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how to buy a swimsuit that fits

Here’s a little-known style secret: The best way to feel self-assured in a swimsuit is to find one that fits you flawlessly. Indeed, we’re firm believers that every body is a bikini body — but the key is to find a bathing suit that accents your assets and hugs your curves in all the right places.

However, finding a swimsuit that fits you perfectly requires some research, careful consideration, and yes, sometime in the fitting room (sorry, but you’ll thank us later!).

Trust us, the hunt for the perfect bathing suit has a payoff that makes all the effort well worth it: Not only will you feel more confident at the beach, but you’re also bound to turn a few heads, too.

Need a little guidance? Here are some top tips to help you figure out whether a swimsuit fits well.

1.  You forget the straps are there.

When a swimsuit fits properly, you won’t have to worry about the straps whatsoever. You’ll never have to pull them back onto your shoulders because they keep falling down. You also won’t have to deal with them digging into your shoulders and causing discomfort or pain. If you have a full bust line, you may want to seek out bathing suits that have wider straps, as they can help to distribute the weight of your boobs better, causing less strain on your shoulders and neck. Also, it can be extremely helpful to look for bathing suits with adjustable straps so you can achieve a flawless fit for your particular body. To check if the top fits properly before buying a swimsuit, try slipping a finger or two under the straps — if you can’t fit them, that likely means it’s too small, but if you can fit more than that, it’s probably too big.

2.  The bottoms will feel like a second skin.

Ever had a bathing suit bottom that cuts into your derriere? It’s not only unpleasant but unsightly to boot. Or, what about a bottom that’s saggy, because your butt simply doesn’t fill it out? You deserve a bathing suit that fits your bottom well, and you can definitely find one, though it may take a little trial and error to figure out which style suits your shape. Experiment with some different bottom styles to find one that works for your body — like boyshorts, high-waisted briefs, high-cut bikinis, and cheeky Brazilian cuts. Pro tip: If you’ve got shapely hips, look for a bottom with adjustable sides so you can make sure the bathing suit conforms nicely to your figure.

3.  The band stays in place.

If you’re shopping for two-piece bathing suits, you should always check the band to determine if the top fits well. This is because just like with bras, the band on your bathing suit top provides the majority of the support. The band should lay totally flat all the way around your torso, to take a spin around and scope out the back in the mirror. If the band is riding up in the back, your top is probably too big. Ideally, the band will feel snug (you shouldn’t be able to squeeze more than a finger or two underneath it), but not so tight that it restricts your movement or breathing.

Related: 6 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Swimsuit

how should swimsuits fit

Oceane Padded Bikini Top | Oceane Bikini Bottom in Splash Print

4.  The band feels snug and supportive.

Speaking of the band, if you’re buying bathing suits with adjustable bands (and we highly recommend doing so!) you definitely want to ensure that the band feels snug on the loosest setting. Why? Well, your bathing suit is bound to stretch out the more you wear and wash it. So, it’s important that you’re able to tighten the band as needed over time. That’s the only way to ensure that you’re getting adequate support.

5.  The cups provide the perfect amount of coverage.

It’s tough to feel totally confident in a swimsuit if you’re constantly checking to see if you’re spilling out of the top or sides. So, make sure to prioritize coverage while you’re shopping, whether you go for a one-piece bathing suit, tankini, or bikini. Your top should reveal only the amount of cleavage you’re comfortable with, and the cups definitely shouldn’t cut into your breast tissue (thus causing the dreaded “quad-boob” look). The top of the cups should lay flat against your breasts, with no gaping or puckering.

While trying bathing suits on, try bending forward to make sure the top still sufficiently contains your breasts. And if you’re opting for an underwire bikini top, check to confirm that the wire rests firmly against your torso, without digging into the breast tissue or floating away from your chest. If you plan to be active in your bathing suit (impromptu beach volleyball is tough to say no to), you’ll want to be extra sure that you feel secure. Try jumping up and down a bit in the fitting room to determine whether the top can stay in place.

Pro tips

Your bathing suit should make you feel nothing short of fabulous, and the only way it can do that is if it fits you flawlessly. Look for these signs that your swimsuit is well suited to your particular figure, and remember: It may take a few shopping trips to find some styles that work for you, but your patience will certainly pay off when you’re strutting down to the resort pool, brimming with self-confidence.

Related: 7 Things To Look For In The Perfect Swimsuit

how should swimsuit bottoms fit

Oceane Padded Bikini Top | Oceane Bikini Bottom in Splash Print

We Highly Recommend

If you’re shopping for a swimsuit that fits your bust perfectly, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find swimsuit tops that stay in place, especially when you’re shopping on your own. If you’re full-busted and you’ve struggled with finding a flattering swimsuit top or if you’ve never tried a bra-sized swim top before, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings and carry a selection of swimsuits and swimsuit tops. Their expert bra fitters can help take the pain and frustration out of swimsuit shopping and do all the work for you. They can help you find a bra-sized swimsuit top with the support and lift that you’re looking for and they can also help you find new everyday bras that fit well and feel good. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best swimsuits are hiding.

If you’re not happy with the swimsuits in your closet, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy swimsuit shopping!

Featured image swimwear:
Oceane Padded Bikini Top | Oceane Bikini Bottom in Splash Print
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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