5 tips to get the perfect bikini
So you have decided to compete in the wonderful world of fitness...fantastic!
There are many new things to get your head around, and one of them will be to answer the question what bikini will I wear?
Buying a bikini. especially for the first timer, can be an overwhelming business. There is so much to think about and so much choice that it can make this fun part of the process really stressful. But fret not.....these are my top tips for getting yourself the perfect bikini for you, stress free.
Whether you are a seasoned pro or a competition virgin it is always worth doing your research. Bikini fashion and federation rules can change from year to year so stay ahead of the competition and read up on the rules before you order.
- When should I order my bikini?
Always order your bikini in plenty of time. It's time to seriously get cracking on your bikini up to three months in advance of your show. If you have chosen to get a custom (bespoke/couture) competition bikini made to your specification order well in advance so your designer can complete the bikini in plenty of time.
Check your chosen bikini company for their lead times, most bikini companies will make your bikini from scratch, whether it is bespoke or not, so do not make the mistake of leaving it too late to order in time for your show.
Contact the company you want to make your bikini to check their lead in times, and schedule in fittings to fit in with your prep schedule and real life. Don't leave anything to the last minute....it will only stress you out.
TAKEAWAY: Decide which show date you are heading to compete and start thinking about your bikini 12 weeks out. Make sure you order at least 8 weeks out or you may not get the choice you want.
- How much is a bikini?
Like all things in life, expect to get what you pay for. Each bikini company charges different amounts for their services. Expect to pay more for bespoke, one off bikinis tailor made for you than those you would buy from an online store.
Internet store bought bikinis are the cheapest option for a new bikini. Price could be anything between £225 and £1000 depending on the brand. You pick your bikini, send in your measurements and pay....simples.
Be aware, especially if you are competing for the first time that your body is going to change dramatically as you get closer to your competition, so your bikini will need to be fitted near your competition date to fit your new body size. Make sure your bikini company accommodates altering your bikini within the price stated or be prepared to have the bikini altered at your own expense.
If you are finding yourself a bit strapped for cash it is always worth checking out marketplace and facebook groups for ladies that are selling their used bikinis. I would also advise contacting companies to see if they have any sample or clearance bikinis from the previous season available at a discounted rate.
TAKEAWAY: Decide your own budget and keep it realistic to your lifestyle and resources
- what style bikini do you need?
Three things should decide the style of your bikini. The show you are doing, the category you are competing in and your personal style.
Each federation has different rules and expectations when it comes to bikini design. When you pick your show and get clued up on the full rules and regulations before you fall in love with a specific bikini.
For fitness shows almost anything goes in terms of design and style, so long as your bikini is decent and in good taste but for bodybuilding competitions it is very important to turn up in the correct style for your category and with the correct coverage or it will effect your score or you could even be asked to change your bikini by the organiser.
Next think about your shape, and order a bikini that maximises your winning qualities and balances out anything that may be judged unfavourable. Think about your overall proportions, and area's of your body you would like to highlight or hide. A well fitted bikini should enhance your figure without popping the judges eyes out. Let your bikini designer know if you have any particular issues that need to be raised about the style and fit of your bikini, you will be glad you did.
TAKEAWAY: Research your show and category to make sure you are within the stated rules of the competition, also be aware of 'unwritten rules' such as what fashions the judges are tending to choose and pick a bikini cut that shows your body to it's best.
-what colour should I choose?
Just so we are totally clear...there are no winning colours. The colours that the winners wear have these things in common...they compliment them and their personal style and look great on stage.
Bold colours tend to look better under the glare of the lights, and pale colours can wash out.
Your crystal choice and decoration can also effect how your bikini looks from a distance. While it is true that the more crystal you have on your bikini the more shiny it will look, this is not a necessity for winning.
TAKEAWAY: You should love the colour of your bikini, it should enhance your overall look and compliment your colouring and features as well as looking great on stage.
-how important is the fit of the bikini?
Your bikini should fit like a second skin on show day, allowing you to step on stage in total confidence.
A poorly fitted bikini can really let you down on show day. You don't want it to gape, move around or create unsightly bulges. That's quite a lot to expect from four bits of lycra and some elastic!
Everyone looses weight differently, and at different rates according to their specific training. This is one of the reasons that final fitting 2-3 weeks out from your show is critical, between ordering and wearing your bikini your body will go through many changes so don't expect to whip out the bikini on show day and have that perfect fit without that final fitting.
Check out the bikini brands company policy on alterations and fitting services and what is included in the price of your bikini.
TAKEAWAY: Try on your bikini 3 weeks out to do a final fit check, and if you are still dropping body fat at this stage be prepared to get a last minute alteration.
It is a common misconception that if you have more elaborate or highly crystalled bikinis you are more likely to score high....do not fall into this trap! Most federations score your bikini within a stage presence mark which also includes how you conduct yourself on stage, your posing and your overall appearance. I always tell my clients the bikini is just icing on the cake, and it should reflect your personality and taste...the judges don't care how much you spent on your bikini...they want to see you on top form, however you wish to express this.
Enjoy your bikini hunting.