Emily Thungkaew

The Swimsuit Edition

By - Jan 15th, 2011 04:00 am
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Beach beauties! Photo courtesy State Library of Queensland.

Picture yourself relaxing poolside, the sun on your face, the smell of sunscreen and the feeling of perfectly manicured toes digging into the sand. Sounds nice, right?

Before you get mad at me for teasing you like this only two weeks into January, allow me to inform you that prime swimsuit shopping season has begun! Some stores are already clearing out their inventory of practical cold-weather clothing to make way for skimpy spring and summer fashions.

But let’s face it — no one likes shopping for a suit. Something about observing our pale, post-holiday bodies in a warped mirror under florescent lighting doesn’t exactly make us feel awesome. But if you know what you need (fashionably and functionally) before you hit the stores, the process is slightly more tolerable.

First things first, you have to determine which cut is right for you — as with any garment, the right fit and shape is essential to being comfortable and looking good. From there you can experiment with fun colors and patterns.

Ruching at the bust adds a nice touch to a flattering one-piece. Photo by Alaskan Dude via Flickr.

For instance, if you’re looking to minimize the midsection, try a one-piece in a solid color, perhaps with some ruching in the torso. Another option is to go with a tankini (a two-piece suit that has a long top to cover the torso). Tankinis are fun because you can mix-and-match, but take care to find well-fitting pieces. You want a top that will be comfortable in the bust and bottoms that aren’t too tight, lest you fall victim to the dreaded muffin top.

If you have a slender figure or if you want to show off your cleavage, try a traditional bikini. It will bring more attention to your bosom, especially in a bright color. For those with smaller busts looking for a little “boost”, try a push-up top that will help emphasize your chest.

Want more coverage for your bum/thigh area? Opt for a boy short or skirted bottom. Believe me, swimsuit skirts are not just for your grandma any more! A new trend of skirted suits has come along and I couldn’t be more excited. The skirts are just long enough to cover your tushie from being exposed to the world and look incredibly chic.

A skirted bottom adds a little more coverage. Photo from ModCloth.com

If camouflaging your chest is the goal, go with a halter top — they have a surprising minimizing effect on larger chested women. My favorite way to hide “the girls” is to wear a halter tankini, and most retailers make tops for women who have cup sizes D or larger.

No matter which style works for you, my advice is to start looking online for ideas and go from there. Zappos.com and ModCloth.com offer nice selections for all body types, and Madison Plus.com is full of sexy swimwear for curvy women.

It really does pay off to figure out which style(s) will “suit” you best before you head into the store. Once inside, stick to your strategy  and hopefully that will lead to less frustration and more confidence when showing ‘em what you got.

Now we just have to wait for those tropical temperatures to arrive.

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