Even though Singapore might be known for its endless summer, we have a surprisingly small range of interesting swimwear to buy from. Brands like Seafolly & Billabong might have a good range of swimsuits to choose from, but sometimes you just want to be able to get that special piece that you’ve been lusting over after spotting it on your fave insta-babes.

While shopping online is the best way to avoid the traumatic experience of trying on swimwear under florescent lighting in a cold AF air-conditioned store, buying a bikini off the internet isn’t as simple as buying a dress or a top. You run the risk of being heavily disappointed if your bandeau top causes indecent exposure or realising that that pair of bikini bottoms that looked “soooooo cute” causes chafing instead of making your bum look cute and perky.

Well fret not. That’s what we’re here for. Here’s 5 fire-proof ways to ensure you get the best bikini buying experience online.

1) Pick separates.

While God might have blessed you with good looks and a brain, unless you are the 1% of the population (aka the Victoria’s Secret runway line-up) chances are your body isn’t perfectly proportionate. And that’s ok, our bodies aren’t meant to be perfect. So if you have a size UK 6 top but a UK 10 bottom, try picking separates to get the best fit as possible. Mixing and matching is also a great way to customize how you want your swimsuit to look like.

2) It’s all about the fit.

Still worried about your bikini not fitting you well enough? Don’t freak out just yet. Keep a look out for adjustable ties. Not only do they allow you to control the amount of skin you want to show, it also allows you to loosen and tighten your bikini accordingly. Also remember to check your measurements against the size chart of the site. A size 6 in one store could mean 10 in another. This is not the time to be worried about your number.

3) Support your breast friends.

A bikini is like a bra, only you don’t have to hide the support, you get to show them off. While your girls don’t have to be hoisted up to under your chin, it is still crucial that your swimwear offers a good amount of support. If you’re really active, high neckline crop tops are a great way to keep your boobs in place whilst still staying stylish. Petite girls can go for bandeaus as well as details like ruffles to give the illusion of a wider bust. Look out for details like thicker straps and properly wired cups if you’re on the bustier side. As a rule of thumb, look out for the same details you would when purchasing a bra, only this time it has to be waterproof too.

4) Fabric is key.

To prevent indecent exposure, check to see if the swimsuit is lined. Look for fabrics with a blend of nylon and spandex with maybe a hint of polyester – these materials are comfortable and provide just the right amount of stretch. We would suggest doing a quick google search on the brand you are interested in as well, just to see what other people’s reviews were like when they received their swimwear.

5) Check the store’s return policy.

The best way to know how something fits is to try it. If the store has a generous return policy and/or affordable shipping prices, order it in a few sizes and return the ones that don’t fit. The return policy is super important because sometimes no matter how hard we try to prepare in life (aka follow steps 1 to 4), things just don’t work out the way you want it to. You want to be able to exchange or refund your money if things just don’t pan out your way.

Images: Triangl/ Prism London/ Same Swimwear/ L*Space/