Next time you’re buying a swimming costume for your daughter, before you reach for your wallet, here are a few things to consider to ensure your money is well spent. Whether you’re buying a for regular swimming lessons in an indoor pool, or a week on a foreign beach, whether your girl is little Miss Sunshine or a Teen Goth, the following 5 tips should help make the right choice.
1. Firstly, consider the age appropriateness of your daughter’s swimming costume.
The near naked look is cute on a two year old and sexy on a fashion model but nearly always inappropriate on anyone else, particularly a ‘tween girl. Don’t offer your teenager a granny suit, but do discuss the type of attention their swimwear will attract. It’s not just their mates and the local boys who will see them, if they’re in public they may bump into their teachers, neighbours, parents friends.
2. Buy a swimsuit for your daughter, not for you. There’s a great bra-buying scene in “Bend it like Beckham” where the mother is flicking along a rail looking at bras with enhanced cleavage and lace straps, and the daughter, played by Kiera Knightly, is on a totally different rail looking at basic white numbers with sport support. At least start by looking on the same rail as your daughter.
3. Budget may be an important point, and there are many different buying options available for swimwear nowadays. Good swimsuit fabric is expensive but fabric is only a small portion of the ticket price. Higher ticket items include expensive brand marketing; it might make a more desirable swimsuit but not necessarily a better quality one. Have a shop around to find a costume in good quality fabric that fits your budget from one of the lesser-known brands without the high impact advertising.
In season, high street shops will have a range of swimwear, you can go upmarket to boutiques or economise at the supermarket or budget sports chains. The internet is a great place for buying girls’ swimwear, there are endless small boutiques with individual styles often at very reasonable prices. And on the internet you can shop all year round. Sun protective swimwear mid-winter? No problem!
4. Take a good look at your daughter and suggest a style that suits her body type. I would never recommend making a big deal over this; young girls really do not need a conversation about big bums or heavy shoulders. But keep Trinny & Susannah in the back of your mind if your slightly chunky daughter is oohing over a skinny model in a spaghetti strap crop top.
5. And finally, you as a parent should consider the sun damage your child could be incurring. Young people often have trouble with the concept of long term consequences. Tell a bronzed beach babe that she’ll be all wrinkly at 40 and you’ll get a look that tells you just how remote forty seems to a babe.
Constant tanning leads directly to leathery skin. And, worse, there is the sad fact is that skin cancer, caused by overexposure to the sun, is one of the most common cancers and the number of cases is increasing. A person’s cancer risk is most strongly affected by sun exposure during childhood; experts agree sunburn during childhood can double your risk of skin cancer.
Over exposure to the sun is largely preventable with sun protection awareness and a family sun-smart culture. There are many lovely brands of UV protection swimwear available all year around on the internet; make sure your daughter is aware of them!
One of the best options for buying girls’ swimwear that ticks all the boxes is a co-ordinated collection of separates.
Your daughter can choose fun, fashionable pieces, and add cover for sun or modesty. Mix and match separates as your budget allows. You could start with a tankini, plus girls boardies and a UV jacket; add a California style bikini with a swim shirt, leggings for extra sun cover, or a sarong and a long sleeved rash shirt. You can add items to her capsule collection every year; if you stick to one brand you often find colours or motifs running through the collection so favourite items from one year can team up with new articles for a fresh look the following year.