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How to find a swimsuit that actually FITS!

Anita McLachlan - 17th April 2020

It's a seemingly simple act, getting into a swimsuit. But you and I know better. Finding a swimsuit that actually fits well rather than 'will do' is not easy, especially when you're a woman in her prime. Why settle for 'will do' when that swimsuit IS out there for you? Feeling confident in a swimsuit makes a big difference. It unlocks possibilities and empowers you to live summer on your terms, your way; making wonderful memories with family and friends.

How would I know? I've owned Sequins and Sand for over 10 years now, fitting and selling swimwear online all of that time and for a couple of years in studio in Brisbane too. And in that time I've had 1000's of conversations with women, mostly online, about bathers. What they're looking for and need them to do. AND what upsets and frustrates them about buying and getting into one.

So here are my 3 top tips for finding a swimsuit that actually fits you...well.

Tip #1 - Have an Open Mind
The #1 Tip to finding the right cossies has nothing to do with your Size or your Shape. THE most successful outcomes and starts with an Open Mind. Because in my experience, in many cases, what you end up with is not what you had in mind.

The #2 Tip – Measurements Matter
Yours in particular. With swimwear, unlike clothing, because of the stretch, it's hard to say this suit measures x, y, z. So, you have to know yours. A sewing tape is great but if you don't have a measuring tape, a piece of string or wool will do, then measure that against a ruler.

• Bust
• Cup size
• Waist
• Hips
• Torso – long or short

When shopping online, always check the size chart and compare your measurements to the size chart specific for that brand. It's not 'gospel', but is is a great place to start.

Clothing size does not equal Swimsuit size. Don't assume that if you're a a 16 in clothes, you'll be a 16 in togs. It doesn't always translate that way. And just like with clothes, swimwear labels size differently too. Bra size (number and letter) is perhaps the most appropriate that often correlates to a swimsuit sizing, in the bust area.

Knowing your measurements also helps to understand your SHAPE better. Shape matters most.
There are all sorts of body shape 'types' that have been labelled and written about. Apples, pears, bananas, rectangles, triangles and ovals. I've found that when it comes to talking about swimwear, it's specific body parts that women prefer to talk about and relate to.

Areas of their body that they are more conscious of than others. Areas if they could 'conceal' or 'downplay' would help ease their mind when wearing a swimsuit. Here they are. Maybe you can relate:

#1 Rounder Tummy (fuller tummy)
#2 Bust support (for a larger bust)
#3 Wide hips and upper thighs

But there's a little more to it. Just because a swimsuit is the right size, doesn't mean it's the best fit. A cut of a swimsuit, its features and how it's put together needs to work for your shape and needs. Consider cut first and then size.

This leads into Tip #3.

The #3 Tip – Look at a Swimsuit's Construction Otherwise know as the cut.
If you're shopping in the strip or in a centre, grab the swimsuit off the rack and turn it inside out. Have a really good look outside and in.

If you're shopping online, read the descriptions! We spend ages writing those for a very good reason. There are lots of important features and facts packed in there. Look at the images and videos too. The time you spend taking in this information will save you in the long run when it comes to making a decision. And if you're still not sure, or need clarity, then reach out and Contact the store.

If you are shopping online with us at Sequins and Sand we go further with our Fitting Advice and Help. We have a Virtual Fitting Room and a Find Your Fit Questionnaire designed to help you more deeply. Recommendations and solutions tailored specifically to you!

Let's look at those features below. If you like, check them out in the Video below too. They might make more sense that way when you can see what I'm talking about.

RUCHING along the side seams (along the torso) - means more fabric. This will give more stretch for a longer torso/body and helping to hide belly lumps and bumps. So if you are tummy conscious Ruching will be a good friend to you.

CUPS – Construction and Coverage</b>.

  • Construction goes a long way to working out how much support its going to give you. Underwire, strong wide underbust elastic (in a shelf bra) AND look around the BACK too! The best support comes from a high back which will give you more coverage up and under the arms and keep that 'side boob' in place. Connected to the Cups are Straps. Wider straps to share the load that are fully adjustable will help to bring you in and make you feel more supported and secure. Tighten those straps up girls!
  • Coverage - a no brainer really. The move cup coverage the more support. But if you have a particularly fuller bust then look for Gathered Cups. Like Ruching, gathers means more fabric and that means your bust can simply fill the cup and you may not have to go up a size to get the right fit. We have styles like that and they are called 'Underwire Ruched' - in Tankini's, One Pieces and Bikini Tops.

STRAPS - we've covered above. The wider the strap the more load it will carry and spread without digging in. Bit like wedges Vs stilettos. Adjustable straps are always a good idea so you can tighten them in for a custom fit

THE BACK – the higher the back more bust support!

LINING – Comes in many forms and places.

  • Bust lining for a smoother finish,
  • 2 layers of fabric will always give a smoother finish than one - some togs will have lining all the way around. This is more important if the fit is more fitted. A looser fit, not needed so much
  • Powermesh (a mesh with a tighter weave) is a lining often used in the front about the tummy area. Powermesh will bring you in a little more and give you a more secure feeling fit. Not a Miracle Suit super suck in finish, comfortably secure.

SWIMDRESSES - are popular for women wanting to cover upper thighs. They have a unique construction - a one piece under with a 'dress/skirt' sewn over the top. The fall of the 'skirt' will differ depending on where it's sewn in. This influences the fullness of the skirt area and therefore how firmly it will fit.

  • Under the bust - empire line cut. More fitted about the bust then the skirt falls from under the bust
  • From the neckline - will give a fuller fall with maximum room about the hips and tummy

If you can't find the right Shape and Size 'off the rack' then consider getting your swimsuit altered. Yep, it's possible. Take it to a lycra expert though as sewing swimsuits is an art and a specialty skill. Here at Sequins and Sand we offer ALTERATIONS so that you can get the perfect fit. The hardest shape to fit is a full, rounder tummy and flat bum. Taking the legs in works! And is so worth the extra $ and effort. Check out our Alterations Service here!

Thanks girls. I hope you found that helpful. If you need any help finding THAT swimsuit with a great fit, then lean on us for help. We'd love to. Remember our Get Swimsuit Help section for tailored solutions. If you'd rather, give us a call or send us an email here.

Sequins and Sand