Twenty-something size-twos have no issue wriggling into a teeny bikini. But for real women with lumps, bumps and bulges, there is a sense of dread attached to swimsuit season. Style expert and author of "Bump it Up" Amy Tara Koch gathered a group of real moms to show how the right swimsuit and thoughtful styling can make you look thinner, taller and glamorous.
SERENA: Plucky preggo
CONCERN: Not looking like a beached whale
TIP: For a pregnant woman, a darker color suit absorbs light and slims
A good maternity swimsuit is hard to find. They are often itchy and frumpy. But this brand new Ingrid and Isabel tankini is super stylish, comfortable and created with four-way stretch fabric and invisible seams to to allow for maximum stretch in all the right places. The bust is triple layered and pleated to allow for support. A darker suit absorbs light and slims, while a deep-v neckline elongates the neck and ruching along the sides flatters curves.
Shop the look:
INGRID & ISABEL Maternity ruched tankini, $72, www.ingridandisabel.com
INGRID & ISABEL Maternity ruched bottom, $62, www.ingridandisabel.com
ZINGARA "Marie Paulle" hat, $39, www.zingaraswimwear.com
DR. SCHOLL’S wood sandal, $49, www.piperlime.com
TINLEY ROAD Coral ring, $22, www.piperlime.com
SEQUIN NEW YORK Starfish necklace, $178, www.sequin-nyc.com
SEQUIN NEW YORK Starfish earrings, $28, www.sequin-nyc.com
MICHAEL STARS "Calypso" tote, $85, www.piperlime.com
GRACE: PINUP MOM
CONCERN: Losing the baby weight, camouflaging the baby blubber
TIP: Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and colors!
This look, with its Rita Hayworth vibe, is all about color and playfulness. Grace’s navy polka dot suit by Boden flatters her curves and shows off her decolletege. A strategically placed cover up makes all of the difference in a mom's confidence level. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and colors! The oversized beach bag doubles as diaper bag and mixes up proportions. No one wants to wear stilettos to the beach, but heels always make a woman look longer and leaner. The solution: a great espadrille wedge.
Shop the look:
BODEN Retro swimsuit, $68, www.bodenusa.com
ZINGARA Bahia blouse, $69, www.zingaraswimwear.com
CALYPSO ST. BARTH FOR TARGET Linen wedges, $29.99
SEQUIN Enamel bangles $28-$42, www.sequin-nyc.com
BODEN Big beach bag, $68, www.bodenusa.com
TARGET Cat-eyed sunglasses, $12.99
GARA DANIELLE Sea opal "Druzy" ring, $150, www.garadanielle.com
More from TODAY.com
Town throws dream wedding for triple amputee Marine
Juan Dominguez lost his both his legs and his right arm after stepping on improvised explosive device while serving in Afg...
- 7-time Lotto winner shares his secrets
- Are Beyonce and Jay-Z expecting another baby?
- A 'moral' issue: Vote on lifting Boy Scouts' gay ban divides members
- Pint-size politician: Mayor of Minnesota town is 4 years old
- Town throws dream wedding for triple amputee Marine
KAREN: Mama with moxie
CONCERN: Stretch marks
TIP: Think about your scarves as sarongs!
40 year old Karen is proud of her figure and not afraid of making a statement. Her one concern? Stretchmarks on her belly. A magenta bikini showcases her décolletage and makes a color statement with a bright yellow scarf around the midriff as a sarong.
Shop the look:
TARGET, Mossimo magenta bandeau and side tie bikini, $17.99 each
SIR ALISTAIR RAI "Maha Mantra" yellow scarf (used as sarong), $98, www.siralistairrai.com
TARGET Xhilaration turquoise watch, $12.99
TARGET Merona "Emeline" braided sandals, $15
SEQUIN NEW YORK enamel bangle, $38, www.sequin-nyc.com
HOUSE OF HARLOW Plated wrap ring, $30, www.piperlime.com
DIVINA: Classic with a twist
CONCERNS: Is petite, hates arms and stomach
TIP: Create a long, lean silhouette with a minimal palette, neck-grazing earrings and heels
Petite Divina is not having a love affair with her arms, thighs or stomach at the moment. But she doesn’t want to hide in a Snuggie this summer. Solution: Spanx has parlayed their compression technology into swimwear that is stunning and slimming. Expensive? Yes..here’s why. This one-shoulder suit is totally chic. But it's engineered with two-way premium jersey fabric with maximum compression that sucks in and flattens the gut, hips and rump into a flattering silhouette.
Shop the look:
SPANX Basix one-shoulder swimsuit, $152 www.spanx.com
SPANX Sheer cover up, $148 www.spanx.com
JESSICA SIMPSON Jungle wedge, $69, www.piperlime.com
TARGET Coral three-piece bangle set, $16.99
CALYPSO ST BARTH FOR TARGET Sequin straw tote, $24.99
H&M bangles, $6 for pack
KMART Purple sunglasses, $7.99
MARIA: Laid-back luxe
CONCERN: Her butt
TIP: Look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds with compression swimwear
First-time mom Maria is still losing the baby weight and isn't loving her rump. This suit accents her hourglass figure. Miracle took the slimming technology from their hit clothing line (I love the jeggings) and applied it to bathing suits. Their tagline — LOOK 10 POUNDS LIGHTER IN 10 SECONDS — is no joke. The suits (with Lycra that's slimming and chlorine-resistant) whittle the waist and firm the entire midsection, giving a flattering hourglass silhouette. The ruffles draw the eye down, emphasizing the nipped-in waistline. The cover up looks effortless — just kind of tossed on. But, in fact, it plays a major role in Maria’s confidence level.
Shop the look:
MIRACLE SUIT Flamenco, $146, www.miraclesuit.com
SPANX Silky sarong, $98, www.spanx.com
CALYPSO ST.BARTH FOR TARGET Scarf (scarf as sarong), $19.99
SIR ALISTAIR RAI Peacock bag, $48 www.siralistairrai.com
COOLIBAR Shapeable poolside sun hat, $44 www.coolibar.com
NINE WEST "Eyeful" heel, $85, www.piperlime.com
KARA ROSS Coral bangles with gemstones, $275, www.kararossny.com
KARA ROSS Linear hexagon Earrings with coral, $135, www.kararossny.com
KARA ROSS Gold wave cuff with black onyx, $250, www.kararossny.com
GARA DANIELLE Pink "Druzy" ring, $150, www.garadanielle.com
© 2013 MSNBC Interactive. Reprints