You know how much I love to shop for clothes, EXCEPT this one particular garment: The Swimsuit.

I have NEVER liked looking for a swimsuit, even as a teenager. Correction: I don’t mind looking at them, but I DO mind trying them on.

Looking at my unfiltered body in bad lighting is a reality check. I’m good at hiding my flaws, but a bathing suit reveals that I DO have quite a bit of cellulite and that my skin color is purple. I relate to the comedian I heard say “My bottom half looks like when you pop the cardboard tube of refrigerated biscuits.” I buy two full sizes larger in a swim suit than other clothing for that very reason.

But swimsuit prices have taken a plunge, so NOW is the time to shop. I buy one every three years. I start by looking at cover ups because I actually really like those.

After choosing my cover up, I then search for the least offensive suit that would look good peeping out from my cover up.

Note that the cover up stays on whether I am sunning or playing on the beach with my grandchildren.

The cover up comes off a split second before I jump into the water. I make sure a family member or friend is standing at the edge, arms out, holding my cover up or a towel when I emerge from the water.

Since this is my year for shopping for a new swimsuit and they do have some great prices right now, I got busy with my swimwear search and actually liked what I found. Here are a few shopping guidelines:

  • Be realistic about how you are going to use your swimsuit. Are you going to sit on the beach or go to a water park? You do not want to be constantly tugging and pulling while trying to look cool and athletic.
  • To add volume in certain areas, choose one with ruffles in that area.
  • To hide volume, choose a shirred or ruched fabric in a solid color. Don’t do the “boyshorts” look unless you want your hips to look wider.
  • Halter tops, triangle tops and bandeau tops make the bust seem wider. If you are pear-shaped and you want to look more hourglass shape, choose one of those styles for the top of your swimsuit.
  • To minimize your bust, choose a suit that is cut straight across the top.
  • There are tummy trimming and controlling suits. They are styled and made with fabric containing more spandex.
  • Regarding color: Pale skin looks good in deep jewel tones and dark skin looks best in bright colors.

Neiman Marcus carries the Magicsuit brand at a very good price point. These suits are designed to slim the midriff, flatter the waistline and support the bust. I especially like that they have built-in bras.

My Theresa is another favorite online shopping site and their designer swimwear is up to 70% off right now.

One of my new favorite sites for swimwear is Anthropologie. I was aware of their many clothing and home accessory options, but recently learned about the many swim and cover up selections.

Check out a gallery of bathing suit inspiration below: 

Most of all, LOVE YOURSELF no matter how you think you look in a swimsuit. You are the only one really thinking about it anyway. Spending time outdoors in the summer with people you love is what matters to you and them.

Happy summer!

Tell Me: What are your tips for looking your best in swimwear?