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Get the Perfect Competition Bikini in 5 steps

Updated for 2024

A beginners Guide to choose your first Competition Bikini

If you are doing your first Fitness Competition, getting the right bikini is essential to your show experience and placement. So before you start hunting for the perfect bikini read my list of 5 things you should be considering before you purchase.

Four PCA fitness competitors lined up on stage posing in competition bikinis
Fitness Competitors at the PCA competition

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?

Order your bikini as far in advance as you can, as many bikini making companies get booked up fast!

Get your bikini sorted up to three months in advance of your show. Never leave ordering your bikini to the last few weeks.

Contact the company you want to make your bikini to check their lead in times, and schedule in fittings to work with your prep schedule and real life. Don't leave anything to the last will only stress you out. And the last thing you want to be during prep is stressed!

Make sure you pay your deposit as early as possible to ensure your order is placed. Do not assume your order is in until you have at least part-paid for your designers services. Like most service industries bikini designers expect part payment before starting your order, and will make your bikini from scratch after your order is placed.

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.

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.

What to do if you miss the lead time deadline?

Many designers are very accommodating if you just miss the lead time deadline, so give them a call or message to see if they have any ready-made bikinis that are acceptable, or can be altered to fit your needs.


How much does a Competition bikini cost?

Like all things in life, expect to get what you pay for.

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.

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.

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 Kompak 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 Competition Bikini do I need?

Three things should decide the style of your bikini.

  • Which show you are doing

  • What category you are competing in

  • Your body shape, personal style and preferences

Each federation has different rules and expectations when it comes to bikini design. When you pick your show 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 competition bikini 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.

Four competition bikinis lined up diagonally on a white background

It is a common misconception that if you have more elaborate or highly crystalled bikinis you are more likely to score 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.



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