How to Wear a Swimsuit If You Are Not Gigi Hadid

Katie Sturino’s swimsuit picks and tips for summer

07.13.15

For a season that’s all about freedom and junk food, summer certainly seems to have a lot of don’ts: Don’t mix alcohol. Don’t shake your towel out when someone’s still lying down. Don’t leave your house without sunscreen. Don’t pee in the pool. It’s like, Jesus summer, can I live?

But Katie Sturino takes the opposite approach, at least when it comes to the wearing of swim. With every question I asked her (what colors work, what’s off limits, what cuts are bad?) she had a similar answer: there are no rules.

Maybe visual inspiration is the only real “rule” we need. If she can do it, we can do it, sort of like how some people need to watch their friends dive under the water first to prove hypothermia’s a myth before shocking their own crotch.

And so with that, we present:

Katie Sturino’s Non-Guide to All-Size Swimwear

1) The only “must have” is Confidence with a capital C.

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Do I look like Hannah Bronfman or Gigi Hadid in a bikini? No. Far from it. However, acting self-conscious shows. People can sense discomfort. I take the opposite approach at the pool, make the above sultry-at-the-shallow-end face and rock what I got.

Although, I am sure there have been times when people want me to cover up…hello, crouching in a bathing suit.

2) A capital C is also for Caftan.

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Or K for Kaftan. Who even knows? They’re breathable (but careful: not the silk ones!) and make you look like you’re about to board your yacht.

3) Embrace wetsuits and long sleeves.

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I’ve come a long way from my SPF 4 tanning oil days. Long sleeve swimwear (check out Coverswim!) protects your skin from the sun, and wetsuits are simply very James Bond.

4) Wear what works for you, not what’s trending.

That means shapes and colors and patterns. If you want to try a high waist suit, try it, but don’t feel pressured to buy something just because everyone’s wearing it on Instagram. Likewise, don’t avoid something just because you “don’t look like her.” Who knows — a weird cut may end up being your new “thing.”

5) Get support.

I really need chest support to feel comfortable, but I don’t let that stop me from buying a certain suit. If there’s one that I can’t live without but the hold-up sucks, I bring it to my tailor who sews in bra-like cups on the inside.

6) My only don’t:

DO NOT hang out in your wet bathing suit all day!

Follow Katie Sturino on Instagram @the12ishstyle, and check out her website here. Read her story on Melasma Mustaches while you’re at it.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis

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