Finding the perfect suit can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first show. All the different fabrics, colors, stones, and patterns can surely send you on a confusion spiral if you are not quite sure what you are looking for! I decided to write this article to help my fellow competing females in this very important yet exciting task with the following tips:

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1. Establish a budget:

Once you establish your budget, discuss this with your designer and she will explain the options and how far this budget will get you. If you are on the lower end of the spectrum budget wise you will have fewer crystals on your suit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sparkle. Compensate by picking an iridescent or metallic fabric. If you have a higher budget, you can probably have a lot of stones on your suit, but be careful because like the old saying: sometimes less is more, and in the end it’s a fitness competition – and you don’t want your suit to distract from your body.

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2. Be realistic: sometimes what you want isn’t what you should have!

For example: you may want a lot of bling and a ton of crystals on your suit, but if you have a short torso this is something you want to avoid. It makes your mid section look “crowded” and even shorter. You’d want to stick to something subtle and pick the lowest cut bottom to elongate your mid section and give you that overall slim look the judges are looking for. Tall thin girls with long torsos on the other hand can get away with more “bling”.

Try on as many suits as possible and consult with your coach or mentor to make sure your suit looks good on you; sometimes the suit you don’t like as much looks a lot better on you than the one you completely adore.

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3. Pick the right color:

The right color is very important, it will accentuate your features, hair color, and skin tone. Always keep in mind that you are standing under bright stage lights and pastel colors tend to wash out. Bright or deep jewel tone colors tend to look best on stage. Here’s a little help picking out colors:

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For brunettes, jewel tones such as emerald green and sapphire blue are very flattering. Depending on your highlights and undertones, though, orange, pink, and yellow are also good choices. Warm brunettes look fabulous in olive green, orange-red, and deep purple. Cool brunettes stand out in chocolate brown, navy blue, and charcoal gray. Black hair looks amazing when teamed up with fire-engine red, cobalt blue, or royal purple.

Redheads look fabulous in green as well as ivory. Avoid some yellows, which wash out the pale, freckled skin of most redheads. Consider warm shades of orange and brown. Dark auburn and true red hair is complemented beautifully by earth tones — beige, brown, green, and camel. Navy, pink, and bright red aren’t your best options. For strawberry blonde and light auburn hair, peachy pink, violet blue, aqua green, and golden yellow are top choices. True pink and bright purple partnered with red hair offer an eye-catching clash that makes a real statement.

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3. Follow the pros:

They are professional for a reason, so find a pro that has a similar body type, skin tone, and hair color and look at the suits they wear. 9 out of 10 times they make pretty simple suit choices that appeal to all judges. Some times trying “too” hard on your suit turns off certain judges.

Look in the NPC magazines follow some of the looks from the top 3 competitors, but make sure you put your own twist on it, originality is always appreciated!

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4. Follow the NPC rules:

You do not want to be disqualified after months of hard training just because your suit doesn’t follow the proper guidelines.

Here are the NPC rules for proper stage apparel:

• 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.

• Competitors must wear high heels.

• Competitors may wear jewelry.

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5. Pick the right heels!

Make sure you wear 5-6 inch CLEAR high heels – platform heels are inappropriate and may lower your score. Pick a comfortable heel; if you have trouble walking in heels, stick to a 5 inch heel and get ones that have straps around the ankles. Make sure you practice in them and break them in because part of your score comes from stage presence and you do not want to look awkward and uncomfortable on stage. There are gel inserts for heels that can be purchased at your local pharmacy that prevent your feet from slipping forward and give you a more cushioned and stable fit.

Once again, keep it simple.

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6. Jewelry:

You may wear earrings, bracelets, and a ring. No necklace or head pieces are permitted. Keep your jewelry classy – earrings that are too big can sometimes be unappealing to the judges, but feel free to be creative and find unique jewelry. Stick to crystals, for they sparkle the best on stage and give you the perfect glamorous look.

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7. Timing is key:

Make sure you order your suit well ahead of time so you give your designer enough time to create a quality product. You also want to have enough time to do any alterations needed due to your body changing so much in the last several weeks. Suits are very expensive and you want to make sure you have enough time to have it made and tweaked to your specifications. There’s nothing worse than being unhappy in your suit the day of competition, especially after spending so much money on it!

I hope this article is of help to the ladies competing, and feel free to post any questions – I am more than willing to help.

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Recipe Of the Week:

Vanilla Almond Protein Truffles

Ingredients:

2 well rounded scoops of vanilla protein

1/2 cup almond flour

1 1/3 cup all natural almond butter

3/4 cup organic honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl then roll into small balls

Optional:

You can roll these on to almond slivers for an extra crunch.

Then pop them in the fridge, and enjoy!

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Remember, although these are a healthy alternative to soothe the sweet tooth, moderation is still key!

Oh and if you are in contest prep… Don’t even consider making this hahaha :)

Precision Diva Ihona Signature