I love shopping for anything and everything — with one exception: swimwear. While colorful one-pieces and bikinis are a fun reminder that warmer weather is here, not every one is flattering for every body. Australian blogger Natasha Oakley always wears swimsuits with major confidence, so we recently visited her Bikini a Day pop-up shop in NYC to ask for her best shopping tips.
“One of my main tips when you’re shopping for bikinis is not to stick to the size that you normally think you are,” explains Oakley. “The sizing is not standardized in the industry whatsoever and you just need to look good and feel good in the bikini.”
Don’t be afraid to try different sizes when you’re shopping for swimwear — it has nothing to do with you or your body. There’s no definitive guide to how big a small, medium, or large actually is. Take, for example, the ASOS floral shorts that recently went viral: People were outraged when they noticed the “large” was listed as a U.K. size 10, which is the equivalent to a U.S. size 6. In what world should a size 6 ever be considered large? H&M is another retailer that was recently called out for its questionable sizing.
“I am honestly everything from a size x-small to an x-large in swimwear, so don’t be scared to go up to whatever size you need to, or even down,” says Oakley. The biggest mistake you could make is buying a too-small suit that digs or cuts into you. “That’s never flattering and it won’t make you feel sexy,” she explains.
Once you’ve found the perfect bathing suit for you (Oakley has been living in the Portofino one-piece from her Monday Swimwear collection), you’ll want to try some of her other summer essentials. Instead of sitting out in the sun, Oakley recommends Gradual Tan by St. Tropez. “It looks super natural and glowy since it builds up over time,” she says. Oakley also avoids putting her face in the sun when she can, so she’s been obsessed with the St. Tropez Face Tanning Mask. “It’s really perfect for me before an event,” she explains.
Discover even more summer essentials:
Now learn the history of sunscreen: