Fashion: In the Swim

Love it or hate it. Swimsuit season is here. You can cover it all up or figure out a way to accentuate the positive and have a great time. Let’s face it, we all have figure flaws, so let’s figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to baring it all … well, almost!

“The first decision is whether to wear a one-piece or two-piece suit,” says Jill Martin, fashion expert and author of “Fashion for Dummies.”

“What you choose depends on what you’re comfortable in and what body part you want to show off or hide,” she says. “Get a one-piece suit if your belly is an area that you don’t feel comfortable revealing.”

Here are some of Martin’s tips for choosing a swimsuit that fits your body style:

swimming

Draw your inspiration from the likes of Gilligan’s Island with these high-waisted, retro swim bottoms. The low-rising candy-striped placket creates playful drama, while the wide waistband keeps everything under wraps. Photo courtesy of www.shabbyapple.com.

— Small-busted. The bandeau top or triangle top looks great on you (and many suits now come with padding if you want an extra boost!). Also, a cute suit with ruffles on top helps accentuate the chest area. Any detail on top helps give the illusion that you’re more curvaceous. These tops are available in either a one-piece or two-piece style, so you can choose which look you prefer.

— Large-busted. If you have larger breasts and want to wear a two-piece suit, try ones that have more supportive straps. The bra-style bikini top is a very good choice for you as is the halter-top suit. These both flatter and support you in the chest area. If you prefer to wear a one-piece suit, look for one with straps that provide the support you’re looking for.

— Bottom-heavy. Play up your top in order to even out the proportions. Choose either a one-or two-piece suit with a top half that attracts all the attention. Separates — where the top has thicker straps or a colorful print and the bottom half is a dark solid that flatters and still matches the top — are always a good choice.

Or try a color block one-piece with lighter colors on the top and darker ones on the bottom. Avoid boy short bottoms, which emphasize and attract attention to your derriere. Accentuating your cleavage is a good way to divert attention from other areas.

— Short legs: Choose a suit that’s cut high at the hip to make your legs look longer. A plunging neckline also creates a more vertical look. Vertical stripes serve the same purpose.

— Long torso: Go for horizontal stripes. A two-piece suit breaks up your midsection. If you wear a one-piece, try one with cutouts, which break up your torso. And don’t be afraid to add splashes of color to keep eyes from looking at you in a straight up-and-down manner.

— Thick waist: If your hips and waist are about the same size, wear a two-piece suit with bright colors, so there’s a clear definition between your two halves. Choose bottoms that sit low on your hips (these add a lengthening effect), and try to find a suit that has some bows or other adornment at the hips to differentiate your hips and waist.

— Plus-sized. Dark colors are the best. A streamlined one-piece in a dark color makes you look longer and leaner. Try an interesting neckline, maybe one that’s deeper rather than rounder, as it creates more of an illusion of length and draws attention to your chest area.

— Cover-ups. Hey, we all need them at times. Martin suggests buying one of the most versatile cover-ups: a sarong. “The great thing about a sarong is that you can use it in several ways, depending on which parts you want to cover,” she says. “Tie it above your chest, like a bath towel, and it covers you entirely without being too hot or looking out-of-place. If you just want to cover your lower half, tie it at your waist. Sarongs are so easy to put on and take off. You can even use it to lie on at the beach when you take it off!”

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