June 06, 2019

The Swimwear Shopping Experience

The Swimwear Shopping Experience

As anyone building a brand knows, you learn new things everyday. There are things you know and things you don't know and the key to success is knowing what you don't know, à la Rumsfeld.


Until now, I never knew how much women dreaded swimwear shopping. That may sound naive, but being in the pop up store in London these past few weeks and meeting customers has shown me just how off putting women find the whole process. Not all women dislike trying on swimwear, but most do. 


The selecting and fitting on process to find the right piece can be an arduous task. Some women feel unhappy about their body shape. We can be over critical and sensitive about certain areas of our bodies added to which, there are the colour/skin tone considerations. Some will pine for how they used to look, when to me they look fantastic and are in great shape. It's all very personal.


woman wearing GoGo halter neck swimsuit in Desert taupe

My experience on the front line got me thinking about what could make this task more enjoyable and I wanted to share a few thoughts which I hope will help alleviate some of the 'down feeling' associated with the annual swimwear shop.


1. Overview on motivation - Before you venture out to buy a new swimsuit or bikini, it's good to think about what you're really looking for. Is it a new style you have admired on someone else or seen in a magazine that you're keen to try? Maybe you want to replace a much worn and loved piece that you have felt great in? Maybe you need something more fit for purpose - something more suitable for a new activity (a new love of water sports) or maybe a great piece for lounging by the pool? You could be looking for a celebratory piece - marking that special occasion, a honeymoon, a milestone birthday or anniversary. Whatever the motivation, it's good to think about the purpose as that will inform your choice. Of course on the day, you may be seduced by something totally different, and that's OK too.


2. Research design - We are holidaying more than ever before and as a result swimwear design is more important than ever. There are so many brands to choose from and within each of those, there are so many styles to consider that it is worth exploring all options. Firstly, love the body you're in and work with it. Celebrate your assets. Secondly work out what is important to you - the key features you are looking for and seek out the styles that offer those benefits. As creatures of habit, we gravitate towards the 'same same but different' and I do think it's good to be open minded and to try new styles. That's where the magic happens.


3. Prepare the body - Like anything it is best to start with a good foundation. A smooth glowing skin will instantly make you look and feel better, so in advance of your shopping trip, exfoliate and apply a fake tan. This will mimick the sun kissed look you will have on holiday and it will help you decide on what suits you best, style and colour wise. It will also help combat the negative effects of a badly designed fitting room (hard to avoid), with distorted mirrors and poor lighting. Have your legs and bikini line in order and wear minimal pants that you can discreetly hide under the swimwear allowing you to assess the legline and how it sits with you.  


4. Online shopping - The joy of online shopping is that it offers you freedom. You do it at a  time that suits you. You can conduct your own research, review size charts and product details, select the styles and try them on at home in the comfort of your own surroundings. You can compare and contrast styles and sizes and if inclined, take selfies and even ask your other half what they think. Then you keep what you like and return the rest. 


5. Size doesn't matter - A parting thought, don't get hung up on sizes. With swimwear being a 4-way stretch elastic it will adhere to the individual body shape and you may need more length or width on the body and need to size up from your usual sizing. It's common practice and it's just a number, no big deal.  


My advice, shop with impunity!





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Sizing Chart

























BUST cms

84 (82-86)

88 (86-90)

92 (90-94)

96 (94-98)


64 (62-66)

68 (66-70)

72 (70-74)

76 (74-78)

HIP cms

90 (88-92)

94 (92-96)

98 (96-100)

102 (100-104)


BUST: Measure around the fullest part of your chest

WAIST: Measure around the narrowest part of your waistline

HIP: Measure at the fullest part of your hips

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