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Shopping Tips

3 Secrets to Swimsuit Shopping

I’m starting this season’s swimsuit blog with the 3 new swimsuits I just bought myself. How is that for truth in advertising? Figuring out where to buy a new swimsuit can be so overwhelming that most people put it off. Sort of like new jeans, but waaaay worse. Well the summer is under way and we’ve done all the work for you. No excuse now ladies. Start shopping.

But first, a few secrets to swimsuit shopping. One, figure out what you need. I actually have a ton of cute bathing suits, mostly bikinis I wear layered with brightly colored rash guards because I would now never wear a bikini on its own. What I didn’t have is a one-piece that fit well, felt updated, and like my kids couldn’t easily cause a wardrobe malfunction moment.

Two, figure out which brand or brands fit you best. I was having breakfast with a friend last week and she said that J. Crew bathing suits just fit her. She could order them online and knew they would always work. This is priceless information!

I had purchased a Lands’ End bathing suit after James was born that worked really well for me for years, but thankfully is a bit big now. I knew that the D-cup sizing, underwire, ruching, and skirting styling all worked really well for me. I also knew that the bathing suit still looked brand new after 5 years. Granted, it hasn’t gotten a ton of use, but since we just joined a pool I wanted to make sure that whatever I bought would stand up to regular chlorine exposure. I hadn’t planned to keep all three suits because I never dreamed they would all fit. I ordered one size down from the last one I had, and went with the styling that had worked the last time. The least optimal of the three is the cobalt and green square-neck one, not because I don’t love the style of the bathing suit, but because without the ruching I can’t wear it after an afternoon of too much pizza and birthday cake.

The third and last secret to bathing suit shopping is to just go ahead and order one size bigger than your usual dress size. Don’t debate it, don’t feel bad about it, just add one size and move on. Sort of like Theory pants.

What are your favorite bathing suit brands?

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Lands’ End

Lands’ End is my go-to swimsuit brand. The quality is incredible, the fit (especially the D cup sizing) is right, and they have so many styles available that there is practically a suit for everyone. They also have rash guards for women, swim skirt and short separates, and endless mix and match two-piece suits. They also have the most sizes, ranging from petite 2 to women’s 26, with tall and tall plus!

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Lands’ End D-Cup Slender Surplice Tunic One Piece Swimsuit with Tummy Control, $129 $50.99

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Lands’ End D-Cup Square Neck One Piece Swimsuit, $74.95 $37

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Lands’ End Slender Wrap One Piece Swimsuit with Tummy Control, $139 $61.99

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Lands’ End Blouson Tankini Top, $61.95

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Athleta

A lot of RLS clients love Athleta bathing suits. They have comfortable suits you can really move in, tops in bra sizes, great rash guards, and a lot of mix and match two-piece options. I love the palm print! Their suits come in regular, tall, and petite sizing.

Athleta Pacifica Wrap Front Tank, $54

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Athleta Midnight Palm Rashguard, $69 and Medium Bottom, $49 

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Athleta Desert Geo High Neck Bikini Top, $69 and Full Scrunch Bottom, $54

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Athleta Marbella Long Sleeve Crop Rashguard, $72 and Medium Bottom, $49

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Athleta Aqualuxe Paradaiso Blousy Tankini, $84 and Paradaiso Bottom, $59

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Athleta Aqualuxe Bra-Sized Bikini Top, $69 and High Rise Bottom, $64

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Madewell

Madewell swimsuits are good if you don’t need as much structure and shape in your suit, but want modern, chic styling. That Daisy Field rash guard and matching bottom is beyond! Their new Second Wave line is made from recycled plastic, so you can feel good about your purchase too. Their suits come in size XXS to 3X.

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Madewell Second Wave Ribbed Racerback One-Piece Swimsuit, $69.50

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Madewell Second Wave Tank One-Piece Swimsuit in Rainbow Stripe, $75

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Madewell Second Wave Short Sleeve Rash Guard in Daisy Field, $59.50 and Matching Bottom, $45

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Madewell Second Wave Ruffled Drawstring One-Piece Swimsuit, $75

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Madewell Second Wave Button-Front Bikini Top, $49.50 and Bikini Bottom, $45

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Summersalt

Summersalt is a relatively new digitally-native swimsuit brand. They are attempting to break the mold of idealized swimsuit modeling by showing their suits on women with many different body types. I received a fold out promotional piece in the mail from Summersalt with these images and was absolutely floored. My first thought? If these suits look this good on all these women, they will probably look good on me too! Add in a reasonable price point and I’m sure this brand is doing well. Their suits come in size 2 to 22.

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Summersalt Marina One Piece, $95

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Summersalt Current Bikini Top, $50 and High Leg Mid Rise Bikini Bottom, $45

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Summersalt Causeway, $95

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Summersalt Maternity Voyager Bikini Top, $50 and Classic High Rise Bikini Bottom, $45

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Summersalt Sun Shield Swim Tunic, $65

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H&M

When I was young and skinny, I bought a lot of bathing suits at H&M. I’m not saying you have to be young and skinny to wear their suits, I’m just saying that is the last time I shopped there for a swimsuit! Seriously though, if you want an inexpensive suit, H&M suits are adorable and totally decent quality. I really wish I still had the body for the green snakeskin bikini! Their sizes range from 2 to 18, with some plus styles too.

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H&M Off the Shoulder Swimsuit, $49.99

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H&M Padded Bikini Top, $24.99 and High Waist Bottoms, $19.99

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H&M Shaping Swimsuit, $34.99

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H&M+ Bikini Top, $29.99 and High Waist Bottom, $24.99

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H&M One Shoulder Swimsuit, $39.99

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Everything But Water

Everything But Water is the store we send people to when they call, email, or come running up to me in the school pick-up lane, panicking that they need a bathing suit in December or February. You can get a great bathing suit here any time of the year and most major markets have one. I didn’t say it was going to be cheap, but you will feel and look good. They also have great accessories like hats and cover-ups. You’re welcome. Below are some of our favorite brands to shop from Everything But Water, but the store has a ton of sizes with bra sizing and plus sizing.

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Robin Piccone Plunge One Piece Swimsuit, $158

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Robin Piccone Striped Bandeau One Piece Swimsuit, $148

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Robin Piccone Mixed Crochet High Neck One Piece Swimsuit, $158

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Seafolly Ring Side High Neck One Piece Swimsuit, $128

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Seafolly Tank Cut Bikini Top, $118 and Hipster Bottom, $62

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Mara Hoffman Isolde Surplice One Piece Swimsuit, $325

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Mara Hoffman Carla Bralette Bikini Top, $160 and High Waist Bottom, $175

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Karla Colletto Rick Rack Scoop Neck One Piece, $373

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Karla Colletto Sorella Colorblock One Piece Swimsuit, $311

 

 

Lani Inlander is a personal stylist who has been working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day for over 15 years. You can find her in the Washington, D.C. and New York metropolitan areas. Learn how you can train with Lani to become a personal stylist at The Stylist Studio

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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