Shopping for a new swimming costume doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) painful. Here is my guide to finding a swimsuit that is right for you. 

Related: The BEST swimsuits for different body types | My shopping guide

1. Buy the size that fits. Not the size you wish you were.  

A swimsuit that is too small will dig or cut into you. You won’t feel comfortable. You’ll constantly be readjusting. It won’t motivate you to lose weight. But it will ruin your mood (which can lead to binge and emotional eating). 

But don’t take my word for it. 

Australian swimsuit designer and model Natasha Oakley agrees: 

“One of my main tips, when you’re shopping for bikinis, is not to stick to the size that you normally think you are. I am honestly everything from a size x-small to an x-large in swimwear, so don’t be scared to go up to whatever size you need to, or even down,” says Oakley.

Tash recommends you buy the size that fits. Not the size you think you ‘should’ be. 

Don’t assume a size larger will give you more coverage. Many women purchase swimwear that’s too large and as a result, the fabrics gapes and won’t support you properly.

Buy the size that fits when swimsuit shopping. Not the size you wish you were. Image: Lyndi Cohen
Buy the size that fits when swimsuit shopping. Not the size you wish you were. Image: Lyndi Cohen

2. Wear a g-string

Trying on swimsuits can be draining, so let’s make it as easy as possible.

Wear a g-string, or the similar style of underwear, when you go shopping.

That way, when you try on the swimsuit, you can see how it’s going to look without panties sticking out the sides.  

3. Get a bikini body mindset

I’ve weighed a lot less and because I wasn’t secure in my body, felt a whole lot more self-conscious (and fidgety!) in a bikini.

A bikini body is a mindset, not a size. 

You don’t need to get a bikini body. You do need to work on loving your body, the way it is. It may not be perfect but it doesn’t need to be. 

Don’t wait until you have the perfect body to put on a bikini or a swimsuit.

Unlike what all the magazines, social media, radio ads, television ads or billboards tell us… your bikini body isn’t earned by removing all your body hair, colouring in your brows or finally getting ‘toned’.

Listen to this episode of my podcast No Wellness Wankery for tips to dodge ‘how to get a bikini body BS messages.

4. Get them delivered

Try on a swimsuit at home, always in natural light (that’s the light you’ll be wearing it in) rather than the awkward, unflattering downlighting. Order several swimsuits (in a range of styles and sizes) online.

Check you can return if they don’t fit. Here is a list of awesome swimsuit retailers, for all shapes and sizes. 

5. Take a friend

…if you are your own harshest critic. A supportive friend, mum, sister or partner may help bolster confidence and prevent the negative self-talk cycles from taking over.

Never, EVER go swimsuit shopping with anyone judgemental who will point out your insecurities. 

6. Honour your shape

Is there a set of underwear that you feel really comfortable in? Use them as a guide as it’s probably a shape that works for you.

Not all trends are flattering for non-models. 

Accept your shape and work with it – not against it.

Need a little help to feel more comfortable in your body? 

If you want to stop obsessing over food and learn to respect your body, then I’d love you to check out my app Back to Basics. It’s filled with mindset tips to help you feel good in your body.

Honour your shape, instead of working against it when swimsuit shopping!
Honour your shape, instead of working against it when swimsuit shopping!

7. Make time – in the morning

Throughout the day, most people get bloated. You eat food, your tummy fills up and it just happens (it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you).

Schedule time in the morning to shop for a swimsuit and it may help you feel more comfortable.

Don’t go at peak times. Give yourself enough time so you don’t feel stressed that you haven’t found something after 10 minutes. It can take time.

8. Embrace different cuts and designs.

I’m so grateful that full-piece swimsuits are in fashion. I feel so good in a full piece. Why did I waste so many years trying to fit into a bikini that I kept tugging at?

Try on swimsuits with different cuts and designs until you find out what’s the most comfortable for you.

Wear what makes you feel good. 

I hope these tips make swimsuit shopping easier (and more fun!) for you. Now that you know how to shop for swimsuits…

… don’t forget to sign up for my FREE 30-day challenge, before you leave!

Flip your middle finger to diet culture and find real health instead. Image: Lyndi Cohen

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