I often start my style presentations with my mantra ‘Life Is challenging, but we have to get dressed’ which usually settles everyone in with a bit of humor and the resignation of, ‘She’s right, let’s get to work.’
Now that summer is coming, we are going to have to switch up that mantra a tad to ‘Life isn’t challenging enough and now we have to buy a swimsuit!’
How’s this for a comforting thought, hunting and gathering tiny articles of clothing on cumbersome hangers and then trying them on bodies that we also deem too cumbersome, in a room that is too small with lights that are too bright! Are we having fun yet, is that Zen moment on the horizon? Damn straight it’s not! Even Goldilocks couldn’t settle in for a nap in the bed that was too small!
Oh for crying out loud (literally) if you can’t be comfortable sharing your body with yourself or some sales associate, how are you ever going to take off your moo-moo cover-up at the beach in front of strangers!
Let’s kill two birds with one stone here ladies. Let’s find the perfect suit and find the self-confidence to rock it at the same time. Let’s shop with our besties where women tend to forget about their imperfections and focus on having fun. There are enough home parties around for all of you to be familiar with the fun and frivolity that goes along with it! Female bonding, judgment free zones, honest opinions, off the cuff comments and camaraderie – what’s better than that!
- You need a host and a sidekick helper so they can pull it off together.
- You will need a pop-up dressing room for fun and frivolity. What’s better than that? Twenty bucks to privacy – I recommend you decorate it with bells, whistles and stick-on pictures of men with bad bodies in bathing suits!
- Sangria – lots of it! You might want to have personalized drink umbrellas – this could get sloppy and women are way more comfortable losing their bathing suit tops than they are losing their drinks!
- Keep the number to about 8 guests, more than that might get unruly – although 8 tipsy sangria laden women in scandalous clothing can get unruly pretty quickly!
- Create a fun email invitation that outlines the rules and BLIND COPY everyone so that when they respond they only respond to ONE person – the organizer. What’s more annoying than those who reply to all – let’s not even invite those ladies!
- Everyone pays twenty dollars so the host covers the cost of the drinks and the pop-up dressing room.
- Everyone brings one finger-food item (no messy dip crap, after all some of these swimsuits are going back to the stores).
- When guests RSVP have them fill out this information. This gives the organizer a good sense of whether there will be enough of a size selection to go around.
- What 2 sizes would you most likely order?
- Would you most likely order a 2-piece, a tankini or a 1-piece?
- Every guest orders 4 swimsuits in 2 sizes per and here’s the kicker – the one big rule – they cannot try them on until they arrive! They must bring the packing slip or receipt with them.
- On arrival each guest receives a zip-lock baggie with a unique color of cut sections of yarn that they tie on their swimsuit pieces for end-of-night identification.
Now collect all cell phones in a basket to put everyone at ease and let the madness begin! You might want to pull down the shades! This will no doubt turn into a hysterical Loehmann’s experience, with a madness filled fashion show chaser. I recommend having a few show props around – hats, scarves and Mardi Gras beads.
How you handle the wrap-up is up to you.
Option 1 – Each gal can leave with what she came with (the strings identify your products) as well as a picture of the tag of the suit she will order on her own. No money exchanged.
Option 2 – Bring cash or checks to pay your girlfriend if you are buying the suit directly from her. (Be sure you want it, because returning it will be tricky with no receipt.)
All in all this experience will accomplish two things. You will have a hell of a lot of fun and will feel damn confident when you drop that kaftan at the pool. And of course you will get a good chuckle when your friends ask you why you are sporting those Mardi Gras beads at the local beach!
Here are some shopping tips to keep in mind while you shop both for you and your besties:
- Want a sexy one-piece? Look for a suit with sheer panels!
- Need extra support for the girls? Shop for a suit sold by bra size!
- Like patterns but don’t want to look like a curtain? Shop for color blocking – bits of solid with bits of pattern.
- Wondering what is the most flattering line – a deep V of course!
Looking for your comments here – let’s hear about your party ideas!