We’ve already gone ahead and declared this the summer of body positivity—and as part of that mission, we want to help you find a swimsuit that makes you feel like a million bucks. At the same time, we’ve yet to meet a woman who sincerely enjoys swimsuit shopping (and if you do, please tell us your secret!). But there are ways to make the process more bearable—and end up with a suit you absolutely love.
Step 1: Get in your head
“Many of us have had previous experiences that have left us feeling shame or discomfort or even unworthy of the experiences that bathing suits allow—like going to the beach,” says Sarah Nicole Landry of The Bird’s Papaya, one of our June-July cover stars. “So once we recognize that we are in fact worthy of these experiences, it can take the pressure off of our bodies to conform.”
Step 2: Allot yourself enough time to try on a bunch of suits
Basic but true. If you legitimately love the first one you try on, consider yourself blessed (also consider buying a lottery ticket).
Step 3: If you’re shopping online, read the reviews
“I will rifle through the reviews checking to see if it runs large, small or is true to size—in my experience they generally run small so I size up,” says Charandeep Parmar, another of our June-July cover stars. “I also go through picture reviews to see if there are women with similar body types so I can visualize what it would look like on me. If a swimsuit doesn’t have reviews I don’t take the risk.”
Step 4: Focus on fit
“Lots of women get down on themselves because they are looking to fit a style, instead of finding a style that fits them,” says Lori Bacon, CEO of Canadian swimwear retailer, Swimco. “Be ready to love a swimsuit you never thought you would wear; the right fit makes all the difference.”
Above all, remember this sage advice from Landry: “Swimwear is meant to work for us, not the other way around.”
Step 5: Hit the beach and have some fun
Need more inspo? We’ve rounded up 100+ of the season’s cutest suits.