once you find a style that fits and suits your shape, chances are you will be able to buy a similar shape again next season, just in a new print or colour. Seafolly also have a striking store in Melbourne Central (just off La Trobe Street) where you can view their range and see the high quality workmanship of the garments for yourself. Cute ruching, ruffles and gathers flatter the figure whilst supporting the body. Seafolly also produce beautiful accessories such as kaftans, beach dresses and hats to complement their swimwear.
Prior preparation for swimwear shopping is essential. Get a leg and bikini wax, pedicure, exfoliate, apply moisturiser and/or fake-tan to your skin. The better you feel about your body before you start trying things on, the more confidence you will have.
Consider a couple of things before you make your purchases:
1. Is this swimsuit for an exotic beach holiday or for doing laps in the pool at home?
2. If you're going away, where are you going and how long for?
Asking the above questions will help you consider things like the shape and colour of the swimsuit you should buy. If you'll predominantly be swimming in the ocean or doing laps in the pool, a one piece or Tankini (tank top with regular bikini bottoms) might be more practical than a string bikini. Conversely, if you are beside a pool most of the time, a simple bandeau style bikini might minimise the tan lines.
3. If you're away for over a week and will be spending most of your time in your swimwear it may be worth investing in a couple of swimsuits that you can alternate each day (there's nothing worst than putting on a wet swimsuit).
Bikini care tips – To prolong the life of your bikini and keep it looking its best, rinse it out in cold water after swimming and dry in the shade.
Bikini checklist – In the lead up to bikini shopping or a summer holiday ensure you look your beach-best with a tan (fake), waxing and plenty of exercise and water for glowing skin.