February 8, 2011
Hey, Baby, It’s Cold OutsideTags: bathing suits
What two words strike fear in more women’s hearts than just about anything? “Bathing suit.” Especially if the words “try” and “on” are in the same sentence. The last thing most of us want to do is shimmy into a bathing suit after those sumptuous meals over the holidays! So why do we see bathing suits in store windows right now, when the thermometer only occasionally rises about 50 degrees? That is precisely why. Bathing suits are available for women who cruise or head to warmer climates this time of year, to avoid the cold temperatures we’ve been having. Now may still be an excellent time, however, to buy a bathing suit, even if the closest you’ll come to blue water in the next few months is the gym pool. Here are some tips to make the process as painless as possible:
1. Narrow your choices by determining the purpose of your bathing suit. Are you wearing it to swim laps year-round or limiting it to a dash to the hot tub? A classic one-piece suit of good quality is the better choice for water athletics. Good shoulder strap support, longer-lasting elastic in the seat to prevent it from riding up, and overall comfort in fit and fabrication allows you to focus on your activity, not your apparel. If its purpose will be of a more stationary nature, you may be able to compromise on price and even ramp up the fashion level of your next bathing suit.
2. Take a good look at your body shape in the mirror. You need to know your proportions, in order to buy a suit that shows your body off to its best advantage. Is your torso short, average or long? A tankini might be just what a woman with a shorter torso needs to lengthen her line, but it might not give enough coverage to a long-torso woman, resulting in some unwanted stomach reveal. Are your legs short, average or long? A higher cut in the leg of a suit will reveal a little more skin, giving the illusion of a longer leg. Where is your weight line? No, not your waist line; your weight line, meaning where you carry the largest part of your body, also known as your dominant curve. If you carry most of your weight in your hips, you will choose a different suit silhouette than someone who carries her weight in her bustline. How much support do you need for your shape? Would tummy control or bust lifting be helpful? It is a hard exercise for many of us, to have that frank a look at ourselves. But it will lessen the number of suits you’ll have to try on in the dressing room.
3. Don’t just focus on the suit itself. I think the cover up is even more important than the bathing suit because it is seen by more people when you walk through the lobby or eat at the poolside restaurant. As with any top or dress, choose a coverup that works with your personal style, coloring and body. With the sheer detailing of the maxi dresses this Spring, and the prevalence of long scarves, you could find a cover up that has other uses in your wardrobe. And remember your shoes make a difference also. A flip-flop that has a wedge heel, for example, gives the appearance of a longer leg, helping a woman with a long torso and shorter legs look more in proportion.
In Oregon, swimwear is often lumped in the same category as dressy outfits. We have one in the closet for good measure, and we hope when the time comes, it will be adequate. Go try your suit on right now, while you’re thinking about it. If you don’t feel good in it, put on your parka and go shopping, while the selection is good and the salespeople have plenty of time to help you. And, by the way, do not get hung up on the size of your suit. It is often several sizes higher than you wear in regular clothes, due to different manufacturer’s specifications, but the number is really irrelevant. If the suit fits, wear it!