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Media Resources


Release Date: 06/13/2011

ShopSmart Poll: 81% of Women Own At Least One Swimsuit

45% Say It’s Hard to Find One That Fits Right

YONKERS, NY— Over one-third of women buy a new swimsuit each year. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy process. According to a new national poll featured in the July 2011 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, women encounter many different challenges when purchasing swimsuits. The poll found that 65% of women struggle to find a suit that flatters. 

“Bathing suit shopping can definitely be daunting,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart.  “According to our poll, the average woman owns 3 suits as compared to 7 pairs of jeans and 17 pairs of shoes.  Bathing suit shopping is a more difficult process, but if you take your time and shop for your body, you’ll be sure to love the results.”

Shopping For the Right Suit

  • May is the most popular month of the year to shop for a swimsuit
  • The average amount spent on a new swim suit is $47
  • Department stores are the most popular places to purchase swimsuits, with 50% of women buying their suits there
  • 27% of women have tried shopping for a swimsuit online
  • Bikini is the least popular style overall, but the most popular style amount women ages 18-34
  • The most offensive swimsuits are those that are not age appropriate (31%) and thongs (28%)
  • 61% of women shop for suits alone, but younger women, ages 18-34, tend to shop with someone else

The Challenges of Finding the Right Suit

  • Over 1/3 of women like the way they look in a swimsuit, whereas 40% are neutral and 18% dislike the way they look
  • Tummy is the body part that gives 42% of women the most anxiety when shopping for  a suit
  • 42% of women struggle to find a suit with enough support, 31% can’t find enough coverage on top, and 30% can’t find the right suit for their rear

ShopSmart Shoe Poll Methodology:

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. 1,009 interviews were completed among women aged 18+. Interviewing took place over March 31 – April 4, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 3.1% points at a 95% confidence level.

Buying for Your Body Type

Are you an hourglass, apple or pear?  Read on to see which suits and styles will work best for you.

Apple/Inverted Triangle – Broad shoulders, undefined waste
Look for a suit with wide straps, as this will help to narrow your upper body. You can also look for waste-defines such as princess seams, draping, shirring, and a uniform print.

Pear – Narrow chest and shoulders, wider lower half
Make your upper body stand out with ruffles, patterns, or unique necklines. You can also minimize hips and thighs by wearing a modest boy short or high-wasted brief. Also, higher-cut leg openings will make your legs appear longer.

Hourglass—equal size bust and hips, narrow waste
Find a suit that shows off your proportions. This could be a triangle-top bikini or a bandeau top and hipster bottoms.

Straight – narrow from top to bottom
Look for a two-piece with a halter, V-neck, or scoop neck. If it’s a one-piece you’re after, try one with large blocks of color to break up a long torso.

About ShopSmart magazine:
Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon Consumer Reports’ celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. The magazine features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. ShopSmart is ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at

ShopSmart is now available 10 times a year. Subscribe at

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