Swimsuit shopping can be cruel. After months of cloaking your body in layers of cardigans and trousers, you're supposed to emerge from your cocoon and try on itty bitty pieces of fabric under fluorescent lights.
It's not fair; it's not fun; and it might be the reason you've been holding onto that sagging, piling one-piece for the past eight summers.
Well, the forecast calls for summer-around-the-corner, so I figured I might as well attack the necessary evil of swimsuit shopping and transform it into a (gasp!) more enjoyable experience. Here are some tips that will prevent mental breakdown in the dressing room.
1. Get Some Color
One of the biggest hurdles I face while ripping off the warm clothes is the translucent hue of my winter skin. While you might be all about the Nicole Kidman skin year round (I applaud this), I happen to need a little color to get myself in the summer mindset. And this, my friends, is where I reintroduce you to my best friend: the self tanner. You might think I'm high maintenance that I give myself artificial sun-kissed color before bathing suit shopping, but I say, do whatever you have to do to ensure you're happily walking out of the store with a bag of bikinis.
2. Take It Home
Sometimes the cutest clothes turn into monsters when they travel from the rack to your body. Though this occasionally has to do with fit (uh, because the garment is made poorly, not because your bum is shapely!), it also might be due to the unflattering environment of dressing rooms. Overhead lighting is an evil beast, and I say take the garment out of the devil's den and into the comfort of your own home before you make your final decision. As long as store policy allows you to return it, trying on your bathing suit at home is infinitely helpful in determining how you look in natural light and with the cover-ups and accessories you already own.
3. Mix and Match
Color blocking and pattern mixing are very of-the-moment this summer, and this works to the advantage of your wallet. If you've already got a leopard print bikini bottom you love, head out in search of a striped top to pair with it, and you've suddenly got a trendy, fresh suit for half the cost. Or if solids are your thing, pick up a pair of inexpensive kelly green shorts to wear with your royal blue bandeau top. To make your life easy, stuff your already owned bathing suit in your purse so you can see what works while you're in the store.
4. Try new shapes
Itty, bitty string bikinis are not for everyone. Some days, the only beachwear that I feel like donning is a full body wet suit. To fall somewhere in the middle, opt for flattering one pieces or the new shape: high waisted, vintage inspired two pieces. You might think high waisted bottoms feel very old-fashioned, but when done in fresh colors and prints, they can be extremely flattering and modern. Throw on a pair of cat-eyed shades to top it off, and people will be calling you Grace Kelly.
So, these tips are all fine and dandy, but let's get down to the logistics. Here are my pics for the best local as well as online bathing suit shopping.
Where To Shop Locally:
SwimSpot at the Oaks Mall
at the Calbasas Commons
Planet Blue in Westlake Village
Ig Boarding Shop in Westlake Village
Beach Blvd Swimwear in Thousand Oaks
Nordstrom at the Oaks Mall
Where To Shop Online:
Happy shopping to you! And if I've left any of your favorite swimwear locales off the list, let me know in the comments.