Swimsuit Shopping Made Easy with SOS’s Anne Bella Arguelles
To live in the tropics is to be blessed with an overabundance of sun, meaning swimsuit season can run practically the whole year. While all styles look cute enough to wear as they hang waiting on store racks, deciding which one(s) to try on and eventually buy can take several minutes of nitpicking and monologue-ing whilst in different states of undress inside a store dressing room (in my case, at least).
Before the invention of the bikini in the 1920s, there was a time when women would have to wear a heavy dress over bloomers and would have to get their swimsuit hemlines measured by the “swimsuit police”. All to properly conceal the female form when women would go swimming in public!
When asked about the body part they wish they could change, some women (including myself), will have an answer ready and will probably blurt it out; yet when asked about which one they’re proudest of, a pause ensues.
Being proud of every single inch of your body is a constant struggle that no one is exempt from, yet as women living in modern times, we should count ourselves so lucky that we now get to wear what we want, especially swimsuits. It’s time we forgave ourselves for our perceived ‘flaws’, and used swimsuits to highlight (not hide) our assets. Easier said than done? Definitely.
Time to meet the Stylist of Sorts.
After taking on and transitioning into so many roles in the world of Philippine fashion over the years (from editor, to entrepreneur, and now, to blogger), fashion stylist Anne Bella Arguelles became Stylist-in-Chief of her own blog, Stylist of Sorts. Since 2014, she has documented and written about her personal styling sessions with clients (and sometimes, her very fashionable friends), and covers real style concerns, like how to find the right glasses for your face shape, for example.
We asked Anne a few questions about herself, her career in fashion, and asked her how to make the task of swimsuit shopping less painful for us not-so-stylish folk. Have a read and get inspired:
What was the turning point in your career that led you to putting up Stylist of Sorts?
I’ve always wanted to have a blog but I didn’t want it to be about myself. I’m more of a behind-the-scenes person, given my editorial background. One night at a movie, two of my girlfriends gave me the idea of creating a makeover blog, since none exists. It wasn’t until years later that I decided to take the plunge. I love giving solicited fashion advice to friends and family and sometimes, I get the urge to give my opinion in dressing rooms to women who are on the fence about buying a garment. I haven’t done it yet, still mustering up the courage to do it!
What do you enjoy most about styling for clients?
The messages I get of affirmation from their spouses, friends, family about how good they look and when they notice the change. Also when they say, “I never thought about pairing these before!”. I like making people feel good about themselves and seeing the glow the right outfit gives them. They always come out with more confidence and a skip in their step. That’s my way of giving back through something I love to do.
What advice would you give to women who want to start finding their own personal style?
It’s a process with a LOT of hits and misses. I had my fair share of experimenting with the most obscure looks in my early 20s and cringe-worthy as it is now, looking back, I’m glad I let loose and went with it. Your personal style will change over the years, depending on where you are in your life. People are more fortunate now with the rise of street style stars and social media; inspiration is everywhere! I never tire of looking through the web for ideas; it’s fascinating and educational at the same time. Plus, it gives you the confidence to wear something you’ve seen someone else has; just make sure you always give it your own spin. Fashion should be fun—it’s not rocket science—so express yourself to the max!
Your favorite body part “My butt! I used to hate having a butt but my mom said it’s a blessing and as usual, she was right. Clothes, especially pants, look better when you have a more pronounced one.”
What you’d wear to the beach “Oversized men’s polo shirts, pants over maillots, a kimono, shorts.”
Go-to swimsuit brand/s “Obsessed with Float Swim now! And Nothing But H20. I prefer supporting local.”
The 3 things you’d need with you at the beach “My LL Bean tote, a wide brim straw hat, sunblock.”
Anne also provided her best swimsuit cuts to highlight the following body parts below, so scroll down to see her tips and our local swimwear recommendations, then take them with you on your next shopping trip!
Regardless of whether you want to display a full cleavage, or enhance an A cup bust, these cuts will make your clavicle pop:
While working out can ensure that you can don a low back with pride, these cuts and styles will help you bring sexy back in style:
Got tiger stripes? Stop hiding! Wear them buns with pride in these bottoms that’ll surely warrant the use of the peach emoji:
From top to bottom:  Napsan bottom (in Nerds), Diwata Swimwear;  Jane (in Cherry), Pepper Swim;  Palaui botton (in Oreo), Diwata Swimwear;  Kirsten (in Charcoal), Pepper Swim;  Elena botton (in Wine), Float Swimwear
Dress your stems in these suits, and your friends will be going “LEGS, legs, legs mo ay nakakasilaw!” in no time:
Whittle the WAIST and show off your God-given curves in these swimmies:
Are you 30 and above? Anne has a great blog post about how to go swimsuit shopping, just for you. You can also send her a style SOS at her blog, in case you even find yourself in a fashion bind and need some styling for your next big event.
With Anne’s no-nonsense advice, all you need are these tips, some time in the fitting room, as much je ne sais quoi as you can muster, and enough hours at the beach to learn to get comfortable in that new swimsuit.
Follow the Stylist of Sorts on her Instagram for style eye candy served daily (if not hourly!).
**All photos of swimsuits used in this feature are courtesy of merchant websites**