Whether you're skinny, hippy, full figured or busty, you want to look your most fabulous on the beach this summer. To help you avoid going into the dressing room with piles of swimwear, Charla Krupp, executive editor of Shop Etc., presents the best swimsuits for every shape.
We're cutting through the swimsuit clutter to show you the suit that will make you look hotter than you ever thought you could.What will everyone be wearing on the beach this summer? Black and white prints, the color chocolate brown is hot, metallics in gold and silver, and animal prints in zebra and python skin. The best news? One-piece suits are making a comeback. Not just for mommies anymore, even supermodels have been spotted in one-piece suits. So you'll be looking sleeker and sexier this summer!What can you do to make swimsuit shopping less humiliating? Don't put yourself through it. The newer way to shop for suits is on the web or by phone. Order two sizes, and try them on in the comfort of your own home, return what doesn't work. It's so much less stressful, and if you start today, they'll have your size!But if you want to try on a load of swimsuits in a department store dressing room, don't shop on the day you're feeling fat and bloated and make sure you're waxed and self-tanned.
Wrong suit: Skinny, small-busted women should not choose a classic string bikini. You might think that skimpy suits highlight the few curves you have, but a string bikini does absolutely nothing for you. Think curves. Try a suit that will make the most of your body.
- Padding: Good for a small bust, but it must look natural. Padding makes you appear to have more up top; flat triangle tops, in contrast, offer no support.
- Bandeau-styles provide more oomph than classic triangle tops.
- Mesh trim over the fabric gives texture, which adds heft.
- A pop of color, like turquoise, helps outline the shape of your body.
- In the back, wide, padded tie-back straps give better support than flimsy strings. You want adjustable straps, so the top can be tightened just right.
Shopping details: W Swim Gold Mesh Bandeau in aqua, $54, (sizes XS-L); bottoms: Clean Hipsters, $54, (sizes XS-L), also in pink and white; Everything But Water: 888-796-6661 or everythingbutwater.com. Shoes: Nine West “Layce” Platform Mules in red, $69, (sizes 5 1⁄2-10 1/2), also in blue and tan; 800-999-1877. (The curvaceous lines of these shoes will round out too-straight calves.)
Wrong suit: Loose the side strings! Side string bottoms are a no-no for everyone who wants to de-emphasize hips. They actually draw attention to the exact spot that you want to conceal. And don't wear a jazzy print on your bottom half because it draws the eye. You want the world focused on your better half!
Right suit: It's fashion math: add a little something to your bust so it will look more in proportion with your hips. Everyone knows that if you want to add weight, wear a horizontal. A horizontal top will counterbalance a wide hip. Try the nautical stripe — another big trend this season. To subtract from your hips, keep your bottoms simple in a dark solid such as black or navy. And shifting the shape from a classic string bikini to a boy short will give a bit more coverage at the hips. When it comes to swimsuits, every bit counts. Other tips: look terrific in a one-piece with cinching at the waist. Detail at the waist brings the eye away from the hips, and high-cut legs can elongate thighs.
Shopping details: Baltex Country “Captain Hook” Halter Bra and Belted Low Waist Pants in navy, $68, (sizes 8-16), also in green and red; 888-225-8391 or baltex.com for stores. (A halter top will boost smaller busts.) Shoes: Eddie Bauer Mini Braided Leather Flip-Flops, $29.50, (sizes 6-12); 800-625-7935 or eddiebauer.com. (The skinny straps on these flip-flops won't weigh down legs.)
Wrong suit: Who are you fooling by covering up your body? It doesn't make you invisible … or any slimmer … in a way, you are calling attention to yourself.
Right suit: If you're full-figured, let the latest in fabric technology work its magic. The Valera by Miraclesuit promises to make you look ten times lighter with triple the hold-in power of your standard suit. And it delivers. The people at Miraclesuit have a patented fabric called Miratex that has a high percentage of Lycra and Spandex but doesn't make you feel like you're straight-jacketed in a too-tight girdle. The minute you slip it on, you'll have an instant tummy tuck and butt lift. That translates to instant confidence. And it's not only for full-figured.
One-pieces are so chic this season. High-cut legs thin the thighs and butt, and a V-neck will flaunt your great cleavage. An embellishment of jewels at the bust brings attention to your bust and away from the tummy. Dark colors are a classic way to minimize. Chocolate brown is a fashionable alternative to black … who needs yet another black suit?
Shopping details: The “Valera” Miraclesuit in chocolate, $122, (sizes 8-16), also in black; Bloomingdale's: 800-555-7467 or cyberswim.com. Shoes: Kors by Michael Kors “Ringo” Flats, $135, (sizes 6-11); Footnotes: 866-487-4637 or footnotesonline.com.
Wrong suit: A barely-there top in a bright color will have you spilling out all over, if you're a D-cup or more. Classic string cut bikinis don't offer enough support in the bust. You want to look classy, not trashy.
Right suit: It's the season of the one-piece, so embrace it. With the proper coverage, you'll look sophisticated and elegant. If you're big busted, don't let it all hang out … keep them wanting more. Women in America are getting bigger in the bust, so finding a top that covers adequately is becoming more of an issue. Underwires are key for a big bust. The built-in underwire and ruching guard against the dreaded uniboob. A cool print-patterned suit like a bright bold paisley camouflages a top-heavy figure because it highlights the entire body. Wrap yourself in a sarong and you're good to go for cocktails poolside.
Shopping details: Shoshanna Paisley Bandeau One-Piece, $170, (size A to triple D); Saks: 877-551-7257 or standardstyle.com. Shoes: Newport News Crochet Espadrilles in eggplant, $29, (sizes 5-11), also in amazon (army green) and white; Newport News: 800-688-2830 or newport-news.com.
For more information on swimsuits, check out shopetc.com.