For my first bikini competition, I choose to have a custom competition suit created. I am lucky to have a local company where I live. I was able to physically go into the store. At the end of the article, I will post their info for you.
1. Ordering a custom bikini competition suit
Eight weeks out from the show, I went online to the website to order my consult. I was able to choose the date and time. Then they sent me an email confirmation. The consult was scheduled for 7 weeks out from the show.
2. What to expect from the first consult
- Let the amazing designers know your competition date – that way they know when to have the suit completed
- Tell them what type of suit they are going to be making: bikini vs figure
Share with the designer your favorite colors. This was the starting block for choosing the fabric color. My coach had also asked me my favorite color and gave shade suggestions before attending the consult. I was impressed by the designer. She has many years of experience so she knows what color my skin will look like tanned and pulled out different fabric shades that would work well. They had so many fabric samples, it was quite extensive. They had me put on a sample suit. Then we would put the different fabric swatches on top of the top to see how the colors would look.
4. Top cut
Of course, there are many options on the top cut from triangle to all sizes of roundness. I opted for a round look.
5. Top padding
Yes, they can add padding where needed. Since I had removed quite a bit of body fat from my body over the year, my breast size was smaller and I started with a B cup. Therefore I requested double padding. It looked great and was comfortable.
6. Bottom cut
Contact the organization that you are competing in, to understand the rules. I competed in the NPC and their rules for Bikini competition suit are:
“Competitors will compete in a two-piece suit. The bottom of the suit must be v-shaped. No thongs are permitted. Competitors can compete in an off the rack suit. All swimsuits must be in good taste. Athletes will be warned about improper suits and are advised to bring two (2) suits to check in. The fronts of the suits are too low and must be constructed higher. Athletes will be scored down if the suit is not up to standard.”
Also, visit the promoter of your event website to see if there are any additional rules specific to that show. I choose a crunched bottom that rounded out my glutes.
You may choose to have just the fabric or to jazz it up with crystals. I choose clear crystals for both my top and bottom with a scattered pattern. It is amazing the different color crystals that you can add on and then you choose the pattern. Be prepared to make a lot of fun decisions.
8. Front connector
Over the weeks of reading and watching other bikini show prep series, I learned that there is a front connector that goes on the top in between the breasts. If you have larger breasts then a longer front connector looks great. For those of us with smaller breast, use a smaller front connector to help lift the breasts up.
9. Back connector/ claps
For my normal bikini swimsuit that I would wear to the beach, I would have either a tie in the back or a simple hook to connect the back of my top. When I have the tie, there is a possibility that it could come undone. For the competition suit, they have a heavy duty clasp that removes the worries of your top becoming untied while walking on stage.
10. Top around neck pull tie
What about the tie that goes around your neck for the bikini top, you might ask. They have a solution for that too. They installed a sliding matching colors cord lock. This made it much easier to tighten instead of having to tie the strings. It also eliminated the chance of the top string from coming undone.
11. Top around the neck connectors
You can have regular string or you can add jeweled connectors. I choose to match my front connector with my straps. They were both with clear jewels and straight bar lines.
There are so many styles of side connectors for your bottoms. You have straight bars like I did to match my top. You can have them be dangling, like ropes or there are loops.
13. Allergies to metal
Do you have allergies to metal? I do, since my bikini competition suit had connectors and the back of the connectors are made of metal, I used clear nail polish to coat the metal that would be in contact with my skin.
When you are talking with your suit designer have a budget in mine. The more connectors you purchase and the style of connectors will increase the price. The pattern of the crystals that you request will increase the price because of the time it takes to create the patterns. A basic with no crystals and no connectors will start around $200 and goes up from there to $1000 or more.
Two weeks before my show, I scheduled to have my final suit measurement and pick up. My designer is so amazing. She asked who my coach was. Since she knew my coach and understood how my coach trains, she knew how much my hip measurements could change over the next 2 weeks. I thought, “wow” is that possible. Now that the show is over, she was right on target for my hips and chest circumference measurements. That comes with experience. She had me put on the suit and confirm that everything was even on the top and bottom and then completed the final stitching. As soon as I returned home, I put on the suit and started to practice.
16. What if you need to have an adjustment
What happens if your size changes and you need an adjustment? Well, if the custom designer is close to where you live, contact them and schedule an adjustment. If they do not, then contact them immediately and ask for help.
17. How to wash it
Hand wash in the sink while keeping the metal connectors dry. I used warm water and a mild dish soap (like dawn dish soap) on the fabric where there is tanning solution/color. Then I laid it flat on a towel on a counter to dry. Since I had double padding in the top, it took a while to dry.
18. How to store it
Did you receive a bag from the designer? If yes, store it in the bag. If not store it in a zip lock type bag to help keep both the top and bottom together to avoid misplacing one or the other.
19. What to do when done
You can use it again for your next competition or resale it. Bikini competitors will use sites to sell their suits, such as eBay or divaexchange.com.
As promised at the start, the amazing designer I used was Bilbobaggs.com. When contacting them, ask for Randi or Norma, let them know that I sent you. For 10% off your first order, give them my name (Melissa “Missy” Debnar). Then make sure to send me a photo of your awesome suit. I would love to see what you choose for color, crystals, and connectors.