I've been seeing the swimwear recommendations start to roll in on social. And I find myself critiquing ALL the swimwear I see. Even more so now that I design my own suits. So I thought I would share a small glimpse into my brain while shopping for swimwear:
1) Full lining, partial lining or no lining. Did you know there were so many options? I designed my suits using the same high-quality outer fabric to make the lining. This actually doubles the thickness, so you get that really nice smoothing effect and strong feel to your suit, not to mention will last longer before it goes see-thru. Typically, a thin, nude fabric called Halenka is used as a liner, primarily because of it's softness and ability to stretch with the Nylon/Lycra, and it's cheaper. It can come in lots of colors and is the first layer to wear out, stretches and gets pretty nasty by the end of the season. Also look out for the 'partial lining' phrase which means only the front of the suit is lined - they left the bum unlined...so the bum will go see-thru first.
2) Flattering cut? I study models obsessively when I'm looking online for anything I'm wearing. Pay attention to where the suit fits on the model and go through ALL the photos. Description says 'high cut leg' but it hits below her hip bones? Likely will fit that same way on you. I pay attention to where the fabric buckles and pulls and maybe doesn't sit the way you'd want it to. The most flattering cut is when the suit hits right at or just below your hip bones. The boy-short is a specific style, but does make your legs look shorter. How much of your back does the suit cover? Enough to make you comfortable, but not so much that it's not showing off your fabulous shoulder blades.
3) Ruching. It's used to create volume and texture in fabric. Swimwear is typically ruched in the mid-section, along the sides or just one side. If you feel like you need more volume in your mid-section (you likely don't), then go for it. I'm not a fan of ruched swimwear - for maternity, ruching is amazing to give you little breathing room for that belly. Non-maternity, it just doesn't provide the snug support and smoothing in those key areas to be all that flattering.
4) Buy your suits by your activity: Let's talk about what you plan on doing in your suit. Are you going to Mexico with your spouse for your 2nd honeymoon? Buy the metallic string bikini and rock it! Playing with friends at the lake or out on the boat? Maybe opt for my more active style - think sports bra and leggings-type fit & support. Minimal strings, clips, charms, zippers...these tend to cause more issues than they're worth. You want snug, supportive, and flattering. These suits are hard to find, trust me, I looked high and low and ended up designing one!
What other questions do you have when suit shopping?? Shoot us an email for help!