A mirror

Your shopping list


  1. Gather together all of your swimwear and pool/beachside cover ups, kaftans and sarongs.

  2. Any that have lost their elasticity, have faded or discoloured, have pilled or have pulls in the fabric, that you don’t wear because they're uncomfortable can go in the REFUSE bag. We can only REHOME items that are unworn and still have the tags attached.

  3. If you’re unsure of some pieces, try them on and check them out in front of the mirror and if you don’t love them…toss them the REFUSE bag. Use bra fitting guidelines from the previous post to guide you through the fit of your swimsuit tops. If only the top or bottom works in a two-piece costume, consider finding a plain bottom or top to work back with the piece you plan to keep.

  4. Any that require attention or repairs can be placed in the REPAIR bag, if you plan to hang onto them, of course.

  5. Consider your cover ups, kaftans and sarongs – again, any that are faded, fraying or pulled or you don’t love, if they’re in good condition, can be placed in the REHOME bag or if they are beyond it, the REFUSE bag. As you’re trying them on, consider ways of wearing them that you haven’t previously done – ie. wearing your kaftan over the top of your black trousers and add a heel for an evening look; if you have a one-piece swimsuit, add a maxi skirt, belt (maybe even your cover up) and wedges for a daytime lunch look or to take you from the beach to the bar for sunset drinks. Have a play!

  6. Return the pieces you’re keeping to your wardrobe. Don’t stress about where or how at this stage, we’ll look at this another day.


Buying a swimsuit for some women, rates about as highly as having a pap smear – you know you’ve got to do it every couple of years, but you loathe it. With a few tips on what to look for, we can make it a little less painful.

What to look for:

Larger bust – look for a wider strap or halter style to support ‘the girls’ and avoid string, tri-bikini tops that lack support. Avoid narrow bandeau tops. Under-wiring is good. Go for dark and plain colours to play down the area. Use bright colours and patterns on the bottom half of your body to divert attention.

Smaller bust – cupped tops with the option to add padding are good for adding volume and shape. Strapless can look fantastic (though not as practical for swimming). Use frills, ruching and patterns to add volume.

Tummy conscious/fuller tummy – seek out a style with slight ruching across the tummy, swimsuits with built-in control panelling will be a little more expensive but you will love the effect. Tankini and one piece will provide comfort and are great for hitting the waves with grace.

Shapeless/rectangular torsos – create a sense of shape by spliced colour patterning, prints, frills on the top and bottom or cut-outs on the sides if you’re comfortable with the idea. Built in waist control may also carve out shape for you.

Wide hips – Skip the boy leg which innately feels great for coverage but horizontal lines across an area you’re trying to play down is not going to work. They’ll create a widening effect on the area you don’t want to widen. Hipster cut works nicely – don’t go for an ultra-high cut pant and avoid high waisted styles that will accentuate the curve in the area. Keep it plain and dark on the bottom half and draw the eye line upwards with a bright or patterned top or top with embellishment, frills or shoulder widening straps to balance out the bottom half.

Narrow hips – look for boy short with an angular cut leg (rather than straight across) to give a sense of shape. Solid width tie sides are fantastic too.

Fuller backside – Hunt down a pant that perfectly dissects your butt on the angle from inner upper leg to outer hip to create balance. Anything too skimpy will accentuate fleshy fullness and anything too full will seem like a whole lot of fabric trying to mask a generous tush.

Flat backside (I call this the IKEA backside…it’s a ‘flatpack’ and I can say this, because I have one!) – opt for a tie-side pant. Tied firmly they will give your butt a lift. Brazilian cut can work well, especially with vertical ruching at the back seam.

Toned & shapely backside – cheeky styles (think Brazilian cut, as opposed to full g-string) will enhance your ASSet without leaving little to the imagination. You’ve likely worked your backside off trying to get it in shape, in which case, you’ve probably earnt the right to be proud of it!

The one-piece is on-trend again. Amen. Classy, comfortable and able to be taken from beach to bar with the addition of a styled sarong, kaftan, a bit of statement jewellery (cuff or neckpiece) and stylish sandals or wedges. They can be used as bodysuits for double duty too. We dig that!

To take more trauma out of the task:

  • Never shop for swimwear in a hurry – set a time/day aside just for that task only. The worst thing you can do is try and find a swimsuit the day before you’re flying out for that tropical holiday or boarding that cruise ship.

  • Take a trusted girlfriend or female family member, who’s style and sense of fashion you admire.

  • Be open minded.

  • Know your body shape and the colours that work for your skin tone, before you head out.

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that are easy to take off and put back on. Keep in mind you must wear underwear, in the interests of hygiene, while trying on swimsuits, so a g-string is going to be the best option, even if you don’t wear one any other day of the year.


  • Swing that REFUSE bag in the trash.

  • Set aside items for REPAIR and we’ll check them in for rehab on July 1.

  • Keep your eyes open for any swimwear sales should you need to purchase replacements. Outlet stores will still have reasonably priced stock during winter or wait until Spring when new lines reach the stores.


Gold Coast, Brisbane & Northern New South Wales Stylist, Louise Chambers is available for personal styling, photo shoot & media styling, style workshops, fashion event MC bookings and media bookings.

Instagram: @stylechambers