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Bathing Suit Fit Tips:
Flattering Swimwear Styles & Shapes for By Body Type

Every year, it happens. Bathing suit weather arrives, and with it, sales on swimwear (or for some, suntan wear.) The good news is, the variety has never been greater. The bad news, the variety and decisions have never been greater.

Bathing Suit Styles Flattering for Your Body Type

  • Apple shaped body frames have a middle area that is larger than the hips and/or shoulders. Tankinis with a solid color top and a patterned bottom will give you a more balance appearance. One-piece bathing suits with tummy control or other design feature like ruching that create the illusion of a waist line will be the most flattering.

  • Pear shaped body types have larger hips/butt and smaller shoulders and waist. Try suits with a solid colored bottom and patterned top. Another style for camouflaging a larger bottom half would be skirted or boy short style suit.

  • Small Bust - To enhance a smaller bust try a halter bikini top that has a seam or band just under the bust line and a lightly padded or lined top. Triangle bikini tops with a thin foam liner can also be very bust/cleavage enhancing. Swim wear with texture (ruffles, seaming, etc.) can also help add volume to your bust line if you feel self-conscious.

  • Fuller Bottom - Skirted swim suits are back in style and can be found in many different patterns and styles. The skirt flatters a fuller bottomed body type and will give you a more balance look. You may also want to try on a few boy short styles as well. Both of these options offer a little more coverage on the bottom. Solid color on the bottom and pattern on the top will also help balance this body type.

  • Slender, athletic bodies have shoulders, waist and hips that are the similar in width. One-piece or two-piece suits with detailing around the waist will help create a more hourglass shape. Try a wrap style top or a belted bathing suit bottom to create more waist definition.

  • Hourglass figures have balance shoulders and hips with a smaller waist. If this is you, you're lucky because just about any classic styled bathing suit should flatter your figure.

Choosing a Swimsuit Comes with Many Decisions: Price, Style & Body Issues?

Decisions, decisions. Now it seems there is a bathing suit for every type of woman or situation as there are mastectomy suits, maternity swimsuits, plus-size swimwear, suits for tall or petite women. And then the real decisions start.

Do I want a one piece, two piece bathing suit, bikini, or tankini. Should it be slimming, help camouflage (you know) with an underwire, or be one of those what they call miracle suits. Should I be bold and go with something hot, sheer, sexy, exotic as in something skimpy like a thong or brazilian g string. Do I splurge and look for a brand name designer like Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria Secret, Anne cole, or sporty with Nike or Lands End. Or do I do as I always do and look on the discount rack or wait for my bathing suit pick to go on sale. And lets not forget color, black, white, floral or florescent. Decisions decisions.

Women's Styles

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Plus Sizes Styles

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When Shopping Remember that "You" are Your Own Worst Critic

Buying a swimsuit has a lot to do with beauty because it’s more about perceptions than it is actual good looks. The fact is, with the right attitude, nearly any woman’s swim suit will look good to men, provided there’s a woman in it. Other women are much pickier about what suit looks good on what body, and the worst critic of all is that chick in the mirror. I have a few beauty tips about bathing suits and bikinis, which I will pass on to you in the hopes that they will inspire confidence. Some of them are just theoretical for me, and others I use whenever I shop for a suit. Use what works for you.

When and Why to Spend More on a Swimsuit

Like good shoes, good bathing suits cost money. You’re paying for design here, and for things like built-in controls or enhancements. Thanks to the fairly recent craze for selling bikini tops and bottoms separately, retailers have found they can charge a lot more for a whole suit than they could five or six years ago when bottoms and tops were inseparable. On average, a decent suit will cost you around $60. On the other hand, if you have a great body, it doesn’t matter if your suit is cheap because you don’t have anything to hide. Just make sure you buy something that won’t come apart when it hits the water.

When Cheap Swimwear is Just Fine

If you’re only going to wear a bathing suit the three days you go to the beach each year, or for sunning in the back yard, you can go cheaper too. In fact, there’s no reason not to wear a pair of shorts and a bathing suit top or even a camisole or tank top. It’s crazy to spend a lot of money for a suit you aren’t going to wear.

Deciding on One-Piece or Two?

A shy friend of mine went to Mexico, and because she was very modest and didn’t feel very pretty, she wore a pair of men’s trunks and a bikini top in the pool at the hotel. A Mexican fellow who frequented the pool told her that if she wanted to blend in, she’d better drop the trunks and wear bikini bottoms. She did, and they went dancing several times after that. She came home with a golden tan and a happy expression.

Comfort is important, and depending on the beach or pool scene, either no-one will notice you at all, or everyone will be watching everyone else. If it matters to you, or if your boyfriend’s ex is going to be at the party, fork out the big money and look great, even if you only wear that suit that one day.

Think About How Much Coverage Your Need or Want?

Crucial to the question of bathing suits is coverage. Again, the nicer your body, the less coverage you need, unless you’re shy or you’re smart and want to save your skin from sun damage. You can apply sunscreen and sunless tanner and have a beautiful glowing tan without the sun exposure. Just be sure to evenly distribute and don't over apply the self tanner and end up looking a shade or orange. If you plan to be swimming or playing volleyball or surfing, you may want more coverage because a suit that covers more of you also tends to hang on, where flimsier, actually make that skimpier, things might fall off or out.

With board shorts, boy shorts and hipster bikinis, we can buy suits that fit even in the middle of a plus size day or PMS fat attack. A well-cut one-piece can hide and camouflage an assortment of figure flaws. Contrary to what some experts will tell you, large floral designs do not minimize a heavy body, and you don’t have to wear black either. Depending on where the chubbiness lies, a smaller-coverage suit may turn out to be more flattering than the high-coverage suit you didn’t want to buy anyway. No one can possibly see all the lumps and bumps as the girl in the bathing suit in the mirror does, so pick the least worst suit you can find, and get out there and play!

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