While there’s little to be done about the unfortunate fluorescent lighting you’re likely to encounter in the change room, knowing which styles will flatter your figure before you dis-robe can increase your swimsuit shopping success rate. Here’s what to look for to emerge a victorious bathing beauty.
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If you have a large chest
Give your girls what they need (structure) and they’ll be happy all summer long. This seemingly simple bra top comes in D cup sizing, contains underwire and has adjustable straps that can be worn criss-cross in back for additional support.
Bikini top, $37, and bottom, $30, La Vie En Rose
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If You Have Wide Hips
Take advantage of mix and match styles, and use colour and print to your body’s advantage. Exhibit A: This bikini top with oversize stripes and light colours draws attention up top, while fuss-free black bottoms subtly trim down your bottom half. When it comes to bathing suit bottoms, keep it simple if you’ve got wide hips. Steer clear of drawstring or bow tie sides and say no to boy shorts: they may appear to provide more coverage, but they also tend to cut across the widest part of your legs.
Floral print bandeau top and bottoms, $39 each, GAP.
Striped triangle top, $37, and solid bottoms, $30, La Vie En Rose
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If You Have a Round Middle
Go ahead and utilize the slimming power of black, but look for suits with a stylish twist. The contrasting bright hues and inverted V-shape on this tankini work together to play up the bust line, emphasize the rib cage (typically a woman’s smallest area) and slim the middle. When it comes to bathing suits, shirring, ruching and draping are all tummy-friendly fashion terms. This one-piece is smart and beautiful: the shirring (all that softly gathered fabric) works wonders to downplay a stomach, and the stunning rich jewel hue is flattering on all skin tones.
Profile by Gottex tankini top, $92, and bottoms, $48, Nordstrom.
La Blanca shirred one-piece, $142, The Bay
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If You Have no Curves
If you weren’t blessed with a bombshell shape, a swimsuit can create one! A cut out one-piece, like this one that arcs out a waist and hips, will give you a va-va-voom figure instantly.
Cut out one-piece, $35, Old Navy
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If you have a small bust…
A teeny bikini top can actually make objects look smaller. Instead try a more substantial style, like this bandeau top with wide straps, a large-scale print and sweetheart neckline that will help add dimension to your upper half. If you have a small chest, details up top on a swimsuit are always a bonus. Here, delicate ruffle trim combines with molded bra-style cups to give the illusion of a fuller chest.
Printed bikini top and bottom, $39 each, Gap
Gingham print bikini top, $45, and bottom, $40, Oakley
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