It’s amazing how the heat in the subways surprises you each year. There you are, walking to the train like usual, and suddenly you find yourself on what feels like a subway platform in New Delhi. Having to buy a swimsuit is like that. You think you’re safe, then suddenly a friend invites you to L.A. for the weekend and you realize the bathing suit that was wearing thin in the seat now boasts a full-on hole near the crotch. Not cute.
What surprises you even more is that the world no longer sells basic swimsuits. Rio is the new Milan, ‘Brazilian’ is the new ‘basic bikini’ and no one just orders from a catalog anymore. The new suits come in bold colors, boast wild cut-outs, and sometimes even include accessories. Even men are no longer exempt from the rat race, as designers are shortening men’s suits and launching a new breed of not-a-boxer-not-yet-a-brief.
Here are some tips in taming the beast:
If you have to go fishing, go where the fish are. The same methodology applies to shopping for a prom dress as shopping for the right swimsuit: Go for selection. I shop at Bloomingdale’s because it is seriously hard to leave without at least finding something. Don’t make the mistake of shopping at J. Crew, Abercrombie or other catalog stores — their in-store selection is typically god-awful.
Sometimes, less can be more. In my opinion, most everyone looks cute naked; it’s the packaging that doesn’t always capture our best parts. With that in mind, open up to the possibility that a suit with less coverage might actually look better. Example: I have an ass, yet ‘boy short’ bikini bottoms (more coverage) make said ass look a great deal larger than, say, string bikini bottoms.
Treat your swimsuit like an outfit. Don’t be afraid to accessorize with big bangles or a chunky necklace, wear a colored sarong, or just rock your new one-piece with a pair of cut-offs and Grecian sandals and go shopping. Be brave.
Make like the Romans. Boys, this one is for you. Unless you’re a surfer or a 15 year old, try stepping outside the ‘board shorts’ arena. Move those shorts a few inches up or even try braving a more European look. No, not a Speedo, but a shorter, tighter, more colorful pair of trunks.