As warmer weather is on its way or maybe you are off on a holiday, you look in the cupboard and dig out that favourite cozzie.
Trying it on you realise it doesn’t fit you any longer. It is either ridiculously small (it must have shrunk) or it is ridiculously large (it is possibly suffering from Lycra breakdown).
It is time to take the plunge and buy a new one, for many people this can be a daunting project, where do you start?
A swimsuit is something you can’t cut corners on. It is the most confronting garment you will wear, it needs to fit well and be the right style for you. You will be out on the beach, at a friend’s pool party or at the fabulous resort pool, everyone will be looking at you.
Or so you think… think again, the first thing to realise is that actually everyone else is so worried about how they look, (with the exception of the Elle McPherson look alikes), that they are not looking at you. They really have no concern about you, your body shape or generally what you look like. If you have put some time into getting the right style and fit for your body, you have nothing to worry about. No one should feel uncomfortable in their cozzie. It should be well fitted and styled to suit your body shape.
There are do’s and don’ts in the process of shopping for a cozzie and there are do’s and don’ts in the fitting and choosing the style of your cozzie.
Firstly we will take you through the seven do’s and don’ts when buying your cozzies.
Don’t bring your best friend along with you.
You know the friend who tells you how much she knows about swimwear and how it should look and fit. She thinks she is an expert but believe me, she really has no idea…
These lovely friends run from one section of the store to another grabbing swimwear they like, they don’t seem to get the fact that they are all wrong for your body shape. Your devoted friend might be tall with small a bust and a large bottom, you on the other hand are possibly short with G cup breasts and no bottom.
With the limited experience your friend has had in fitting anyone other than herself and the definite limited experience she has with the stores range of swimwear, how is she ever going to know what is available for you.
We all know she has the best intentions but you are much better off on your own. Leave your girlfriend at home, go to a specialist swimwear store and let the qualified staff fit you properly.
Don’t bring your boyfriend or partner.
One will want you to buy the same cozzie he saw in the latest beer ad. The other will tell you look fabulous in everything you try on. God bless them, they think we are perfect and everything we wear looks great. Show them when you have purchased the right cozzie, they will delighted with how you look. Leave him at home doing the washing or the dishes for you, that will be much more help. You will come home to the housework done and be able to show him how stunning you look in your new cozzie. He may be so delighted they he will even pay the bill for you.
Don’t go to the local department store if you want any assistance with choosing the right style for you.
Department stores are big and impersonal. You take the swimsuits you think will work into the fitting room, there you are left on your own. They don’t fit or they look terrible, you have to get dressed and go look for more. If there is an assistant to get different sizes for you, it is very unlikely that she will give you honest advice. “Oh dear you look lovely in that”. Why do they always call you dear and no
I don’t look lovely, I look like a beached whale. These women are not really interested in how well the swimsuit fits
or whether the style is right for your body shape. Their main objective is to make the sale, not to ensure you are comfortable in your cozzie.
Don’t go to the local surf shop if you are not a size 8 with no boobs.
Surf shops cater for the very young and very slim, this is not the majority of the population. If you have boobs, a tummy or thighs their swimsuits are not going to work for you. These stores usually employ the same young girls as assistants. I once asked for a particular size in some shorts I liked in a surf shop, the young lady had no idea what sizes the short came in and suggested I look through the rack myself to check for sizes.
Definitely DO GO to a specialist swimwear store.
The assistants in these stores are trained in fitting swimwear. They will take you through the process of selecting the right fit, shape and colour for you. Don’t go into the fitting room and hide from the staff, they are there to help you get the right cozzie. Let them see how the different styles work or don’t work. The ones that don’t work are possibly the most important, this will help them help you to choose the best cozzie for you. They know their stock and once the right style has been established they can show you all your options. Remember you will be wearing this cozzie in public, start by showing the shop assistant how it looks and fits. Let them help to get these things right and you will be more confident going out on the beach or lounging by the pool.
Be open to different styles.
That halter neck bikini you had 20 years ago is nothing like the swimwear
of today. Cozzies are now made by some great Aussie brands plus many from overseas and even companies that normally specialise in lingerie and are making swimwear. They know how to support boobs. A well-designed halter top should not necessarily be a weight on your neck. If it is designed well, it should support your boobs without hanging them on your neck. The same with bandeau styles, the ones made by lingerie companies will sit well, support your boobs and definitely not fall off in the surf or pool.
Swimwear comes in more colours than Black.
We have been brainwashed into thinking that Black is the most slimming colour to wear. Colours can be more flattering on most people and a pattern breaks up the area, therefore making you look smaller and blending in the lumps and bumps. Try it, it really works. I would prefer to be in a colourful pattern than be a Black blob. Be open to everything, try as many styles and colours as you can. You will find the right cozzie and it will look fantastic. Don’t be shy about how many cozzies you try on…..it is the only way to see what works on you.
Please don’t be the lady who says I only want black and then locks herself in the fitting room.
She is also the lady who walks in and says “I haven’t been able to find anything that I like” or “I haven’t been able to find anything that suits me” then she adds “I’ve been looking for years.” No wonder, until she lets someone with experience help she not going to find one. She needs an objective eye to help her to find the right shape and colour for her.
I am going to say a little about wearing board shorts as cozzie bottoms.
I am not a fan of this fashion which seems to be followed mostly by young girls. If it is your preferred style be sure you get the length right for you height. You don’t want a boardie that is below your knee if you are only 5ft tall. Try a few different lengths on and see which one suits you best, stand back and take an objective look. Look to see if you look balanced, is your top in balance to your bottom or is your bottom looking lots bigger than your top. Be objective and try to get that balance right.
Don’t think board shorts hide thighs, mostly they make thighs look bigger and don’t hide anything.
Know your shape
One more thing before we get on to body shapes…
Make sure you get a firm fit when buying swimwear. Swimwear gets bigger when it is wet and it gets bigger with time. Swimwear made of lycra or polyester will never shrink, it will only get bigger. Never start out with the fit
to comfortable, a couple of wears and it will be loose. The ideal is a really firm fit without being too tight. When buying bottoms this can be a trap make sure they are a snug fit. Many people look to a bigger size in bottoms for more coverage. The extra coverage is minimal and the loose fit is not nice, especially when the cozzie gets wet. We want to look as good as possible with the bodies we have. Don’t spoil it by having the bottom of your new cozzie a size to big.
This is your check list, go through and tick the box that applies as closely as possible to your body shape.
- Big Bottom Belinda
- Cuddly Cindy
- Big Busty Betty
- Tiny Tina
- Small Bust Susie
- Curvy Kate
- Long Bodied Larissa
These are the basic rules of swimwear…
Big Bottom Belinda
This is your typical Aussie shape bigger in the bottom than the top. The pear shaped figure. To help balance the top the bottom you need to use a few tricks of the eye. A patterned tankini with a plain dark bottom will make your bottom look smaller and give balance to the traditional pear shaped woman. If you have large legs and thighs try a higher cut leg. No swimwear is made with a really high cut leg these days. If you can get one with a slightly higher cut leg, it will make your legs look longer and therefore slimmer. Don’t think a Boyleg style will hide your big thighs. Boyleg’s make your thighs look much bigger. They hide nothing, they just cut your leg line straight across and make the thigh look bigger. Some of the retro styles with low leg lines are working well on big thighs, try one on see if it works for you. In a full piece go for a lighter colour pattern top and a plain darker colour bottom.
More than a couple of kilo over her ideal weight and still looking gorgeous. In a full piece try a pattern on the breast area and plain on the rest of the cozzie, this will take the eye away from large tummies, thighs and even bottoms.
Thus keeping the eye at the best part of your figure. Wear a tankini with a
high waisted pant with power mesh lining, this will hold the tummy in and eliminate an extra bulge on the tummy. Use a pattern to distract from your tummy shape. Most patterns will accomplish this, bigger patterns will work best as they create the illusion that you are smaller. Broken stripes can be good for this. Don’t believe that stripes make you look bigger, it is just not true. Any pattern that breaks up the area will make you look smaller but larger patterns are best. Lots of Cuddly Cindy’s look great in a bikini, if this is the style you prefer look for the larger patterns on a dark background. Bikini tops can be either halter neck or over the shoulder. Try then on see which one is best for you.
Big Busty Betty
This lady or girl has a very full bust that is anything from a D to a G cup fitting. There is plenty of swimwear in cup fittings now. Look for underwire, power mesh lining, thicker straps to avoid straps cutting into your neck. Larger patterns will also make your bust look smaller. Dark colours are not necessarily going to make you look smaller, sometimes they may even make you look bigger. In a full piece look for patterns and styles that take the eye away from your large bust. Something with a feature away from the bust line, a jewel on the waist, draping over the tummy, a draw tie on the leg line, anything to take away from the large bust area.
The perfect little figure. There are lots of cozzies you can wear. Frills, ruffles and gathered tops will all suit you. Tie side briefs can look great on you too. Really though you are so lucky with your tiny body I wonder why you are reading this, you can wear anything you like.
Small Busted Susie
This body is usually small in the bust and pretty slim everywhere. Use
the frilled styles that are in fashion at the moment, they are made for
you. Draping and gathering on the top will also help create the illusion of more bust. The balconette styles that are in fashion now will boost your
bust and look great on your small frame. There are also silicone boosters available. These are best fitted into a pocket that a lot of swimwear has. Most swimwear with removable soft cups has this pocket. They are in several different shapes and can make a big difference to how the top looks. If you decide to try them please be sure your cozzie has this pocket. It would be most embarrassing if you were swimming and they floated by in the pool. Also in a full piece look for the frilled and ruffled styles for today. Especially look at the great styles with a large frill on the neckline. You are the one who can wear Boyleg briefs, these will help your legs look stronger and balanced to your gathered top.
The old fashioned hourglass figure. Maybe with a little more curve these days. Cross over designs, draping and power mesh all work to distract and create a softer look. Try some drape styles; see how the draping breaks the area up, thus creating a smaller look. It also works to create more waistline by crossing over on your waist and giving this area the focus. Patterns are another tool to use to hide the bumps in your body. Remember larger patterns are going make you look smaller and smaller patterns could make you look bigger. Patterns are definitely more slimming in most cases than a plain colour. In full piece try different necklines, V-neck, square neck, all necklines. As in your dresses there will be one neckline that works best for you. The one that works will be the one that gives you the best body shape.
Long Bodied Larissa
This can be one of the most difficult bodies to work with. Most full piece cozzies are not long enough and are not flattering. There are a few brands that cater for the long body, but most long bodied women are better in a tankini
or a bikini. One of the best styles for the long body is the retro high pant that is very much is fashion now. These pants sit much higher and can be almost
to the waist. This style helps to shorten the gap between the top and bottom, thus making the long body look more balanced. Tankini’s can also be difficult for the long body, although there are quite a few brands that are making their Tankini’s longer to suit this market.
OK these are the basic rules for choosing swimwear and there are many more I could add. We don’t want to make it difficult for you, so go with the basics and see where they lead you.
If you look back at what I am saying you will see the principal is all about balance. Balancing, big boobs, small bottoms, small boobs, big bottoms, big thighs, small thighs, etc, etc.
Once the balance is right the cozzie will look great. You will look your best, we are not all as lucky as Elle McPherson, we don’t all have her beautiful long legs, great tummy and boobs. If we did she would not be a world famous model, she would just another girl.
We all do have the ability to look as good as possible with all the styles, colours and shapes available to us.
Now I have said that I want you to go out and ignore all the rules I have just told you.
Go on, ignore them, go and try as many cozzies as you can get all the different styles you can and try them on. You will find you start to get a feel for what is right for you. Just with the knowledge I have given you and without trying to follow the rules you will find you are starting to look at yourself and the way the cozzies fit in a different way. By being aware to look objectively at yourself you will find you are starting to apply the rules I have been talking about. Now you are looking to balance your body, the way to do that is by following the basic rules. As I said in the beginning rules are difficult to apply when our bodies vary just that little bit, but that little bit makes a huge difference.
The basics of the rules are just that basics, use them to help you choose your cozzies. Then look at yourself objectively, you will find the right style for you. Go to a specialist swimwear store and get all the help and advice you can.
You will also find that some of the rules are applying to you, it does work and it is just a matter of putting it all together. Getting the balance right, top to bottom, big busts, small busts, big bottoms and small bottoms. We are an amazing mix of sizes and shapes; we are all able to look great in a swimsuit. It is just a matter of getting the right one for you.
As I said in the beginning a swimsuit is the most confronting garment you will wear. It is important you feel comfortable and confident.
Follow all the rules I have listed, adjust them to your own personal needs and shape, most importantly enjoy your cozzie and enjoy your body…