New shopping news!

Last weekend I put away my Christmas decorations, which officially means we've entered the most depressing time of year: winter. Yes, the next two and a half months will be cold, dark, snowy, cold, bleak, and cold, so, really, there's only one solution in my book: Take a vacation. Seriously, most of the Caribbean is a 5-hour (or less) flight away, and even a long weekend in a tropical locale will do a girl good. There's Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, St. John, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Antigua, Barbados...the possibilities are nearly endless. But, of course, you can't take a vacation with last year's faded, stretched-out swimsuit, can you?

Enter It's been around for a few years, but they've recently revamped their website with all manner of swimwear bells and whistles. The best place to start if, well, you don't know where to start is the Fit Specialist--you can either call or email with a personal shopper to figure out what suit will work best for your body. (There are also a lot of great tips and suggestions on the page, in case you're not quite ready to interact with another human being.) If, like me, you're a bikini fan, head straight to the Bikini Builder® (yes, it's so awesome, it's copyrighted), where you can play around with the mix-and-match bikini separates from four brands (Athena, Hurley, Next, and Spendid). Here's one of my favorite tips: Buy two bikinis from the same brand in similar colors/patterns/styles--you can change it up and create four different suits from the four separate pieces. My one criticism of this feature is that not all the brands on the site are included here, but hopefully that will change in the future.

If you'd rather shop the old fashioned way, you can do so by brand, or narrow down your choices by style, trend, size, body type, color, and/or price. That's how I found this Ella Moss Gypsy Bikini, which is, in its skimpiness and triangularity, totally up my alley. If it doesn't hold up to my expectations, it should be noted Swimspot offers free shipping, free exchanges, and free returns--super awesome, because on many websites, swimsuits are final sale. And there's nothing worse than trying on a swimsuit, looking like a bloated whale in it, and knowing you're stuck with it.

Now if only Swimspot could go to the gym for me...

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