Christmas and New Year are done...it's time to start thinking about competition season! If you are competing in the first round of shows in April and May it is already time to start thinking about your bikini!
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 here are my top tips to sort your bikini before prepping gets underway.
- when to order your bikini
- make sure your bikini fits the federations size and style rules
- what bikini style you need
- how much it will cost
When should I order my bikini?
It's time to seriously get cracking on your bikini up to 3 months in advance of your show....especially if you are having something made bespoke. 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.
Make sure your bikini fits within federation rules
The federations have very different rules and expectations when it comes to bikini design. Go and check the rules on style, size and decoration for each federation you are aiming to compete in. Get clued up on the full rules and regulations before you fall in love with a specific bikini.
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. And just to note there is no 'winning' bikini colour or style.....it's totally subjective.
Pick the right style for your class and shape
There are a few distinct styles of bikini, and you will have to decide what will suit you best and what you feel comfortable in. Firstly you will need to pick a suit that is correct for your class. If you are competing as a fitness athlete you must wear a 2 piece bikini that crosses at the back and attaches to your bikini bottoms. These bikinis tend to be V-shaped and sit high on the waist. In bikini classes it is the norm to have a scrunch bum bikini that fits on the hip or high on the leg with either a cupped or triangle shaped bikini top. Bikinis can have crystal connectors in both categories, but they can compromise on the fit of your bikini.
Next think about your shape, and order a bikini that suits it. Do not order a cupped bikini bigger than your normal size thinking you can just add padding, the unique poses required on stage can cause cupped bikini's to lift, crumple or gape. This is especially so for figure/fitness bikinis.
When you order a bikini 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.
How much should you expect to pay for a bikini?
If you can afford to buy a different bikini for every competition....great, if not you may need to be savvy with your choices. Every 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 internet company. Like all things in life, unless you specifically shop for brands, you tend to get what you pay for.
Internet made to measure bikinis are the cheapest option for a new bikini. Prices tend to start from £225 upwards depending on the company and a general rule to go by is the more crystal you want on your bikini the more costly it will be. You send in your measurements, pick your design 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 check the process of getting alterations done to your bikini in the last few weeks with the company that is making your bikini. It could be that they will have a charge for this service or that you will need to make your own arrangements.
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 bikinis from the previous season available at a discounted rate.
Enjoy your bikini hunting.