How to Buy a Bathing Suit Without Crying

Bathing suit shopping isn't for the faint of heart. It involves nudity, bad lighting and the awareness of your every flaw. But I've found a few tricks to make bathing suit shopping a little less painful.

Go to your nearest department store (I usually prefer Bloomingdale's) a day (or two, at most) before you need the bathing suit. It is imperative that you're slightly desperate and short on time. This helps with decision making.

Head straight to the restroom. You must pee. Any bloat can and will work against you. Then make your way to the cute dress and t-shirt section of the store. Choose a few t-shirts and some pretty flowy dresses that you know will fit. Maybe even a beaded number. Anything sparkly. The key is to divert attention to the task at hand.

Then, and only then, approach the bathing suit section. Pick out a few cover-ups or caftans. They're a safe bet. As you head towards the bathing suits, move quickly and grab larger sizes than you think you'll need. Asking the sales lady for a smaller size later will only boost your confidence. The reverse will bring nothing but tears.

Go to the dressing room and try everything on except the bathing suits. Leave them for last.You will need some successes before you strip down to your skivvies in front of a three-way mirror under fluorescent lighting.

Once in the suit, give yourself a fifteen second look-over (no more!) and decide. If at first glance it's not that bad, buy it and never look back.

And that's what I did today. I opted for the sassy sailor one-piece.