Wardrobe 101

Choosing a Swimsuit

Q’s and Tips

Happy day, reader dear!

In our neck of the woods, where summer is (for the most part) ridiculously hot and humid, a trip to the beach to catch an ocean breeze is more than a luxury. It might even qualify as a necessity. Especially for those of us who don’t have pools! Did you know that the above-ground pool business is booming this year? Makes sense. People are cancelling vacations, and club and public pools aren’t opening in many places. For families at home, an above ground pool could be the difference between sanity and murder.

I don’t have an above-ground pool, or an in-ground pool for that matter. (I don’t even have a kiddie pool!) I’ll have to make do with a lawn chair in the sprinkler when it gets that hot. As long as my swimsuit makes me happy, I’m good. In my book, the most important criteria for a swimsuit is comfort and confidence! Because confidence is the most flattering thing you will EVER wear. Confidence. Is. The. New. Black. (But maybe your swimsuit shouldn’t be! More about that below…) If the swimsuit is cute and makes the most of your figure, all the better!

NOTE: I’m not going to get into the one piece versus two piece battle here. I addressed it in this Bikini Body post, and don’t feel any differently than I did then.

As food for thought… And because mindful dressing is my jam:

Number of Pieces

What style of bathing suit feels most like you? A bikini? A maillot? A tankini? This isn’t a body question. It’s a personality question! On the body side, if fit is a struggle, a bikini or tankini from a company that sells pieces separately is your best bet for comfort. These options are good for petites and talls, as well. And yes, if you need to have a swimming suit altered, that can be done.

Note: If body confidence is a challenge, I encourage you to think carefully about the kind of suit you purchase. There are amazing suits out there with Spanx-like qualities, if you are willing to pay the price. Not simply the $$ price. If you can’t breathe easily or go to the bathroom unaided, that’s not much of a confidence boost. Remember: A suit that is difficult to pull on dry will be almost impossible to pull up when wet. Especially in a tiny bathroom stall!

Flatter Your Face

Where do you want them to look? Like all style decisions, you have to think about what to accent! It’s like a magic trick. All the distraction in the world won’t help if you don’t give them somewhere you want them to look! Which is why: When I help a client choose a swimming suit and we’ve made sure all the private bits are covered, I look for the very best color and neckline! TIP: Look for a suit in the same color as your eyes! If you can’t find that, then choose one in a color that flatters your skin tone. I know black and dark navy are easy to find, but unless your haircolor is very dark, it’s best to pass. That dark suit will create a body focus rather than a face focus! Where would you rather keep the attention? As for neckline? We want to take both face shape and body shape into account. Choose the one that best flatters your face, decollete, and bust!

Bikini Bound

What do you need? Starting at the top: If the girls need support, stay with bra-style tops. If you want your bust to look larger, try a bandeau! Triangles on a string can slide… Those sewn to a band are more supportive and less “risky.” I remember having a string bikini in the 70’s! And hating all the hi-cut bottoms of the 80’s. They were supposed to be fabulous for us short-legged ladies, but they never worked for my 8-Shape. Skirted bottoms (not shown) can be darling! Tip: Make sure the skirt isn’t too long. You want it to just cover the booty and inner thigh. Longer, it will draw attention to the area you are trying to cover!


You really didn’t think I’d forget the accessories, did you? Remember to choose a hat, shades and tote you love! It’s the beach, peeps, go big or go home! Confession: My favorite beach tote is totally practical and not at all stylish! (But then again, we are usually beaching it with our grandsons.)

So, how about you? What’s your favorite kind of suit? Bikini? Maillot? Tankini? Would you be interested in a bathing suit and body shape post? What color and style is your favorite suit? Do tell! I love to hear from you…

Stylishly yours,



    Liz, There are many omen (myself included) that on’t ear simsuits. I really don’t feel I’m missing anything. I used to enjoy alking on the beach at sundon very much. I’m unsure if I ould be able to do that anymore ith my balance issues. I’ve alays tried to stay out of the sun as much as possable. The product I enjoy every year for some color is Jergen’s Natual Glo.

    • Liz K

      Thank you for the recommendation, Natalie! I think that’s the one I used to use. I really need to get some color on my poor pasty legs… You’re right about there being a lot of women who don’t wear swimsuits. I’ve had to help a few clients get them for water therapy for surgical recovery.

  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    I love being in our pool and really swim when I am in there but hate getting more sun exposure. Was a sun worshiper years ago when we didn’t know any better. And the damage is real. Now days I slather on the sun screen but still get darker. Finally ordered a long sleeve swimming shirt and shorts.
    Would like to try a one piece again but feel uncomfortable about showing the very tops of my legs. All of your tips are very helpful. And the accessories! Most fun of all!

    • Liz K

      A pool sounds just lovely right now! I can’t imagine when I might see water again… I’ve always been a burn then tan girl, so sunbathing may have been what we tried to do, but I never did it well. Laying still isn’t me, and in the sun where it’s hot? Think again. Where did you find your long sleeved swimming shirt? I have a few from Land’s End that I LOVE. I wear them for exercise, too!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.