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Finding a Bathing Suit That Won't Break the Bank

Trying on bathing suits can be a drag, and so can the price tag.
Trying on bathing suits can be a drag, and so can the price tag.
Robin Lynne Gibson/Getty Images

Let's face it. Few women enjoy shopping for a bathing suit. Even if you have the perfect bathing suit body (and don't mind seeing it from all angles in a poorly lighted dressing room), you're probably not smiling when you take a look at the price tag. So much money for so little fabric!

How can you save a buck when you buy your suit?

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Shop at the Right Times

You can find end-of-season bargains at your local stores in June, before they put the back-to-school merchandise on the shelves. You'll also find deals in August at beaches and resorts, right before they close up shop for the season.

Bargain Hunt Based on Your Swimsuit Profile

Bathing suit consumers come in three categories: swimmers, splashers and sunners. It all comes down to whether you're more concerned about form or function, and it will guide you in your bargain shopping. See the next page to get started.

Swimmers: Because you're an athlete, you may look fantastic in most any suit, but your concern is function. You want your swimsuit to cover and to stay in place, and you're looking for speed. So if adding more dollars means shaving seconds from your time, you'll pay the price. Since your focus is function, style doesn't matter as much, which means you should take advantage of purchasing last season's swimwear. You'll find it at Web sites like swimoutlet.com. If you're a serious swimmer, you may go through two suits a year, so you'll want to read the care instructions at the bottom of this article as well.

Splashers: You enjoy the water, but you aren't necessarily riding the waves or doing any back flips off the diving board. You like one-pieces, bikinis and tankinis. And for you, looking good both in and out of the water is the priority. Often last year's suit has not held up either in construction or style. So you should shop brands that allow you to mix and match fabrics and styles. For example, you could buy multiple two-piece tops to pair with one bottom. That'll give you more looks for less money.

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Sunners: You enjoy the beach and the pool, but going in the water is not a priority. You just want to look your best. You like your suit to be made of fabric that flatters -- it lifts, it squeezes and, generally, it costs a bit more. If you buy this type of high-quality suit, you'll want to keep it for a long time to save money. So, read the following tips on how to extend its life.

Three Ways to Extend the Life of Your Bathing Suit

  1. Buy a good quality suit. The more spandex and lycra the better. These fabrics hold their shape and your shape.
  2. Hand-wash your bathing suit in a mild soap and do not dry in direct sunlight. Never use a washing machine or dryer because they'll break down the fabric.
  3. Avoid sitting or leaning on rough surfaces because they can destroy your suit. Be wary of hot tubs -- the heat and chemicals will destroy just about any fabric.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Bouchez, Colette. "Skinny or not, how to look hot at the beach." Webmd.com. (3/27/2010)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/skinny-not-how-look-hot-beach
  • Jeremy. "The Most Expensive Bikini." The Most Expensive Journal. July 8, 2008. (4/7/2010)http://most-expensive.net/bikini
  • Monheit, Robin. "How Not to Look Old in a Swimsuit." O, The Oprah Magazine. May 12, 2009. (3/27/2010)http://www.oprah.com/style/How-Not-to-Look-Old-in-a-Swimsuit
  • "Bathing Suit Tips for Body Flattering Swimwear for Women and Teen Girls." Freebeautytips.org. (3/27/2010)http://www.freebeautytips.org/bathing-suit-tips.html
  • "How to Pick a Bathing Suit Fit for Your Body."May 6, 2009. Thefemaleview.com. (3/27/2010)http://www.thefemaleview.com/choosing-a-swim-suit/
  • "Taking care of your swimsuit so it last longer." Laraines.com. (4/7/2010)http://www.laraines.com/takcarofyour.html.

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