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The How-To Lounge: Shop for the Perfect Bathing Suit

Summer is just a few weeks away, so it's time to get ready for fun in the sun! Chances are you are going to find yourself at the beach or at a poolside BBQ in the next few months, so I am here to offer some no fail tips to keep in mind when you shop for your new swimsuit. No matter what your size or shape, there is a suit out there to flatter every figure so

  • Avoid shopping for swimwear on the Internet. Most swimsuits are non-refundable so I advise you to shop in person
  • No matter what size you are, ignore the tag and concentrate on the fit. Just like fitting a bra, you want to make sure the straps don't dig into your shoulders or ride up your back
  • Regardless of your shape, buy a suit that accentuates your good assets and hides your less favorite parts of your body

If you have a curvy figure...

  • Avoid ruffles and busy prints. Obviously black is the most flattering color, but don't be afraid to experiment. Use color to your advantage and wear darker tones where you carry the most weight
  • If you choose to go for a two piece, don't be afraid to show some skin. Some women gravitate to pieces that "hide" their problems areas, where as wearing less can oftentimes be more flattering
  • If you have a large bust, be sure to wear a top that provides ample support. Halter tops (bikini and one pieces) are the most flattering cut for top heavy women and V-neck is a close second. Stay away from one pieces without built in support and bandeaus
  • Tankinis are a great option for women who want more coverage without giving up the two piece option. Make sure the top is long enough so it doesn't ride up your stomach

If you are pear shaped...

  • Don't hide your hips accentuate them! Choose tie sides for easy adjustment and avoid bottoms with extra coverage, you are bound to look bigger that way
  • If you choose a bikini, opt for a lower raise bottom to create an elongated torso
  • Stay away from boy shorts and one pieces with tank top straps. Pick v-neck, halter or strapless instead to balance out your curves
  • If you need extra coverage in the midsection, buy a suit with rushing or pleats and opt for a higher cut thigh if you feel comfortable
  • Avoid shiny suits as they pick up light and have the ability to show everything

If you have a straight/boy shape...

  • If you need help creating curves, choose suits with ruffles and extra detailing to create more volume up top
  • Again, use color and prints to create shape. Stay way from boxy suits, instead wear cuts that are feminine and create the illusion of more curves
  • Stripes are another good way to play up curves
  • If you prefer one pieces, pick a low cut front and or back to avoid the Speedo look
  • If you pick a top with extra padding, make sure they are securely sewn in as they will absorb excess water

I hope you find these tips helpful. Regardless of your size or shape, the one thing to remember to take to the beach is your confidence... oh, and sunscreen! Happy shopping!


colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
And if you have a big gnarly surgery scar and can't show off your midsection, PLUS big boobs and can't find a one piece with support, maybe you should just stay off the beach. :) Blah, I hate bathing suit shopping.
Candybee Candybee 10 years
Oh yeah- and at you can make a virtual model with your measurements and see what the suit will look like on your body. You know, I think I'm going to post all my new fave suits this season...stay tuned.
partysugar partysugar 10 years
Now I totally want a new suit!
Candybee Candybee 10 years
I agree w/ Dearsugar...If you are curvy- like I am & want to wear a bikini, you should really NOT be afraid to go skimpier. I have a D size bust and a bigger bottom, but a smallish waist & I find if I wear bottoms that have a high rise on the waist or a full coverage bottom, I look bigger. So I go for skimpy bottoms. I know it sounds crazy, but I really don't walk around w/out a cover up anyway, I wear a sarong or board shorts. So, to make a long story short, I wear a bikini w/ a low rise bottom & I think that adding LESS fabric to a problem area is better than covering it up & drawing attention to it. Maybe, I'll get brave and post some of my bikinis on here...!
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
hate bathing suit shopping :(! good tips though.
littletrackbabe littletrackbabe 10 years
uhggg....have you ever heard of a 13 year old girl who hates shopping for swimsuits? well now you have. I have no boobs so nothing fits. And all the little kids stores the bathing suits look like they r for babies. ick.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I finally found one this year that I love! It fits my body shape well, and I've been working my butt off to tone up in time for summer!
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
Cool, thanks popgoestheworld! :)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
ccsugar, I bought my last swimsuit at GAP. I would highly recommend it. They had solid colors, and tons of different styles in the same color so you could mix and match. I was able to pick a black top and bottom that worked best for my shape, as separates, and it's by far my favorite suit.
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
It is so hard to find just a plain black bikini!! No embellishments, no patterns, I just want plain BLACK! Or plain red would work. Anyone have any thoughts? I know J. Crew has a lot of solid color bikinis, maybe I'll look there...
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
Yea bathing suit shopping sucks!! Hope i can find something this year that looks nice
katie225 katie225 10 years
ugh, i'm the exact opposite, prissy. i just bought a bathing suit last summer for the first time since i was in the seventh grade. this is, of course, not counting my workout speedos (that i wouldn't be caught dead in when i'm not doing laps!). i positively despise shopping for bathing suits, i feel like a whale. i wish i could wear pants all day long. i don't even wear shorts, why would i want to wear a bathing suit? lol but i did buy this really cute string bikini from roxy last summer. i'll only do string bikinis, because at least i can say i'm opting for the sexy look over the "please don't look at me" look. :)
PrissyLilBadAss PrissyLilBadAss 10 years
They need to make a bathing-suit shoppers anonymous foundation! I've bought anywhere from 3-5 suits every year, over the past 6 or 7 years and have only gotten rid of about 4 which I've handed off to my older sister after out-growing the top. I think I need help! :D "Party like a rock star, pound like a porn star, play like an all star!"
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