As anyone who’s ever tried on a bikini in a mall changing room knows the experience can be — shall we say — not ideal. The fluorescent lights are unforgiving, the AC is freezing and the long line of shoppers waiting outside your door grumbling for you to hurry up already is nerve-wracking.
That’s why we prefer the experience of shopping for swimwear online. Not only do you get to try out swimsuits in the privacy (and comfortable lighting and temperature) of your home, but you get instant access to a greater variety of brands, styles and price points.
That said, there are challenges that come with finding swimwear on the internet. To help you hunt down the two-piece of your dreams, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to buying a bikini online.
How To Find the Perfect Bikini Online
No matter what your preferred style, body type or budget, here are a few pointers to keep in mind when searching for a suit online:
1. Know Your Measurements
One of the most challenging parts of bikini shopping is that there isn’t really universal sizing across brands — one brand’s medium could be another’s large, while one brand’s 4 could be another’s 8. Your surest route for identifying the best size for your body is to take your measurements and compare them to the brand’s size chart.
2. Purchase Multiple Sizes
If your bank account balance allows, purchase multiple sizes of the same suit. This will up your chances of finding the most flattering fit on your first go.
3. Triple Check the Return Policy
For the previous tip to work, the brand must have a return policy that allows you to send back bad fits and unflattering styles — ideally for free. Before purchasing a swimsuit — especially if you’re purchasing multiple sizes — triple check the policy to make sure it accepts swimsuit returns, and to see if it provides free, uncomplicated return shipping. If you are buying a suit on clearance, double-check to make sure it’s not a final sale.
4. Choose the Right Fit for Your Body Type
Many an article has been dedicated to the complex process of finding the best bathing suit for different body types. While conceding that this is a tricky, nuanced art form, we’ve included a few basic ideas to keep in mind:
- For a Pear Shape: Go for an eye-catching upper piece to draw attention upward and help balance out the proportions. Consider a bikini bottom skirt if you’re concerned about getting enough coverage on your lower half — the bottom of this bikini set from SHEIN is a super cute example.
- For a Small Bust: Because a smaller chest demands less support, you’re free to go for minimal coverage options on top, such as a tiny scoop top or a bandeau — like this versatile top from Pitusa.
- For a Large Bust: To make sure you get the support you need, look for suits with molded cups or underwire, like this top from Bare Necessities. Go for thicker, adjustable straps — the thicker the strap, the better the support.
- For a Curvy Shape: To highlight your curves, consider color blocking with a bright, solid color top and a contrasting, equally vivid solid-color bottom. Vintage-inspired suits with high waists are also a good bet. A perfect example is this suit from Adore Me.
- For an Athletic Shape: To enhance your curves, consider suits with less coverage. For athletic shapes, we also love monokinis like this one from Lulu’s.
Our Favorite Online Places To Shop for Bikini Swimsuits
While every brand and its mom sells swimwear, not all swimwear-selling stores are made equal. These e-retailers are our favorites for buying bikinis, due to their vast selection, inclusive sizing options, top-notch return policies and unparalleled quality:
The daughter brand of American Eagle Outfitters, Aerie (short for American Eagle Lingerie) focuses on undergarments, activewear and swimwear. Since its inception, Aerie has strived to promote body positivity with inclusive advertising and sizing. Their swimsuit selection includes mix-and-match tops and bottoms that you can customize into a bikini set that suits your body type and tastes.
Return Policy: The Aerie return policy has no time restrictions. You can return your swimsuit in-store or by mail. Qualifying mail-in returns may be eligible for free return shipping.
Inspired by Malibu and made in Los Angeles, Frankies Bikinis is a beach lifestyle brand specializing in apparel, activewear and — of course — bikinis. The e-retailer is celebrated for its quality materials and flattering styles and is favored by the likes of Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid and Kylie and Kendall Jenner. As with Aerie, Frankies Bikinis invites you to combine tops and bottoms into a personalized bikini set.
Return Policy: The Frankies Bikinis return policy lets you send back unworn items within 30 days of purchase for a full refund. The cost of shipping is deducted from your refund.
Our favorite pick for plus-size bikini styles, Torrid prides itself in offering suits in diverse designs that help wearers feel their best. Their plus-size bikini options are tailored to support and flatter, with worry-free straps and features like wireless cups and underwire bras.
Return Policy: The Torrid return policy allows you to return items within 60 days of your receipt — either in-store or via mail. If you return items by mail, a $6 return shipping fee will be deducted from your refund. And try before you buy options are available.
Although Summersalt is perhaps most famous for its one-piece suits, the brand also has a good number of bikini sets — including a good selection of plus-size bikini options. The brand uses recycled materials and data-backed sizing using 1.5 million body measurements.
Return Policy: Summersalt offers free returns and exchanges within 30 days of delivery. To initiate a return, you create and print a prepaid label.
With prices starting at a paltry $3.55 and a super generous return policy, ASOS is the perfect site to try out different sizes and styles. They offer a DD+ “Fuller Bust” collection with extra support, as well as an inclusive range of sizing.
Return Policy: The ASOS return policy lets you return swimwear within 28 days of delivery for a full refund, or within 29 and 45 days for a gift voucher. ASOS even covers return shipping.
The post Ultimate Guide To Finding the Perfect Bikini Online — Every Time appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.