Physique sports are expensive hobbies -- especially if you want to compete. In addition to gym memberships, clothing costs, and travel expenses, if you plan on getting on stage, you'll need posing trunks (if your a guy) or suits (if you're a woman). But before you go clicking onto the next blog, don't be too quick to dismiss the suit requirement.
If you were to Google-search suits for physique, figure, bikini, or bodybuilding, you'll find dozens, hundreds, if not thousands of sites throughout the world. And usually - or at least a good portion of the time - your perfect fit isn't out there. This is a love story, your perfect fit may not even be in existence. In many cases, you may have to find a suit-maker, exchange ideas and thoughts on specs, and then you may or may not have a suit that will truly show off that physique you've molded in the gym and developed through sound nutrition and supplementation. Why invest so much money into your training, supplements, the time off work, the airline tickets, the car rental, only to cut corners on your suit.
For the women, just like for the men, there's a job you do in the gym, there's a job you do in the kitchen, and there's a job you do in preparation for taking the stage (e.g. your suit, your tan, your posing routine, etc).
To make things easier, I've gone to the Champions for some insights. I hope you find their replies helpful. No one was paid or promised anything for these testimonials. This site is as DIY (do it yourself), underground, and REALLY (fan-based) as they come. These great athletes are grateful to their suit-designers and participated here - out of a sincere loyalty to these companies and out of a continued loyalty to you - THE FANS!
"My first competition suit I found on the website http://www.divaexchange.com, and I recommend every girl interested on competing check out the site before ordering a more expensive suit! I got a great TeenyB bikini suit there for only $100. It was the same style suit that Ali Rosen won Overall at NPC Nationals 2010 in!! DivaExchange.com also has Figure and Fitness suits and new suits are added almost daily! You can also sell your suits there.
For the more experienced and National or Pro level competitors there is no better choice than CJ's Elite Suits. CJ, or Cynthia James, custom makes every suit down to each stone. No one will have a suit like yours! Her suits can cost from a couple hundred to almost a thousand dollars depending on stone work and customization, but no matter the price you will LOVE your suit and it will be worth every penny! CJ is an amazing woman and cares so much about giving competitors the absolute best. She even let me borrow one of her suits at Nationals because mine wasn't going to work and I ended up getting second in my class! I couldn't have done it without CJ's gorgeous suit."
"My last 2 suits were designed by Caron Hospedales. She's been absolutely wonderful! Her suits are gorgeous & I have received nothing but positive feedback from the judges on both of them.
If you have an idea of what you want your suit to look like, Caron can make it happen. Typically a customized suit will range in price, depending on the amount of stones/detail that you want. She is located in New York and can be contacted on Facebook or at email@example.com.
"I have had suits designed by Sylvia Tremblay, which fit like a glove and she was a blast to work with. Her attention to detail, beautiful stoning, and custom fit were amazing. Her prices vary, I was fortunate to buy a used suit that had never been worn. I received my suit on site, 10 weeks out from my show. http://tremblaydesigns.com.
I most recently used Cynthia James, and my exeperience was great. I received my suit 10 days out and the stoning, design, and color were wonderful. I did most of my order over the phone and they were extremely helpful and the fit was almost spot on. A great experience overall. Her prices vary depending on the stone work, which allows the athlete to fit a suit into their budget."
"I've had my suits made by Laura Richards with Suit Yourself out of Denver. She custom designs the suits herself.. She is very personable, flexible, and if your are not happy with something she strives to make sure you get the design and fit exactly how you want it! Shes very reasonable in her pricing..her suits vary from 100-800. She is quick in her turn around time, typically she can get a suit done within 3-4 weeks out of contest so there is plenty of time for any last minute alterations.
Shes on facebook under "Suit Yourself" or her number is 970-217-2428!
"I get my suits designed my Christine Marsh, her website is christinemarshdesigns.com or you can find her on Facebook.
Being a new competitor Christine has helped made my experience so much easier and less stressful. Her communication is key, making her suites come out flawless. Her suits are nothing but amazing!
"I've had all of my suits designed by Lidia Conti. She has custom designed and stoned each suit, with a fantastic fit and beautiful stone work. She was great to work with and asked my input as far as stoning, fabic, cut etc.. Each suit varied in price, which is one of the great things about Lidia, she has a suit/price that can fit anyone's budget. Typically I've receive my suit with in 3-4wks out which gives a little extra time to make any necessary alterations."
"My suits are custom made by Cynthia James (CJ) cynthia-james.com. She is an awesome person and her suits are the best I have seen. They are not cheap - about $600, but I've worn mine in my last 3 shows. I love it so much and have definitely gotten my money's worth."
"My suits are custom made by Saleyla (www.saleyla.com).
She is local in Las Vegas and she custom designs and fits the suits specifically to your body. Her prices are very reasonable and the suits are always made within a week, I would definitely recommend her!"
"Happy New Year! Tamee Marie is the best for suits! Seems like everyone has used her, so she's not hard to find (she has a page somewhere on Facebook); customer service is great and her suits come in all price ranges (to rent or to buy); would definitely recommend :)
Get Your Like Buttons Ready
I know that many of you are super-active on Facebook, with hundreds (if not thousands) of friends and involved with several clubs, but I really would like to point you to NPC Figure Star, Jamey Peter's brand new athlete page! Jamey showcases the ideal Figure physique, with excellent lines, shredded abs, beautiful flowing symmetry, and natural beauty. I have never seen her in person, but look how impressed I am with just her photos! Check out her page here.