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Release Date: 06/13/2011

ShopSmart Finds Your Perfect Swimsuit

The Trick to Finding one that Fits, Flatters, and Won’t Fall Apart

YONKERS, NY — For most women, shopping for bathing suits is not a very fun experience. Most suits are too tight, too small, too big, too expensive, or look too cheap. Or all of the above! The July 2011 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports¸ wants to help you find the most flattering suit that you’ll at least look forward to wearing.

“We all know bathing suit shopping can be a nightmare,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “But we learned that if you do your research and know what works for you— it might actually be enjoyable.”

9 Signs of a Well-made Suit

A cheaply made swimsuit or one that’s poorly designed can make you look bigger or older than you really are. ShopSmart notes that a well-made suit should last up to two years or longer if you rotate it with other suits. Rinse immediately after wearing, then hand wash, and your suits will last even longer.

Here are some quality features to look for:

  1. Zig-Zag Stitching – You need it to stretch! Chain stitching will more easily unravel and indicates subpar quality.
  2. Straps that don’t dig – Your straps should never cut into your shoulders or back.
  3. Nylon and Spandex fabric – These are the types of fabrics to go for. Avoid polyester blends and any suit that is flimsy or sheer.
  4. Four-way stretch – This test will help you see if the suit will withstand the damage that pool chemicals can cause. Stretch the fabric in one direction; if you see a lot of white fibers, the fabric will probably deteriorate quickly.
  5. Full-lining – The lining should be attached around the whole perimeter of the suit, not hanging loose in places.
  6. Seemingly seamless structure – Good-quality suits are intricately constructed within while appearing seamless on the outside. Avoid loose threads, lining, and pads, and sloppy stitching.
  7. A good built-in bra – It should fit as well as a real bra.
  8. Sturdy hardware – Plastic accents are more likely to break than metal ones. And watch out! Metal rings and buckles can get hot in the sun.
  9. Special feature – Some tags on suits advertise slimming claims.  ShopSmart explores if some of these suits really trim inches.

3 Tips to Get a Great Fit

  1. Take your measurements. To make sure you get the right size, measure your bust, waist, and hips. Then check the swimsuits’ size charts. Measure your torso length, too; some styles are longer.
  2. Try it on. Sizing is rarely consistent among brands, so try on every suit before you buy it . When you’re trying on a one-piece, the rear shouldn’t ride up and the top shouldn’t squish your chest – those are signs that the suit is too short. If your cheeks pop out of the rear, the suit is too small. If material bunches around your backside, the suit is too big. Move and bend to be sure you’re comfy and the suit stays put.
  3. Don’t settle.  If a suit pulls or you bulge out of it, put it back on the rack! If you need a specialty suit, plenty are available. If you’re pregnant, shop retailers such as Asos and Figleaves. If you’ve had a mastectomy, look at Gottex, Jamu, Anita, and Cyell. And if you’re a serious swimmer, check out Jantzen and Zoggs.

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 www.ShopSmartmag.org.

ShopSmart is now available 10 times a year. Subscribe at www.ShopSmartmag.org.

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