Women often end up feeling discouraged when it comes to buying a new swimsuit. Buying a swimsuit from the Internet can leave you bogged down in a cycle of returns for bad fits. Trying suits on at the store can be disheartening because of the often unflattering lighting in dressing rooms. The trick is to begin by being honest with yourself about your body shape and what flatters it. The next step is finding a swimsuit with the right fit. Suits come in standard 2, 4, 6 sizes or simply small, medium, and large. Sizing your suit means knowing how your measurements translate to these sizes.

Things You'll Need

Measure your bust by wrapping the measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest. You should do this while wearing your bra and panties. Measuring while fully clothed will not give you correct results. Make sure the measurement you take is snug, not tight. And when comparing the measurement to a size chart, order a size bigger if you are in between sizes.

Measure your waist. You can find your natural waistline by bending over. The crease in your skin is where your natural waist is. Start–and finish–at your belly button. Again, make sure the tape is snug, but not tight.

Measure around the fullest part of your hips. This should be approximately halfway between your belly button and your groin area.

Record your sizes.

Compare your sizes to a size chart. Almost every bikini retailer or manufacturer will have a website you can visit to look at their size chart. The size chart will have a measurement in inches and a corresponding size. For example, Venus swimwear’s size 10 is a 37.5-inch bust, a 29-inch waist and a 40-inch hip. Not every manufacturer’s sizes are the same. At Old Navy, a size 10 is a 29.5-inch waist and corresponds to a medium-sized suit.