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Bather Shopping – Fear Not!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

While I was in beautiful Byron last week, I thought it would be a great opportunity to tackle my “shopping for bathers” fear. Yes, it is not only you that suffers this condition. I knew it wouldn’t be easy as I know exactly what I like, what will suit my body shape and because of these specifics, it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

After perusing a few surf shops, I began trying on bathers that I was drawn to - based on the pretty colors and styles even though I knew they were the wrong cut. (It is always worth a try ladies!) 

Due to me being not quite 5ft with a 10DD bust, size 6-8 with a small tummy, it quickly became apparent I was searching in the wrong stores.

So my husband and I filled in time in the plentiful surf shops until the main stores opened in Byron. I walked into the largest swimming store, took a deep breath and started to sift through the thousands of styles – and I mean thousands.

Being proactive, I provided the sales assistant with a brief on what I was after, the colours I liked and didn’t like and following two disastrous try-ons, she gave up on me. It seemed that she didn’t have the product to help me and sent me on my sad way.

So clearly I was not having fun and had already decided that I would be wearing my old favourites on the beach that day, which I purchased in Italy over 6 years ago! But my “stylist spirit” kicked in and deciding not to give up, off I ventured into “that” store you never go in.  You know the one, they have unattractive visual merchandising and the stock and store look dated. I was going to sift through every single piece!

Then to my delight, after giving the store manager my list of needs, she found not one, but two pairs of bathers that I was really happy with. They’re a little athletic looking and not as pretty as the ones in the surf stores I was originally sourcing but in terms of flattering and looking amazing on – they do the trick and they do it well! They are a great fit, hide my tummy and there is no sign of low cleavage.

So with bathers in hand, I walked out of the store feeling elated. So, why am I telling you this? Patience and perseverance is required when trying on bathers.

Get a head start with knowing what you like, what feels comfortable, note the colors that suit you and don't settle or get sold to. In the earlier shops I visited, I found it difficult to keep quiet as sales assistants suggested very wrong suited pieces for some women hoping to make a sale.

To me, there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable on the beach, it’s one of the only places in public where most of my skin is exposed. I also believe that as women get older, showing less on the beach is a good thing.

So in short:

  1. Be patient and have some idea of what you are after, consider your age and body shape.

  2. Take pictures with you of looks you like for inspiration

  3. Know your best assets and the bits you want to hide (we generally all have one) and buy your swimwear accordingly

  4. Don’t Give Up! Try, try and try – you’ll find it.

P.S Check out our interview with Head Designer for BAKU in this months My Stylist for more swimwear tips! 

Cindy x

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