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Finding The Right Swimsuit For Your Body

Posted Jun 12 2008 8:01am 2 Comments

That dreaded time of year is upon us…SWIMSUIT SEASON!! Most women are constantly on the prowl for that perfect swimsuit and spend too much time obsessing about how to get thin quickly before that revealing first outing to the beach. If I gained weight in the Winter, I would obsessively diet and exercise March through May to get my body into swimsuit shape until I finally realized it wasn?t my body. My swimsuits were extremely unflattering to my body shape and made me look and feel worse than I should. I have big hips, a thick waist and short torso. Although I am thin, I wore suits that drew attention directly to these areas making me look and feel at least 10 pounds heavier. I didn?t need to lose weight, I needed to lose my unflattering suits.

The shape of that little piece of lycra can make all the difference. Find a suit that highlights your best features while downplaying, not covering your flaws. Use lighter colors on areas you want to feature and darker colors on areas you want to slim down. Stay away from shiny fabric in trouble spots and choose matte fabrics for a slimming effect. Follow these tips to find that perfect suit:

SOLUTION BY BODY TYPE:

Pear or triangle

Your shoulders are smaller than your hips and you tend to carry more weight throughout your hips and thighs. Add strong, horizontal lines on top with square necklines and bandeau style swimsuits. Choose darker, matte bottoms and lighter tops. Deep v-necks and shirred, padded tops balance your silhouette. Keep the bottoms simple and tops more elaborate.–

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V or inverted triangle

Your shoulders are broader than your hips. Your waist is average and less defined and you have narrow hips. Keep the details on the bottom - ruffles, light color and prints. You need more bulk below to balance your upper body. Use dark, matte color on top and look for suits with wider straps, v-neck or scoop necks.

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Hourglass

Your shoulders are in proportion with your hips and your waist is well defined. If you have a classic hourglass figure, just about any style will look good (taking into account specific figure challenges listed below). A favorite style is the string bikini with triangle top or a retro one piece with bandeau halter and ruched bust.

Rectangle

Similar to the hourglass but your waist is thick and less defined, often with a shorter torso. You need a suit that creates the illusion of a slimmer waist. Try a low cut v-neck maillot with a shirred waist or suit with color blocking or gradation to remove the focus from the waist area.
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SOLUTIONS FOR FIGURE CHALLENGES

Thick Middle or Stomach:

Try chevron or vertical stripes and fabrics that stretch to hold in the area. Suits with gathering on the side and princess seam piping. Deep v-neck suits will give the appearance of a slim waist. Avoid high cut bottoms where the waistband cuts across the stomach.

Long Torso: try higher cut bottoms and higher waisted bikinis and tankinis (to break up the long torso line), tank and scoop neck styles.

Short Torso:try lower cut bottoms and lower waisted bikinis (hipsters), deeper v-necks and vertical stripes (to maintain a long torso line). .

Big Arms/Broad Shoulders: try halter style suits and those with wider vertical straps and v-necks.

Large Hips and Bottom: Use strong lines, strapless styles and prints on top. Try a suit with a lighter color on top and wider neck with a darker color on the bottom. Deep v-neck and square neck styles draw attention away from your lower body. A skirted swimsuit will only draw attention to a large rear or big hips.

Small Bust: look for gathering on top or lightly padded, printed suits and steer clear of the bandeau style tops that draw attention to your less than endowed bosom. Light colors and details.

Large Bust : You need a top with good support. Suits with wider straps and thicker material work nicely as well as halter style suits with a deeper v-neck to elongate the upper body. Dark colors, matte fabric.

Michelle Lieck is the owner of the online clothing boutique Lady Language and specializes in helping women find affordable clothing for their body type. She answers customer and reader questions weekly on her blog. Please contact her with any fashion questions.

Comments (2)
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Finding the perfect suit is always so difficult. When I find one that I really like I usually buy two of the same suit in different colors so I don't have to go through the search again the next year.

Thats a great idea Mary Ann!!
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