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Online vs. Store Swimwear Shopping

Nov 8, 2007
There are many pros and cons regarding shopping for swimwear online versus going into an actual store. The main advantage of a store is that you can try on many different suits and see many different styles in a relatively short period of time. Many customers spend countless hours critiquing dozens of suits before making a final decision, and even then want to come back after giving it more thought. The standing joke among our saleswomen is that most women will spend less time buying a car than a swimsuit.

If you do the actual store route, I highly recommend a personal, smaller boutique where the salespeople have an intimate knowledge of the styles and will give you direct guidance on what looks great on you and flatters the most. A good swimsuit fitting session presents you with a direct reality check on your body and what needs to be emphasized and what needs to distracted from with color or style. It is a bit amusing when you think about it that you are purchasing a suit to be worn in front of a large audience at the beach or pool, and the whole statement of a swimsuit is to "check me out", yet most dare venture out of the fitting room. It represents the least amount of fabric you will ever wear out into the public, yet many women are timid about getting a professional opinion during the fitting session. My wife and I would have long retired if we had a penny for every "Oh, my God" uttered from behind a closed fitting room door.

If you happen to be one of those who starts to perspire as you walk up to the store, then online shopping makes the most sense. It can offer you the same flattering, attractive suit without the stress. The key to online shopping is to do you homework. You have to evaluate you body in a realistic manner and decide what your best assets are. There are tons of articles available about what style works best for you and what you should shy away from. You are standing in front of that mirror, all by yourself, so be honest and accept what you have to work with. Forget the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and remember that less than a few percent of women actually look like that and that the photos are touched up and presented in the best conditions possible.

Shop for designers you are comfortable with and know from experience. Make sure the return policy is liberal in case the suit needs to be returned. There is nothing wrong in ordering a few suits and then decide from home which one most flatters. Make sure you try it on in natural lighting not harsh lighting, like fluorescent. One more hint, and this is important. Don't try any suit on right after you had a meal, no matter how small. Just the sensation of a "full" feeling in your stomach goes a long way to cloud and distort how you perceive the fit to be. Many a storeowner has sat and wondered why business is not as good as anticipated when the store is located right between two restaurants.

Be gentle on yourself and realize that there is really no such thing as a "perfect" suit, only one that makes you feel good about putting it on display to the admiring public. The final benefit to online shopping is that you can think about the suit for a few days before having to make a decision. If you like the fit but are still on the fence, let it sit for a day or two and try it on again. Sometimes a day or two works wonders.
About the Author
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