Not quite sure where to start sifting through the swimwear options?
Take a look on which style might suit your body best:
- Small busted - Halters and triangle bikini tops work. Wear lighter color, prints, metallics, shiny fabrics and embellishment on the top. Take advantage of underwire bra tops for more lift. Beware the trendy bandeau top, as it tends to flatten.
- Large busted - Look for support first. Underwire, sculpted and soft-cup bras built in are very common now. Wrap, surplice tops, strategically placed floral prints, stripes and colorblocking look great, too. Make sure your straps are substantial enough to hold everything together.
- No waist - Create the illusion of a small waist with a thin belted suit, wrap-front (surplice) or color-blocking that accents the waist.
- Tummy - Go for control fabrics, vertical stripes and face-framing details.
- Short legs - Try a leg style that rides high to lengthen your legs. Beware boy-leg shorts or skirted suits.
- Bigger on bottom - Use wide straps to even things out. Also, lighter colors, prints or embellishment on top with solid darks on bottom help create visual balance.
- Try on a size larger than you normally wear. You will probably find less tugging and a better fit.
- Take advantage of special sizing (by bra size or long torso).
- If you are trying on swimwear in a store, bend over, sit, stand and walk to make sure the suit will stay in place.
- Take a look at your body in a three-way mirror; if you don't trust your judgment, take along a friend who will tell you how you really look in the suit.
Want to shape up a bit before wearing your new swimsuit? About's Guide to Exercise, Paige Waehner says to try these exercises:
For more on firming up for summer, try Paige's ideas for firming up your fanny: "Your Summer Body"
Make sure you get maximum wear from your new swimsuit by following these care guidelines:
- Wash out suntan oil, chlorine and saltwater ASAP after wearing.
- Handwash in cold water with a very mild soap.
- Hang dry.
- Some swimwear manufacturers recommend that you NOT wear their products in hot tubs or whirlpools (they cause damage.)