by Kris Pitcher
There are a lot of things to know about posing suits. Especially to the new competitor, it can be a foreign land. Whether you compete in figure, bikini or physique...you're about to put on one tiny little piece of fabric. And there are just certain things someone should have had the decency to tell you.
It's like the sisterhood of the traveling pants. Everyone needs a big sister to tell her how this thing works. I don't profess to know much about much...but I know a little about a few things. Posing suits is one of the things I've gotten good at.
First you have to decide where to buy this strange "costume". Get on line and start shopping. Ask for referrals. Word of mouth is like gold in this industry and I can't recommend CJ's Elite Competition Wear highly enough.
Everyone has a budget and frankly, that's going to drive where you shop to a certain extent. You can buy something fairly simple and add crystals if you have a steady hand and are the slightest bit crafty.
But there are some first timer mistakes I'd like to help you avoid. Thus the "sisterhood" concept. Practice posing in your suit. If you're not comfortable moving in it, it will show on stage. Don't be afraid of the suit.
Low slung sides are for gangsters, not competitors. PLEASE get those side bands belly button height on your hips. This creates a smaller waist. We all want that. If you let them ride low...your waist looks long and your legs look short. No bueno.
Criss-cross will make you jump (jump) - ok, you may be too young for that reference. Your suit straps cross in the back and need to be tight. This helps to keep those sides at the right place on your hips. You can either tie them to the bottom of your suit, or sew on connectors if you have some sewing skills.
Keep the "girls" in by tying the strap around your neck like you're trying to choke yourself. Well, not literally, but it should be tight as well. Once you are all tied in, this goes for you bikini girls too - PLEASE cut your straps.
I know the last thing you want to do is put scissors any place near your expensive suit. But, you will look like an amature if you have long straps hanging down your back ladies. This is your sister telling you how it is. Cut em.
If your suit fits you well, you will not need to glue it to your body like you're afraid you'll fall out by simply walking five feet. The problem is, you buy a cheap suit that doesn't fit. So, use bikini bite, or spray adhesive and glue your buns in.
If your suit comes away in the front AT ALL, put a little glue there too. No one wants to see that on stage. People naturally glue the back, but forget they can glue the front. Even though it's baby smooth...no tippy outty.
Great, you're all glued in...now you have to pee. Well ladies here's the art of the post-glue pee. You have two options. Ruin your glue job. Or, pull your suit to one side and let er go. Hey, no one said this was going to be pretty. Try not to pee on yourself. A pro can do the doo this way too. Just saying...experience. Flat tummy ladies. It's a good thing.
The fit of your top is important too. Where the cups begin and end based on the placement of your breasts is really key and can completely change your look. A lot of times a small chested gal will choose a close placement in the center, when a bit wider placement might look better.
Likewise, a larger girl will often pull the cup way into her armpit for coverage and it ends up looking like her entire chest and lats are covered up. In that case pushing the sides closer in looks better. So, this takes a good eye. It's an art.
You are going to want to clean your suit right away after your show (the next day). It will be a sad, sweaty, tanned, mess of sparkle lying in a heap on the bathroom floor. Scoop her up and get her taken care of.
I get a big plastic bowl from the kitchen and put cold water in it with a pump of baby wash. I put a pump of the wash in my hand and work the lining of the fabric in the crotch of the bottom of the suit. Then I gently swish it in the bowl. Yuck! Brown water!
Then I rinse it under cold water and put it on a towel (no ringing out). I do the same to the top. Then I roll the suit in the towel to soak excess water before laying it on a dry towel to completely dry. This is a quick process. You don't want to spend much time in the water.
Once it's dry, you can store it in a zipper bag. I've seen people hang them...but that makes no sense to me. Why pull on the elastic? Do what makes sense to you.
Know that MOST of you is out of the suit. So, by all means get your hair removal down. The judges and audience are looking up at you with the lights lighting you up like a neon sign. Any fuzzy hair...anywhere, is going to look like a halo.
And while you might be an angel, this is not the moment to share the fuzz on your buns, toes, or low back. Get a handle on it.
Removing it will not make it come in black, thick, or double next time. Those are old wives tales. Remove. Your. Hair.
Well sisters, I think you're ready to shine on stage. Pick a color that you love, a suit that makes you feel great and one that fits your budget. There are lots to choose from. Most importantly, get your diet and training in line so the suit matters at all. Happy competing!