Shopping for bathers need not be an overwhelming experience — the experts in swimwear fitting say the key is to hit the change room with an open mind.

As the weather continues to heat up and shopping for bathers becomes a necessity, don’t be hard on yourself.

Fran Holdsworth, swimwear manager and buyer at Four Seasons, says some women try too hard to hide their least-favourite body zones and end up unwittingly highlighting them.

“Some ladies are frightened of big, bright colours with big prints — they tend to want to go dark and black and think they won’t be noticed, ” she says.

“It’s best to bring the focus to areas you do like — if you don’t like your legs, we’ll get something with a print on the top part so that’s where the eye is drawn.”

The biggest trend this season in bikinis is the high-necked top, Ms Holdsworth says.

“This is the perfect top for a pear-shaped woman. It will draw the eye upwards, so it’s great if you are a bit bigger at the bottom and it also suits if you are smaller in the bust because it will make you look bigger, ” she says.

Seafolly head designer and creative director Genelle Walkom says be open to mixing and matching this season – she recommends pairing a high-waisted bottom with a bandeau, bustier or even a triangle – perfect if you have a long waist.

Jessika Allen, design director at JETS by Jessika Allen, says be kind to yourself when bathers shopping.

“Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel good — eat a healthy breakfast, wear comfy shoes and loose clothing for ease in changing and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, ” she says.

“I always make sure I’m in a good mood and feeling my best before I spend time in the change room.”

While it’s easy to categorise your body shape into one of those mentioned frequently (such as apple or pear), sticking too closely to these shapes isn’t always a great idea. Instead, Kelli Wharton, creative director at Talulah, recommends trying on lots of options until you find a style and shape that’s right for you.

“Rather than shopping by body type that the industry has defined, spend time trying on different swim styles, shapes, colours and prints — try them all until you define a look that’s not only your own but makes you feel beautiful.”

Asking for assistance in specialty stores can make the process easier. Ms Holdsworth says a lack of help can leave women confused and intimidated about what to buy.

“If you’re fuller in the bust, people may not know some swimsuits go up to an H cup — if you’re worried about your tummy, people may not understand that some swimsuits have shapewear in them, ” she says.

Rebecca Steinmueller, head retail manager at Gypsea Swimwear, says be open to trying new styles – you may be pleasantly surprised.


© The West Australian

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