How to have a positive swimsuit shopping experience.

How many of you can relate to this scenario?; Summer is around the corner, or maybe a vacation is coming up and you want to treat yourself to a new swimsuit. You’re excited about the time off from the stresses of life, you’re ready for some sunshine and you’re ready to feel GOOD. So you head to the department store, you try on a million suits – in less than forgiving department store lighting – and after trying on a gazillion suits, all you leave with is bad body image and feeling badly about yourself. You go home, either with a suit that you only kinda-sorta-like but forced yourself to get, or, go home empty handed all together. You feel defeated. You feel stressed and now, you feel anxious about your days in the sun that await. You start telling yourself you need to go on a diet, do a cleanse, join a gym, take diet pills, starve yourself, quit drinking, quit eating... you fill in the ______, and the sabotaging cycle continues.

This has been my experience with swimsuit shopping almost my entire life.

So, I’m on a mission to make swimsuit shopping a less traumatizing experience for women and wanted to share some do’s and don’ts for creating a healthy swimsuit shopping experience. Because remember, there is only one real way to have a beach body: have a body, and go to the beach :)

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When trying on swimwear this summer...

DO’S:

  • Order swimsuits online that you can try on in an environment that makes you feel comfortable.

  • Order multiple sizes of one design if you know you like it – you can always return the pieces you don’t need.

  • Wait to try on suits when you are in a healthy headspace – even if that package needs to sit in your closet for 5 days before opening.

  • Reference each brand’s sizing chart before ordering. So many brands run differently and there’s nothing that will zap your self esteem faster than trying on a swimsuit that runs REALLY small – be honest with the size you need.

  • Get enough sleep the night before.

  • Put on your power playlist and DANCE – I’d start with Beyoncé.

  • Wash your hair and body first – empower your personal appearance.

  • Do yoga first.

  • Recognize and honor the swim style that makes you most comfortable. – Have no shame in wearing a one piece or full coverage suits.

  • Accessorize with a sarong or cover-up you LOVE.

  • Consider colors that work well with your skin tone (right now). White and light colored suits look great once you’re golden brown, but more likely than not right now, we’re all coming out of hibernation and are pale AF.

DON’TS:

  • Don’t try on swimwear when you are PMSing or on your period.

  • Don’t try on swimwear when you’ve been arguing with a partner / parent / friend.

  • Don’t try on swimwear when you’re hungover.

  • Don’t try on swimwear after boozy brunch.

  • Don’t try on swimwear if you’ve been binge watching Netflix all weekend.

  • Don’t try on swimwear if you are already talking negatively to yourself.

  • Don’t try on swimwear if you are overwhelmed with tasks.

  • Don’t try on swimwear with someone you will compare yourself to.

  • Don’t try on swimwear with cheeky bottoms if you KNOW you don’t feel comfortable showing your booty.

  • Don’t order a size smaller as a bargain with yourself to lose weight.

  • Don’t ask your partner if he/she likes it on you – their opinion means nothing when it comes to your confidence.

Here are two suits that I traveled around Australia’s best beaches with and would recommend to anyone reading this. They are both available on Backcountry.com

L Space Rebel Stripe Bikini Top & Portia Strip Bikini Bottom: I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a bikini as much as I love this one. The bottoms fit like a GLOVE and were true to size. The provided the right amount of coverage to make me feel comfortable without feeling “too-covered” or like I was wearing a diaper. The high-leg cut made my legs feel very long and slender. The top runs a little small – I am usually a small in tops (because I have no chest) but I could easily need a medium in this design. I felt incredibly sexy, athletic and confident in this suit. I would order again in a different color!

Shop this suit:  http://bit.ly/2TKUKFp

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Vitamin A Lou Bikini Top & Lupe California Cut Bikini Bottom: I love the print of this suit and it’s high-waist coverage. The bottoms were a little cheeky for me, but while visiting Byron Bay, it was very normal to see women wearing thongs on the beach. Seeing other women so confidently show their bums made me feel more confident in doing so, too. The suit runs very small though and I would strongly recommend ordering a size or two, up. Be sure to reference their sizing chart.

Shop this suit: http://bit.ly/2HJSsPp 

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I accessorized both these suits with a Brixton Hat and Pendleton Beach Bag.

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Shop this bag:  http://bit.ly/2OlwqnD

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Shop this hat: http://bit.ly/2ObX1U1

You can order all of these items on Backcountry.com an be sure to use SARAH15 at checkout to receive 15% off your first order. Shop my entire collection: http://bit.ly/2W9QCeI

And remember, your worth is never measured by the size of swimsuit or style you end up with, so go with a suit that makes you feel confident and comfortable so you can show up this summer as the best version of you!