It is no secret that most people dread the shopping experience of buying new swimwear. The item is notoriously one of the most difficult wardrobe staples to shop for. Given the pandemic, despite the fact retail stores have reopened, this year, many of us are choosing to shop for swimwear online instead of in person. And for many of us, myself included, it will be the first time embarking on this somewhat daunting experience.
Given my trepidation, I decided to check in with a few experts to better understand the best way to shop for swimwear online. Speaking to the designers behind up-and-coming brands Ack, Hunza G and Gyko, I asked for the top tips on ensuring you find swimwear that not only fits but also flatters.
From using Instagram to browse bikinis on different body shapes to engaging with a website's online chat function and ensuring you get a 360-degree view of the item, the advice I received was both useful and extremely practical. That's why they are the experts, after all. Keep scrolling for three designers' advice on the best way to shop for swimwear online.
Georgiana Huddart: Hunza G Swimwear
Courtesy of Hunza G
"Check where and how it is produced (fabric content, ethical production, etc.) and make sure you can see imagery of it on different body types from all angles. Try not to order a size up. Be confident in the size you order, baggy swimwear does not mean more flattering. Or buy a one-size fit like Hunza G!
It’s not unlike what lingerie you think suits you best or you feel most comfortable in. Most swimwear brands have a cross-reference from underwear, so if a balconette bra is the one for you then try and find a bikini shape that’s relatively similar."
"Get inspired by the IG of the brand, search for a girl with a similar body to yours and see what shape she is wearing. Investigate the story behind the brand and the origin of the product."
The best way to shop online is to look for brands who invest in research and fit. Many brands (Ack included) are taking on this challenge and spending time and energy in the collection process to make sure that they design for every kind of body and silhouette. This generally happens with small/mid-size brands who really put a lot of effort into everything they do.
Highlight the favourite part of your body, for example, if you like your back and your shoulders, go for a nice one-piece with a deep neckline that will distract from the features that you like less."
"If the brand you're looking at has an Instagram, online chat or email where they've offered to help you choose the right size, use it! They'll know their styles and fits best and you'll be far less likely to return or exchange. It's their job to find the right fit for you and if they get it right you'll feel fantastic.
Pick your style from the brand's social channel rather than the website and look at tagged photos; you'll get a much better perspective of what the pieces look like on different women and shapes rather than just those used in the e-comm shoot. Also, make sure you've seen what the swimwear looks like from a 360-degree perspective. No one likes being surprised by a cheeky bum when they were expecting full coverage.
"Most independent swim stores will have a separate section on their website that walks you through each style to explain whether it's true to size or should be sized up or down. I really recommend taking the time to go through this as you'll often get recommendations on which styles of theirs suit your shape too. The other easy route to ensure a good fit is going for adjustable styles, tiebacks/sides etc. If pieces aren't adjustable and you are between sizes I would always recommend sizing up unless the designer tells you otherwise. You'll avoid any unnecessary digging in and feel far more comfortable when you're in it!"