Style

Swimwear that's shipshape for all shapes and sizes

May 6, 2013 at 10:37 AM ET

Video: Style expert Jene Luciani helps make swimsuit shopping less intimidating, showing off options for women who are pregnant, just gave birth, or have generous curves.

It’s that time of year all women dread: Swimsuit season, when we shed those layers and bare all at the beach. But with a sea of swimsuits to choose from, how do you know what’s on-trend, age-appropriate and right for your body type?

Style expert and best-selling author of "The Bra Book" Jené Luciani is here to the rescue with must-have swimwear that won't bust your budget, plus how to find the best one for you!

Body type: Hourglass or pear

Swim trend: Skirted bottoms
If you have a thin midsection but want to hide trouble spots in other areas like around the hips or thighs, you can go for a great on-trend two-piece that has a skirted bottom. It’ll provide a little more coverage on your bottom half, while still showing off your figure.

I find lots of great options in all sorts of styles at Marshalls, where you can get swimsuits for as low as $30 or even less. Don’t forget that this year, it’s important to choose a bright, bold color and have fun with your accessories.

Body type: Busty

Swim trend: Bra-sized swimwear
Whether you’ve recently had kids, lost or gained a bit of weight, or your bra size just fluctuates in general, you want a suit that’s going to fit and support you through the season. That’s why a bra-sized swimsuit is a great choice, especially for busty women. Anita International makes cup-sized swimwear up to an I-cup, in everything from printed tankinis to one-pieces.

Body type: Curvy

Swim trend: Swim dress
Fuller-figured women who love to flaunt their curves should look no further than a swim dress in a bright color or print that pops. You can’t go wrong with a fun printed suit that provides a little coverage at the bottom with a "sarong-front" style, cinches at the waist, and shows off an appropriate amount of cleavage. Plus-size mecca Sonsi.com has dozens of options in sizes up to a 36 or 5X, so you can always find something stylish that accentuates your shape.

Body type: Over 50

Swim trend: One-piece
While women over 50 may not feel the most comfortable in a bikini, there are sexy one-piece suits that show off a little skin. This year, it’s all about the details. A plunging neckline, shirring over the tummy (which also helps to cinch the waist for a slimming effect), high-cut leg openings and even a back that dips low, are all sexy but age-appropriate touches for a day at the beach. The Shape and Enhance Suit at Lands’ End ($159) does all of these things, making it the perfect choice for a mature woman.

Accessorize:
After you’ve found your perfect swimsuit, don’t forget the accessories! Here are some key items to toss into your beach bag:

Shades: For women who need their prescription lenses even while on the beach, EasyClip from Aspex Eyewear means always seeing those clear blue skies without carrying around several pairs of glasses. I love that the magnetic frames allow you to attach your sunglasses lens to your regular glasses in a matter of second — making the quick switch a breeze ($250). Also, since you’re saving so much money on your suit, you can splurge on a pair of designer shades. I love the selection at Sunglass Hut.

Hats: We all know SPF isn’t enough anymore, right ladies? That’s why wearing a hat is so important to further shield yourself from the sun’s harmful rays — and look stylish while doing it! LandsEnd.com and ColdWaterCreek.com offer a variety of straw and floppy sun hats and fedoras, so you can score some fun toppers just in time for summer.

Bags: You can’t hit the beach without a fab beach bag. Plus, we all want a designer name without spending a lot. Whether you want straw, canvas, plastic or cloth, everything is under one roof at TJ Maxx. Get one to go with each swimsuit, for a fun, coordinated look.

Wraps: If you want to cover up in a cinch, a versatile scarf that also functions as a pareu/wrap is a great thing to tote along. I found some great prints with lots of color for $26 at AprilMarin.com. Don’t forget you can wear your wrap a lot of different ways, so put one on at the beach and beyond!

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