Finding the perfect one-piece or bikini can be daunting, but with so many styles to choose from these days, the hunt for the perfect suit doesn't have to be that bad.
Whether you’re looking for one that provides just the right amount of coverage or prefer the "less is more" philosophy, we asked two stylists on how best to embrace our best beach looks ever. Check out their tips below:
If you’re long and lean, but want to add curves, look for a swimsuit that showcases a current couture trend. “Peplums are not only super popular for clothing, but swim as well,” explains Chelsey Davidson of ModCloth.com. “This flirty style will help to add some volume to your lower half, making your waist look smaller, all while also adding a feminine touch.”
Consider a halter, bra-style or bustier top, which provides support for bigger-busted gals. Davidson also recommends channeling your inner Hollywood bombshell with a vintage-style suit, which were designed specifically to flaunt curves. If you do want to minimize your shape, pick a darker hue. “The eye is drawn to bright colors, so the key is to wear black in an area you want to camouflage,” explains stylist Illysia Neumann-Loreck. “For example, a swimsuit that’s black on the bottom and has a pattern on top is a great option. It draws attention to the upper half of your body.”
Most women fit in this category, which means you are little larger on the bottom than you are on top. “A halter top will accentuate your shoulders while balancing out your top and bottom half,” says Davidson.
Under 5’4”? You’re in luck because shorter ladies have plenty of options to reach new heights. “A monokini is a great choice if you are slightly shorter,” says Davidson. “It will help to give the illusion of height and add curves. Also, a higher cut bottom will make your legs look exceptionally long.” If you don’t feel like wearing a one piece, go for the classic bikini.
A Pea in the Pod
Flaunt your baby bump with pride this beach season! Whether you’re three months along or in your third trimester, there are several brands currently on the market specifically for moms-to-be. As long as there is enough elasticity, either a one piece or two-piece should should provide support for your growing shape. For some designer suggestions, consider A Pea In The Pod, Destination Maternity or Motherhood Maternity. Major retailers such as the Gap and Old Navy also have affordable options.
"A swim dress is perfect for heavier women,” says Loreck. “It skims the body and doesn’t cling as a normal swimsuit does, but it doesn’t have extra fabric that would add bulk.” For a slimming effect, Loreck says to choose a dark hue over a lighter one. Also, make sure there is enough ruching on the fabric to camouflage the areas of your body you’re not completely comfortable showing off. “Be sure to look for underwire in the bust for good support as well,” she says.
Kenneth Cole/Carmen Marc Valvo
Once you’ve hit the big 4-0, a bathing suit with some coverage will be beneficial for your body, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t look and feel your very best. “A one-shoulder swimsuit is very chic and offers great coverage,” says Loreck. “And if your stomach isn’t as flat as it used to be, ruching, or horizontal gathers, can hide a pooch.”
You may not have a supermodel's stomach, but a little extra tummy shouldn't stop you from flaunting your figure. Like with anyone with extra curves, ruching will hide a pooch. Loreck also says to look for a swimsuit featuring extra spandex to push everything in comfortably, much like shapewear. In terms of two-pieces, a retro-style high-waisted bikini is also on-trend and great for camouflaging. There’s also the tankini, which incorporates a figure-flattering tank top. “The tank top skims the tummy instead of clinging to it (in comparison to a standard bikini top),” says Loreck. “Depending on how comfortable you are with your hips and thighs, you can wear it with a bikini bottom or a skirt.”
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