Before you started competing the idea of spending £300 upwards on a bikini seemed like a crazy notion.
Once the competition bug bites you may not have thought twice about having a new bikini for every show, but post the covid-19 pandemic most of us have had to tighten our financial belts and re-think how much we spend on competing. You might want to look into getting a second hand bikini to save costs, and there are some great facebook groups that specialize in this area.
With the fitness and body building competitions only just kicking off in September this year, leaving us with only three months left of the competition season it is now time to think about sorting your competition bikini out. If you are on a budget, and dead set on a new bikini or are a first time competitor, it is time to think about making your bikini last for more than one show. Not only does it make financial sense, but it's more environmentally conscious too.
With that in mind I have some top tips on how you can make your bikini last more than one show, all it takes is a little planning before-hand.
Things to consider before you buy
First you will need to look at the competitions you want to compete in and if the styles and rules are compatible. For example your 2BroPros bikini bottom is too small for the UKBFF federation rules but fine for the PCA. You can check out my blog that specifically discusses the shape and size of the bikini bum here.
Next you want to design your bikini with the 'upgrades' in mind. So this means starting simple. Your designer should be able to advise you in this regard, and give you a clear indication of the bikini for each show. It is way easier to add things onto a bikini than remove anything...especially if the thing you want to remove is glued on. Not only is glue really hard to remove but you may damage your bikini trying to rip crystals or trimmings off.
Lastly, you will need to clean your bikini really well as soon as you can after you take it off. The longer you leave cleaning off that nasty tan the less likely it is to come off. Also think about the colour of your bikini before you order, as a general rule darker colours will hide tan stains better than paler colours so you will get more use out of a darker bikini than a light one.
If you are planning to use the same bikini for more than one show, not only are you saving yourself some cost but also being ecologically responsible.
Upgrading your bikini without breaking the bank
Now for the fun stuff...getting into the nitty gritty of what you can do from one competition to the next. Some of these are structural and will require more than a basic knowledge of dressmaking, you can either plan the changes over the competition season with your bikini designer, employ a local seamstress to alter the bikini for you or if you are a keen dressmaker why not get crafty yourself ( if you have the time and energy).
For competitions on the sporty end of the spectrum you have two options to change the look of your bikini...
1 Adding extra crystal
Adding in crystal works better for more simple crystal designs rather than complex ones. Here are two examples of forward planning, in one I added an extra colour and the next filling in a simple design. You can also add crystal to a complex design if you generally stick to filling in the base or background colour, it's hard to add design features and details to a complex design....but with some serious thought and planning a great result can be achieved.
2 Changing the connectors
For a quick change you can just change the connectors for a different design. By searching ebay you can come up with a variety of different connector designs to choose from, then all you have to do is unpick the old ones and sew in the new ones. Or if it has fabric straps you can cut or unpick the sides and insert whatever connectors take your fancy.
If you are competing in the pageant style shows such as WBFF, Pure Elite, Diamonds and cross-over shows like FMC or UFE you can really stretch your creativity even further:
3 Add some lace details
Lace can be a fabulous edition to a bikini, if that's your style. If done correctly you can actually embellish the lace itself so it can be sewn on or removed from the bikini with almost no damage whatsoever to your bikini base.
4 Add a collar
For a full re-style you can even change the style of the bikini. You can add a collar, multiple straps, take off the straps and put see through ones on...just make sure you don't mess with the basic engineering of the bra structure, especially if you have large boobs, keep the back strap strong and parallel to the floor and the shoulder straps supportive at the side. You can even change the bottoms in a similar way if you wish.
5 Get strappy
Following the current trend in lingerie design for cage and strappy styles you can add a little extra sex appeal to your bikini. You can add straps to the top and the bottoms depending on your final design.
So there you have some great idea's to help you save some cash this year by making your bikini work for you over a few different shows, while we all look forward to a more normal life and competing season in 2021!