Choosing the Perfect Competition Suit

In light of the release of The Beginner’s Guide to Bikini Competitions, Amanda Freick of AmandaLouise Swimwear guest blogs about how to choose your perfect suit.  She is generous enough to offer a special discount to those who purchase The Beginner’s Guide to Bikini Competitions and is a wealth of knowledge regarding design and creation of the perfect suit to showcase your hard work.  

The competition suit to bikini competitors is like a wedding dress to a bride. Every detail is thought about… the color, the cut, the stones. It’s even common to see tears of joy when my client tries on her finished suit for the first time. There is nothing more important than choosing the perfect competition suit. 

Being a competitor myself, I get it. You work insanely hard, make huge sacrifices, and when it comes to the moment of showing all of that off, you want it to be perfect. This is why choosing the right suit, and right designer is SO important.

There seem to be more and more competition suit providers every day. Honestly, I love it. The market is growing and with each of the suits being a custom creation, it’s a blast to see what we all come up with. That said, there are some really important questions you should ask your designer to make sure your (large) investment is going towards a quality product. I wrote a whole blog on this subject, which you can visit HERE, but here are a couple of the most important questions:

Do you use elastic in your straps?

Many designers don’t… and this means your straps will not be as stretchy. Personally, I like my straps to feel super sturdy and have a good amount of stretch in them, so all AmandaLouise suits come with straps that are sewn on high quality elastic.

What kind of crystals do you use? And are they glued or heat pressed?

Swarovski, hands down, are the superior crystal choice. That said, they can be about double in cost (at wholesale for your designer) compared to the very high-quality Czech and Australian stones that are available. I’ve seen a few suits with really cheap plastic “stones” that just do not shine the same on stage. I use Swarovski primarily, and step down to the Czech/Australian crystals when the Swarovskis are out of stock or not available in a color I need. Glue vs. Heat Press. I’ve done both. For the first two years, I was a heat press girl… now? ALL GLUE. It takes me longer, but I have not lost a single stone since I started gluing. The trouble with heat press is that the stones come with glue already on the back of them, and it is a TINY amount. When you put on your suit, the fabric stretches and can compromise that tiny bit of glue to the point where the stone falls off. Ask your designer their thoughts on the subject.

Once you find a designer you like, it’s time to design that suit. Sometimes my clients know EXACTLY what they want… like, here’s a picture, make this. Other times it’s “Well, I like blue, or purple, or pink, and want to be sparkly.” I love helping clients design their dream suit, which is why I offer free competition suit consults (in person or via phone/Skype… you can schedule yours HERE). Here’s what we talk about in one of those consults. You can use this as a guide to designing your suit, no matter which designer you choose:

The Suit Color: Color is by far the hardest choice for most of my clients. When deciding on a color, take the following into consideration

 

    1. Eye Color – If you have light eyes and want to make them POP, choose a complimenting suit color
    2. Hair Color – If you’re platinum blonde, and wear a hot pink suit, you WILL look like Barbie (i.e. give off a young teenie-boppers vibe). Conversely, if you have black hair and wear a vibrant red, you’ll give off that dark, sultry vibe. You want your personality to SHINE on stage, so go for a look that speaks to you and reflects your personality.
    3. Skin Tone – This one is a biggie. The tan is, well, gnarly. If you are caucasian, I highly recommend NOT choosing anything that is light and warm in color (i.e. orange, yellow, light pink…). This is because the suit will wash you out and you’ll look like one big tanned blob! For all athletes, jewel tones are usually a safe bet. Reds and Blues are by far my biggest sellers, with green closely behind.
    4. Other Considerations – WHITE IS DANGEROUS!! Again, that tan is gnarly. I’ve seen girls completely ruin a suit just by putting it on backstage and the suit rolling up their leg. Black has been popular lately, but you can look dark next to a bunch of bright blue and purple suits. If you’re going to go with a dark color, make sure your posing and personality will shine enough to get you noticed!

The Suit Cut: The cut of the top is usually a pretty standard triangle top. Some designers do offer the molded tops (like a push-up bra), but you don’t often see them on stage except in the WBFF organization. (Where the suits are much more elaborate).

As for the bottoms, all of us designers call our “butt cuts” different things. You might hear “Pro Cut” or “Pro Scrunch” for example. The first thing you want to do when choosing the cut of your bottoms is to check the regulations for your show. Some federations require 50% coverage, which means the almost thong of a “Pro Cut” would not be appropriate. Once you know which cuts are allowed, think about your glute shape and what will accentuate it. The AmandaLouise Pro Cut is our tiniest bottom, that is heart shaped and plays up that round glute shape. This is our recommended bottom for all competitors competing in shows that allow it.

The Crystals: Before we talk crystals, it’s important you know one very clear fact. Your suit will NOT win the show for you.

It breaks my heart to see competitors feel like they need to max out a credit card to completely bling out a suit so they feel like they can win. Ladies, PLEASE STOP. Girls go PRO in suits with ZERO stones on them. Does your suit have a vital role in your overall look? Absolutely. Will a color and cut that is appropriate for your body, but has no crystals cost you a placing? Absolutely not. All that said, the bling is great if you can afford it. Choosing an amount of bling, the design of the stones, and the color can change the overall look of a suit. Crystal AB is the stone you see most often. It shines somewhat white and is really sparkly on stage (assuming it’s a high-quality stone.) I always keep Crystal AB in stock, but I love incorporating unique colors to make the AmandaLouise suits stand out. Some of my favorite stones right now are Light Siam AB (a light red), Sapphire AB, and Volcano. You can see all the colors we have online HERE, but seeing them in person is ALWAYS better. Your town may have a local bead shop that carries Swarovski, OR AmandaLouise will soon be offering Designer Boxes that will include fabric swatches, a crystal chart, and measuring tools that can be rented while you design your dream suit.

The Connectors: I only have a couple of rules for connectors… Don’t draw attention where you don’t want it, and choose something that makes you feel beautiful.

The attention thing, here’s what I mean. If you’re like me, and always bottom heavy, choosing something like a three-row drape connector will draw attention to that area of my body (where I don’t want it), whereas a straight and solid connector will just complement the overall look. Now, if you have killer side glutes and want all eyes there as you transition, then maybe something a little more flashy is perfect.

As you can see, a whole lot goes into every suit. We take care to make sure every client is 100% satisfied with their choices and feels amazing when they step on stage. Before I leave you, I want to give you one more suit option… Rentals. Renting your competition bikini is a great way to get that pro bling look, for a fraction of the price. We have a rental collection that is growing all the time and can be checked out on our site via this LINK. We are always here to help you pick your perfect competition suit! 

 

If you have ANY questions at all about suit design, we’d love to help! Shoot us an email at [email protected], or schedule your FREE Competition Suit Consult.

 

Thank you, Amanda!! 

The Beginner’s Guide to Bikini Competitions is discounted through Saturday, September 3rd!