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How To Buy the Best Swimsuit, or Bikini For You

Lingo

The Best Swimsuit For Your Shape

No, it's not an oxymoron; you really can find the perfect suit to flatter your figure if you just understand a few things. The very first thing to know is that there are very few perfect bodies out there. Everyone has something they are trying to deal with. Here are a few tips.

One-Piece or Two-Piece Swimsuit?

Some of the most beautiful, sexiest women seen on the beach wear one-piece swimsuits. They do not reveal it ALL, just enough to keep things interesting. Some one piece swimwear have cut-out sides, others do the deep plunge to reveal some cleavage or hike it up at the hip to accentuate the leg. The swimsuit rule here is to show off your best assets and conceal the others. Always remember that you are aiming for a balanced silhouette.

Swimsuit For Swimming

If you're into swimming, definitely get a one-piece. Find one that doesn't cut into the shoulders, has comfortable, stretchy fabric and doesn't creep up the backside. Forget bikini strings. You just don't want anything to come undone while you're doing laps or snorkeling off a crowded beach.

Small On Top

If you're small on top, you may want to try the better swimsuits from Brazil, such as ViX, or Salinas. These designers have adjusted their swimsuit patterns to the fit American market, however, they still run on the small side.

Look for bikini tops with a touch of padding, or an under wire, demi-bra style that makes the most of a beautiful, dainty, bust line. Try to find a swimsuit top with adjustable straps at shoulders and around back so that you can tighten and adjust things, to help fill out the top line.

You are very lucky that you have the body to wear those cute, ruffled, swimsuit tops that are so hot right now, so go for it. And as for bandeau bikini tops, only you can wear those well. You can also show off in those tiny, string bikini tri-tops that the big busted girls only dream about.

Avoid tops with too much fabric or have a poor fit. Opt for separates, where you can choose your top and bottom separately.

Big On Top

Halter-top bikinis can be a good choice by offering support, while providing some sexy cleavage too. Look for swimwear styles that have wide bands around the midriff and can be tied in back and around the neck. This style will give you some lift and will allow you to make adjustments for a personal fit. You may need some extra support; underwire swimsuit tops can also work well, but only if they fit perfectly.

Look for one-piece swimsuits with some structure in the bust, such as soft foam cups or at least, a shelf bra. Straight cut bust styles such as a classic tank swimsuit can look clean and sporty. Wide shoulder straps will also be much more comfortable than thin, spaghetti straps.

Avoid strapless bandeau tops and those tiny, tri-tops that offer minimal coverage. Again, make sure to get a suit where you can order the top and bottom sizes separately.

Short Legs or Torso

Play up your figure by finding a bathing suit that is cut high on the thigh. This will make your leg look much longer. If you have curvy hips, then all the better. This cut will accentuate your smaller waist and give you a flirty look.

You've probably already heard that vertical stripes can visually lengthen the body. Well, here's another trick. Wear a solid bottom bikini with a printed, or embellished top. This will draw the eye upward and give you a longer look.

A solid, one-piece bathing suit with a plunging neckline creates a continual, long appearance and is absolutely, drop dead sexy to boot!

Avoid boy shorts and skirted bikinis as they draw the eye downward and can make you look shorter.

Long Body Shape

Clothes drape beautifully on you and your legs go on and on. But, you do need to make sure that you do not look like a bean pole at the beach in your swimsuit. You can go wild with the embellishments at the hips and bust line. Ruching, rings, jewels, ties and bows are all good things for you. Try horizontal, or diagonal stripes and nappy fabrics, such as stretch terry and velvet.

Boy shorts are just the thing for your slim hips. Oh, and those cute, ruffled bikini skirts and cover-ups? They're made just for you!

If you want a one-piece swimsuit, try one of the latest, cut-out suits. It will break up your long torso, just like a bikini does.

Avoid up and down stripes, high necklines and dark, solid colors.

No Waist

No problem. It's not that you don't have a waistline, it's that you hips are slim.

If you don't have many curves, create some by wearing one-piece suit with a high-on-the-thigh cut. A belted waistline on a one-piece suit will give the appearance of a whittled middle. So will a draped, surplice detail that pinches in at the waist, or a curvy seam line that runs down each side of the torso.

Bikinis are good for you. Add some illusion at the hips with rings, ruffles, folds, ruching and bows. Rings on a bikini bottom will flatter a figure with no waist. If you're small on top, go for a strapless bandeau top. Pick out for a dark, solid bottom and a wildly printed or embellished top.

Avoid solid-colored or horizontal striped one-pieces.

Wide Shoulders

Balance is the key word here. You will want to play up the bottom of your torso and minimize the top. Wear bikini bottoms that have lots of color and print and also sport accents at the hips such as ties, belts, folds and sashes. The new, moderate cut bottom was made for you. Also, wide shoulder straps and square necklines can make you look fabulous.

Avoid the "V" silhouette by staying away from those plunging neck lines or teeny, tiny bikini bottoms.

Plus Size Figure

Show a little skin in just the right places and you will look seductively svelte and super sexy!

Look for one-piece swimsuits with lace or mesh inserts at the waistline. A strategically placed cut-out, or a deep V neckline, can really change your visual image.

Lengthen your thigh with an adjustable gathers at the hip. A short or long sarong can give you a little confidence and still look totally glamorous.

Try some of those great, color-block swimsuits that have a different color panel that curves along the waistline, giving a slimming illusion. Dark, cool colors are always good and so are swirling, or V patterns. Try a swimsuit with dark, solid panels down each side of the torso and a floral printed middle.

Avoid too much fabric. Modesty is certainly OK, but too much coverage is not necessarily a better option. Also, stay away from white, as well as bright, neon fabrics and those nappy textiles.

Too Much Tummy

If you are self conscious about your tummy try one of those fabulous, tummy, control panel, swimsuits: they really work wonders.

If you're going for a two-piece swimsuit, then checkout the, "meet-and-greet," tankinis that are on still the fashion scene today. They cover just enough, but you still have the freedom and hip factor of a bikini. A one-piece with some close draping around the waist or hips can also help to conceal.

Avoid itsy bitsy bikinis and blah, solid colored, one-pieces.

Big On Bottom

The newest, mini-skirted bikinis are too cute and made just for you! Don't go for a super frilly one, though. Instead, pick a smooth, skimming skirt that is short and sweet, but covers what it needs to. A ruffled or highly decorated top is OK though. The details will draw attention to your top half.

You could also go for a moderate, folded bottom bikini that has a 2 inch side...very chic! Make that a solid bottom and print top for a super effect.

Try a maillot one piece. Something with wide straps, or a strong horizontal neckline, will balance out your silhouette. Remember, playing up your top side will de-emphasize your bottom side.

Avoid boy shorts, too skimpy bottoms, or lots of ruffles and details at the hips.

Pregnant

Do you know how beautiful you are right now? Enjoy your day in the sun!

Some moms-to-be choose to go with a regular bikini because they don't have to worry about the middle part getting in the way. However, as the day draws closer, you will probably want a one-piece. Pick one that you can let out and adjust as your tummy and hips expand. You will probably want some support in the bust as well.

The Perfect Body

If you've got it go for it! Let's face it; you work hard to keep your body in perfect shape. A tiny, designer bikini looks good on so few people, you should consider it your solemn duty to beautify the beach and make a few heads turn.

You Get What You Pay For

By all means, avoid buying a cheaply made swimsuit, or bikini from one of those mass marketed, chain stores, or fly-by-night web hawkers. They may look like a bargain in the short run, but you won't get the fit and quality that you expect and it won't last nearly as long. It takes a lot of time and expertise to make a great swimsuit, not to mention excellent materials and workmanship, so you may pay a little more up front. However, you will be better off with one, or two, higher quality swimsuits that are sympathetic to your body type and will endure through several seasons. Spend the extra money...you and your body will be glad that you did.

Find It BEFORE You Go

Find your suit BEFORE you go on vacation. Prices at resorts can be astronomical and you don't want to spend all of your time looking for a suit that fits, especially in a foreign country that considers a size 3 "average." Make sure you take your measurements before you start shopping and use those, not size numbers to find your best fit. Choose your tops and bottoms separately so that you can create a custom tailored suit. What ever you do, don't just sit there on the deck or sand. Get out there and enjoy your tropical adventure!

© 2007, Cindy Alpers

About the Author
Cindy Alpers is the owner and president of Tropi-Ties Swimwear, one of the original, online, swimwear retailersonline since 1995. Cindy has also been designing her own swimwear line and has recently been featured in the top fashion and teen magazines such as Seventeen and Cosmopolitan.

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COMMENTS:  SAY SOMETHING!
    5:20 AM, Anonymous technoflutemom
    Thanks for the great article! I'll be printing it and taking it with me when I go swimsuit shopping this week. 


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