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Trying on bikinis can be a daunting task for any woman, and when your swimsuit collection is in dire need of a refresh before you hit the beach, it can feel impossible. We feel you!
To help ease the pain, TODAY Style spoke to summer style experts for tips on the best way to shop for swimwear.
1. Timing is everything
According to Paula Daza, creative director and founder of Lumé Swimwear, it's tempting to wait until you feel the most confident and ready to hit the beach.
“Regardless of what size or shape you are, we all want [to wait] a couple of months after the winter to get back into our bikini body shapes,” she says.
But Daza says to avoid that instinct and start to browse in early spring, when the hottest, newest looks hit the floor. Even if you’re not ready to take the plunge and purchase a suit yet, she thinks just looking at the latest trends can be helpful for your state of mind. And, who knows, maybe you'll even get excited to try something new.
Stripe Crochet Shoulder Flounce One Piece Swimsuit, $45, Target
Norma Kamali Aztec Mio Cutout Leopard-Print Swimsuit, $94, The Outnet
Gingham Off-the-Shoulder Swimsuit, $98, J. Crew
2. Be an early bird
Other experts note that the time of day can also make a difference in your swimsuit shopping outlook.
“I personally enjoy shopping first thing in the morning when I’m bright eyed and feeling my best (definitely before I dig into my ritual chocolate croissant),” says Shopbop fashion director, Caroline Maguire.
Diane Belgrod, founder of K Belo Swimwear, offers another bonus for shopping earlier: mid-morning hours tend to be quieter so salespeople are available to offer more assistance.
“Shopping for swimwear can be intimidating and stressful so it's nice to have a helpful salesperson assisting in the process,” says Belgrod.
Adidas by Stella McCartney Zebra Swimsuit, $90, Shopbop
Coastal Palms High Neck Bikini Top, $41, and Hipster Bottoms, $35 Lucky Brand
6 Shore Road Sunrise One Piece Swimsuit, $79, Gilt
3. Holidays are your friend
For those in search of a bathing suit bargain — beyond keeping apprised of sales at your favorite stores — try checking back during summer holidays, like Memorial Day or Labor Day, or waiting until end-of-season markdowns. But if there’s a special style you’ve been eyeing, don’t be surprised if it’s sold out way before then.
As Belgrod explains, most stores complete their swimwear purchase almost a full year before the season, and many swimwear brands are produced only once per year so reorders are not always possible.
“Once sizes are sold out, most of the time they're not restocked,” she says. So if you spot a suit you really love, scoop it up right away!
Long-Line Plus-Size Underwire Bikini Top, $29 and Bottoms, $24, Old Navy
Crochet Y-Neck Bikini Swim Top, $39, and Bottoms, $33, Express
Cherry Top & St. Lucia Bottom in Banana Print, $58, K Belo
Steady Stream Print One Piece Cut-Out, $72, Lumé Swimwear