That dreaded season that many women fear is upon our heels and every other part of our body for that matter. The double edge sword swings with the excitement of vacation and the horror of swimsuit shopping.

Swimsuit shopping is painful and the best way around it is to shop online! That way you’re avoiding the fat mirrors, the skinny mirrors, the bright lights, the cold dressing rooms and the discovery process where you’re discovering things you seem to have never known about your body. “Where did that come from?”

Once again, my usual advice is to shop by body type. We’ve had this conversation many times and as you may already know, I simply break it down by fuller on the top, fuller on the bottom, fuller in the middle, curvy and not curvy. And as always, I recommend accentuating the assets and disguising the liabilities

Before we embark on this journey let’s settle in, fire up your computer, pour a glass of Merlot and get set to dive into the deep end with confidence.

Over the last few decades of styling women, I have to say that shopping online has gotten easier, mainly because the retailers have started listening to the voices of their customers and have started to cater to the different body types that women have. It is now politically correct to embrace, promote and feel rockstar confident in any body type you may sport.

With this revelation comes the ability to now search and find anything based on body type, size, personal preference, color, price-point, you name it, you can drill down for it.

Let’s begin with Nordstrom. If you are frequent reader you may realize that I use Nordstrom’s website quite a bit and that is simply because it is easy to navigate, is visually appealing and has very good search tools. I love to shop efficiently! Let’s start under ‘women’ then drop to ‘swimwear’.

You will now have nine categories that you can filter through including swimwear item, swimwear style, body type, neckline, size, color, price, brand and even cover-up-style. Note further that under ‘swimwear style’ you now have seventeen choices that you could check off.  If you are full busted you may be looking for cup sized swimwear or underwire swimwear. If you are fuller on the bottom you may check off swim dress or skirted for your choices. If you are an avid swimmer you may check off razorback to keep your suit where it needs to stay. If you want to intentionally protect your décolletage you might want to choose the high-neck category.

Then of course under body type, every designer, company or personal stylist has their own terms for body types. I have never been big on the fruit names but noticed that Nordstrom uses pear-shaped in their descriptions in addition to athletic, hourglass, large bust, small bust and tummy concealing.

No doubt you can already see that these descriptions could save you a lot of time in the dressing room, but reminder, we are not even going in the dressing room and the reason for that is that the swimsuits are rarely merchandised by these descriptions on the sales floor – can you imagine how many signs there would be?

And what typically would happen is that you would start grabbing and you may be buck naked before you realized that the suits you hauled in there weren’t necessarily the best cut or design for you. We all tend to look at the color and the price point before we take it into the dressing room but as you can see there are many more fine-tuning options available that would save us the frustration of the good, the bad, the ugly and the ill-fitting.

Another robust online swimwear option is Lands’ End and I have added some screenshots of their drop-downs so you can see how many options there are to filter on the site. They offer regular, plus, petite, tall and tall plus in swimwear and also filter by bra style, size and collection. They also offer a category called swim solutions (also known as disguising the liabilities). That list includes flatten tummy, full body slimming, minimize bust, conceal size, create curves and all over camouflaging.

So rather than getting in the car, cozy up on the couch and shop online. Be sure to order each swimsuit in two different sizes so that you won’t be disappointed with your UPS delivery person, it’s not their fault if you order the wrong size.

Still need more advice? I am offering a special 50% discount on my printed book, Confidence Is Always In Style, for BA50 readers. Head on over to and check out using the special discount code BA50 to receive your copy of this sassy style guide.

Sign up for Doreen’s workshop at SHE DID IT/Boston on May 17th —- guaranteed to give you and your closet a lift.


Swimwear Shopping By Body Type Survival Guide was last modified: by

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