If the thought of lots of bare skin this summer makes you want to hide under a baggy cardigan, take a fresh look at how to make fashion work for you right now.
- Flirty Skirts
Don't be intimidated by skirts: the best skirts are cute AND forgiving (not something that happens in fashion very often, so jump on this!) Try a flared, knee-length silhouette. It can be in any fabric with a soft hand (most denim doesn't qualify) like washed linen, rayon or cotton. Gentle tiers, or a fuller A-line silhouette that gently comes out from the hip looks great on most women.
Solids and prints are both great in a summer skirt. Pair with a fitted T or other soft top (washed linen, woven cotton, etc.) Wedge heels are fine for dressier looks, but flat sandals are easy for casual wear.
In finding your perfect skirt length, remember that fashion wisdom says a skirt should never be wider than it is long. Asymmetrical or hankie hems are a great camouflage treatment for bottom-heavy figures; pleats and flounces will you give you curves below the waist if you lack them.
More: Dress for Your Body
If you've passed on head-to-toe blooms because you think only girly types can carry them off, take a look at some of the newer florals. From watercolor to mod prints, these florals are anything but old fashioned. One easy way to try the trend is to pick up a floral print handbag.
Keep prints in proportion to your shape: larger frames look best in bigger blooms; petite frames can carry off allover, ditsy (tiny) prints. Either way, prints that have the bloom closer together (less blank space in between) will make your frame look smaller, while wide-spaced flowers will make you look larger.
- Tank Tops
Many women keep bare arms under wraps all season just because they think tank tops are too skimpy. One way to get rid of the skimpies is to layer tank tops. Just pick two complementary colors and layer away. Lightweight cotton jersey is ideal for layering (skip the ribbed styles for this because even tiny ribbing adds bulk).
Some tanks can go braless because they have a built-in bra; many manufacturers make camis with built-ins as well.
Pass on the urge to let your bra straps hang out (tacky, even if it slips in and out of style) and turn to retailers like Land's End which always carries a tank with modest enough straps to sport a bra, too.
More: Bra Strap Solution for Tank Tops
- 2-Piece Swimsuit
Think a 2-piece swimsuit can only be a bikini? Nope, and actually some of the modern 2-piece swimsuits are actually more flattering than 1-piece swimwear. The new 2-pieces owe their flattery to a longer top and bottoms with lots of coverage.
To cover a tummy bulge, opt for a 2-piece that has a long, loose top like the one pictured. To smooth out lower body flaws, choose a 2-piece with a short skirt attached. If you're skeptical about the coverage of a longer 2-piece, you can even find a mock 2-piece which has a fabric lining underneath. It gives you the smooth lines, but more security.
More: Swimwear for Your Body Type
If dimples, veins or pasty legs keeping you from airing out your gams in the heat, opt for a compromise. There is a short for every woman, you just have to find your perfect look. One of the most wearable lengths is a walking short that is a couple of inches above the knee.
Depending on your body type, you can tweak the length of shorts to flatter your figure.
More: Shorts for Your Body Type