What To Look For
When shopping for a bathing suit, the most important thing is getting the right fit. As you choose a suit, there are a few things to consider.
How will you be using your bathing suit? If you intend to be swimming laps or racing in your suit, you probably want to buy a one-piece. If you plan on surfing or doing other kinds of vigorous aquatic activities, you may also consider a two-piece. Either way, your suit will need to be snug, but not too tight. Your suit should stay on during movement, but not bunch, ride up or pinch.
Look at a size chart. When buying a suit from a catalog or online, be sure to get out your measuring tape, write down your measurements and compare them with the company's size chart. Though sizes vary by company, typical size measurements include:
Small: 33.5" bust, 29.5" under bust, 25" waist and 35" hip.
Medium: 35.5" bust, 31.5" under bust, 27" waist and 38" hip.
Large: 37.5 bust, 33.5 under bust, 29" waist and 40" hip.
D-cup tops may have a different sizing system, and when looking at one-piece suits, don't forget to take torso length into account.
Bust size is also an important factor. If you're a C or D cup, you may want to choose an under wire, soft-cup or halter top for extra support. Smaller cup sizes may wear shelf bras, string or bandeau styles.
People often buy swimsuits that look opaque in a dressing room, yet become slightly see-through in the water. To avoid this, buy a suit with at least frontal lining. Lining also prolongs the life of your suit.
Where To Buy
For racing suits, the most popular brand is Speedo. Buy online at speedo.com or at sportswear stores such as Dick's Sporting Goods or The Sports Authority. For more fashionable suits, Roxy is the preferred brand of surfers (www.roxy.com). You can also find a wide selection of swimsuits at most department stores and large retailers.
Swimsuits come in a wide variety of price ranges. For a suit that will last you longer, look for one in the $50 to $100 price range, as the elastic in these suits is typically more durable.