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updated 5/15/2009 10:37:40 AM ET 2009-05-15T14:37:40

Canyon beachwear
With more than 50 brands to choose between, this retailer makes it shockingly easy to find what you're looking for. Not only can you search by brand, style or color, you can also shop suits within a certain price range or by body type — like "full midsection" or "small hips" — a feature we haven't seen anywhere else. www.canyonbeachwear.com

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Couture candy
It helps to see a suit from many angles, and couturecandy.com smartly photographs models from front, side and back views as well as a zoomed-in detail shot. They carry a great range of names, from São Paulo–based Poko Pano to notable up-and-comers like Syla by Sylvie Cachay, created by a former Victoria's Secret designer. www.couturecandy.com

Everything but water
In the incredibly useful "Fit & Style Guide" section of this site, you'll discover illustrations for every swimsuit shape and descriptions about which one will best flatter your body. It comes in handy when selecting from among the bounty of suits on offer — from lines including Kenneth Cole, Becca and Lucky Brand, among others. There's also an entire section filled with tops and one-pieces made to fit larger busts. www.everythingbutwater.com

Search separates or sets by color, price or style. You'll discover more than 40 swim-centric brands here, many of them new or hard to find elsewhere, like Pour Moi?, Lepel and Oskalily. There's a helpful product review section, so you can see what other customers have to say before you buy. www.figleaves.com

This company is deservedly famous for its flirty-but-classic bikinis and one-pieces, and every style comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns — from muted florals to sweet seersucker stripes. We particularly like to mix and match the various options and sizes. www.jcrew.com

Malia Mills
Selling bikini tops and bottoms separately has become standard practice, but Malia Mills takes it to an even more size-friendly extreme by offering tops by cup size (30A to 40DD) and bottoms in sizes 2 through 16. The color palette is subdued: black, pewter and cinnamon, as well as prints like an earthy-hued paisley. There's also a great sizing page that shows you precisely how to get the right measurements on your own. www.maliamills.com

Nancy Meyer
A terrific source for hard-to-find, luxe European brands such as Domani, Eres Swimwear, La Perla, and Roberto Cavalli Swimwear. If your size or preferred color isn't available, they'll send you an e-mail update when new merchandise arrives so you can have the first pick. www.nancymeyer.com

It's impossible not to be impressed by the selection of swimsuits from big-time fashion names on offer here: Azzaro, Missoni and Chloé are staples. There's also a team of online stylists that you can e-mail to help you find the right styles and coordinating cover-ups.

Known for its exhaustive mix of contemporary designers, shopbop.com carries a vast mix of swimsuits from Diane von Furstenberg, Milly and Ella Moss, as well as exclusive styles from Fabucci and Brette Sandler. We love that models are always photographed from the front and back — so crucial when buying a bikini. www.shopbop.com

Victoria's Secret
Victoria's Secret swimwear employs some of the same technology used in its super-popular lingerie collections (like Body by Victoria), so devotees of the brand can be confident that they're getting a fit they already love. The site also houses styles by tried-and-true designers such as Calvin Klein, DKNY and Kenneth Cole Reaction. www.victoriassecret.com


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