3 Steps to Finding Swimsuit Confidence by Blogger Brittany, Herself

Story by ModCloth friends are some of the most motivated peeps we know, so we are continuing our exciting year-long campaign highlighting them. We’re calling it #inspiredbyyou, and it’s just that — useful, whimsical blog content that’s inspired by our ModCloth customers, readers, and beyond. Each month, we’re tapping fabulous storytellers and asking them to share their expertise right here on the blog. What better way to celebrate the ModCloth community than to showcase the incredible work being created by them? This month we connected with fabulous author Brittany Gibbons of the blog Brittany, Herself. 

brittany gibbons

For two decades I feigned sickness and menstruation at the side of the pool, weakly waving at my friends splashing and laughing in the cool water from the comfort of my reclining chair in my oversized and sweaty coverup.

“Go ahead, y’all, I have cramps.”
“It’s actually not that hot here in the shade.”
“I’d love to join you, but I just don’t feel well.”

The truth is I didn’t feel well … in my skin. But as terrifyingly raw as wearing a swimsuit felt, being parked on a pool chair was no kind of life.

We owe it to ourselves to get in that water, already! I know, I know, easier said than done. But, swimsuit confidence is a very real, and super attainable thing. Take it from this 210-pound girl in a bikini — it’s a total life-changer. Here are some thoughts you might find useful:

1. Finding a swimsuit will never not be hard. You need to be okay with this.
I know we have this concept built up in our heads that when we try something on and it doesn’t fit, it’s because something is wrong with us. That’s a ridiculous notion, one piece of clothing can’t possibly be cut to flatter every body shape. Use each swimsuit misstep as a chance to learn more about the shape of your body, and then go right back out and try again. I used to be a fitting room attendant’s nightmare because I would take everything in that tiny dressing room. Now thanks to online shopping, I can do it from the comfort of my bedroom, but the take-it-all rule still applies. I am okay with trying 10 swimsuits on and having them not fit, if it gets me that much closer to the perfect one that does.

2. Learn your body shape and — spoiler alert — it’s amazing.
Bottom line: you will not feel confident in a swimsuit that does not fit your body. I don’t care that all your friends are wearing it, or that it’s totally in style right now, if it does not fit your shape, it will not flatter your shape, and you’ll spend your entire day pulling at it, picking at it, and stuffing things back into it. Take the time to find a suit that accentuates your skin, even if it means bucking a trend.

3. Feeling good in your swimsuit is 80% mental.
Alright, I don’t have the actual math on this, but 80% feels accurate, the other 20% being spandex or something. The point is, you provide the primary narrative for how others perceive you. People treat me like a sexy curvy woman in a bikini because I act like a sexy curvy woman in a bikini — my confident behavior doesn’t give them any other options.

Boho Bikini Brittany Herself

Polka Dot Bikini

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  1. Selene 04/09/2014 at 7:30 am #

    Brittany’s words are so true. Having confidence in our skin and knowing that finding the right suit to fit our body type does take time. A bathing suit (whether a one piece or bikini) will accentuate the positives and make us forget the negatives. A person should never feel awkward in what is covering their body. So, don’t stop shopping for that perfect swimsuit. Believe me, it is out there.

    A message to ModStaff: I wish you carried the Curvy Kate swim line that is not only adorably retro inspired, but they make their swim tops in cup sizes. I can’t buy a suit off the rack because my breasts do not fit in standard size swimsuit tops. I’m quite positive that many of your customers are in the same position as I am. The only sites that carry the Curvy Kate swimsuits have terrible customer service. It would be awesome to be able to purchase a suit through you 😀

    • Susan 04/09/2014 at 10:55 am #

      Thanks for the tip Selene! I’ll make sure our buyers look into it ASAP 🙂

  2. Rachel Lauren 04/09/2014 at 8:49 am #

    Finding the perfect bathing suit is always such a challenge, but when there is nothing quite as fabulous as finding the perfect suit! If you are looking for a great vintage piece, check out my Etsy store, Vintage Pod at http://www.vintagepod.com!

  3. Sally 04/09/2014 at 9:14 am #

    This is such a good post…..last year I got my first ever bikini & actually wore it (which is possibly a bigger deal). I think the only reason I managed to pluck up the courage is because I had to develop so much confidence now that I’m a wheelchair user.
    I doubt I’m going to be needing swim suits anymore but this advice applies to so many other part of fashion 🙂



  4. Katharine Tapley (@KateDrewThis) 04/09/2014 at 3:13 pm #

    Last year I promised my husband that I would buy a bikini this year (none of my old bathing suits fit anymore). I promised him that because I needed someone to keep me accountable: I want my daughter to see my confident in my shape.

    ModCloth bikinis are on my list. Mostly because, though I have finally come to terms with my “I’m 35 and I’ve had two babies and I’m proud of that” body, I like the retro styles. I do want my entire bum covered.

  5. Katharine Tapley (@KateDrewThis) 04/09/2014 at 3:14 pm #

    And what I meant to add: Brittany, you’re gorgeous and sexy!

  6. Kayli 04/09/2014 at 7:27 pm #

    A wonderful post! The high-waisted swimsuit bottoms in the top picture are fabulous! I must get myself a pair of those.

  7. phira 04/09/2014 at 7:53 pm #

    Finding a swimsuit that made me feel beautiful was one of the most amazing moments I can remember. I kept trying to buy bikinis and tankinis that looked good on other people who had different shapes, and it was demoralizing. I felt terrible in my own skin.

    Now that I have some suits I look rockin’ in, it’s not even that I don’t *mind* people seeing me when I go swimming or I read on the beach without a cover up on. I feel amazing and beautiful, not ugly and awkward.

  8. Meghan 04/10/2014 at 7:46 am #

    Brittany, this article made me cry. I’m going on my honeymoon in 2 months and I am building up my confidence to buy a suit that I actually want, not something that is going to cover up my body. Thank you for the inspiration. I know I can do, I just need to shut down the negative voices in my head. Thank you so much for this article!

  9. scaitaround 04/26/2015 at 10:34 am #

    “You will not feel confident in a swimsuit that does not fit your body.” Praise! Preach! Needed to hear this. You look like a glorious, foxy, mermaid queen. All in a good way, obviously.


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