Oh hello first day of summer. I see you, I feel you and I’m not scared by you.
Well, maybe just a little scared. You know how you and I really don’t do the whole humidity thing so well?
My hair frizzes up. My ankles disappear. And I’m at risk of turning into one giant sweaty mess at a moment’s notice.
Those things scare me about summer but something that no longer scares me is the buying and donning of a swimsuit.
If you’re new here to Styling You, you’d not be familiar with my annual sermon about our need to build a bridge and get over ourselves when it comes to fully enjoying the summer months – at the beach or just in your backyard pool.
I don’t want one single woman to miss out while their friends and family splash, swim, surf and STAY COOL while you sit fully clothed on the beach or by the pool.
No-one is going to criticise you for how you look. No-one is even going to notice.
The only person you need to contend with is yourself. Have a good strong talk to her and tell her what’s what.
Because girlfriend, your body IS swimsuit ready.
You have a body. You just need to put a swimsuit on it.
I realise that my sermon may seem a bit simplified and most of us have MANY issues surrounding parts of – or all of – our bodies but if you’re thinking of even dipping your toe into some swimsuit confidence this summer, these 13 tips on how to feel more confident in a swimsuit may help.
Oh, and to walk my talk, the annual Styling You Swimsuit Edition is back. I’ve put myself into five swimsuits and included those below.
And no, I don’t enjoy shooting these photos but I do feel that with each year, doing the shoot has helped me with my swimsuit confidence.
My hot tip: a spray tan, fancy hair and dappled late afternoon light are your friends.
Queensland Swimwear Company one-piece $149.95 (I’m wearing size 16; currently available in sizes 8-18 the Styling You Shop – the straps are removable – this is such a versatile swimsuit. It also sits well under a sheer kaftan for beach to bar action) | iAllure kimono $99
How to feel more confident in a swimsuit
1. If black makes you feel more confident in a swimsuit – or any piece of clothing – then wear it.
2. Consider though enlisting the help of a patterned swimsuit for all kinds of optical illusion tricks – and a lot of fun.
3. Want to create an optical illusion around the tummy? Ruching is a your friend.
Sirens Swimwear one-piece $199 (I’m wearing size 16. Available in size 8-20 – love the bra support, stripe illusion and ruching – see tip 8 below for this company’s fabulous shopping option) | Sha-De UPF50 wrap $69.95 (this is a great sun-safe piece to have tucked in your handbag for protecting your shoulders and chest – see tip 11 and 12 for more UPF50 options)
4. Boardshorts with bathers have the opposite effect of what you think they are doing. Instead of wearing, make peace with your legs.
5. Do not fear the bikini – at any size. It can have the illusion of making you look smaller because less fabric is involved. True.
6. If your bust is a C cup and over then do hunt down a swimsuit with support. Just having the girls up where they belong will help with the confidence factor.
7. Do consider what you’ll actually be doing in your swimsuit. The needs of someone who regularly body surfs or wrangles small children will be vastly different from those who consider raising a cocktail glass to their lips sufficient exercise for the day.
8. Don’t be afraid of shopping online. It really does take away the whole change room angst because you get to use your own mirror at home and control the lighting. Look for companies with return policies that allow you to buy, try and decide with hassle-free returns. Sirens Swimwear offers a Ship the Shop service where you can five swimsuits shipped to you, and you only pay a deposit of the equivalent of one swimsuit price and postage. You try them at home and ship back the ones that you don’t want to keep.
Jets by Jessika Allen DD bikini top $135 (I’m wearing size 14; available size 10-16); Jets by Jessika Allen overlay bikini bottom $69.95 (I’m wearing size 14 with the overlay up; available size 8-16) | Kalokeri cover-up $159 (I’m wearing M/L) @ Sequins and Sand
9. Don’t be afraid to seek out help from a bricks-and-mortar swimsuit specialist retailer, either. Staff in these stores are trained – much like a trained bra fitter – to get you into a swimsuit you’re happy with.
10. I understand that everyone’s budget to spend on swimwear is different. What I do suggest is that you spend the most your budget can allow if you have your own pool, live at the beach or spend a lot of time beachside over summer. Quality swimwear is made from fabrics that withstands more frequent use.
11. Do invest in swimwear cover-ups. I find these help boost my swimsuit confidence but also (depending on the fabric) help with sun protection. For cover-ups with a UPF 50+ factor, check out the sun-smart range at Sequins and Sand. You’ll also find a fabulous selection of non-UPF rated pieces for covering up.
12. Rash vests have come a very long way. They offer sun protection but they also can look good too. I don’t hit the beach in summer without one. Check out SunSoaked and Aquacove for a fabulous blend of fashion, function and UPF 50+ ratings.
13. Don’t give up the search for the best swimsuit for you. There is a swimsuit out there for you. Once you let go of the “imperfections” and embrace the freedom that comes with being able to wear a swimsuit and fully participate in summer, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Independent online swimwear and beachwear company Sequins and Sand has created an amazing campaign that I’d love you to get on board with. #CossieConfidence is a campaign aimed at empowering women to get into a cossie/swimsuit/bathers/togs – and sharing that look with the hashtag so that more women find the confidence to enjoy our summer lifestyle to the fullest. Read more about the campaign HERE.
* All of the above swimsuits (except for the Jets bikini which I bought in Noosa in September) and cover-ups were gifted to me for editorial consideration. I’ve featured them because they work for me and they might be brands and styles you would like to explore for your body shape and size.
So tell me, how’s your swimsuit confidence? Have you found your ideal pair of togs for this summer? Share your battle of the bathers.