Read This & Love shopping for Your next Swimsuit

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Tell us if this scenario sounds familiar – summer comes, and whether you like it or not, you head to your favorite department store to pick out a new swimsuit. You find a few you like and head to the fitting room.

Fast forward 30 minutes.

You’ve returned each and every one back to the rack, thinking that maybe you could pull a Jennifer Hudson. You feel discouraged. maybe you just weren’t meant to swim, get a tan, or have any sort of life during the summer months. maybe you ought to relocation to Alaska.

Well, what if we told you that you’re not alone, that even swimwear supermodels go through a ton of suits before finding one good enough for a photo shoot? better yet, what if we told you that there are countless suits out there that will not only fit you well, but fit your budget?

You’ve just gotta know what to look for, and of course, being your cyber fairy godmothers, we’ve put together some outstanding swimwear options.

Check Your Body Shape

It’s difficult to be objective about your own reflection. Although you have a sense of your own shape, it never hurts to pull out a cloth tape measure to verify. Grab a pen and paper and jot down three measurements:

Your bust at its fullest point
Your waist at its smallest point
Your hips at the widest point

How these measurements compare to each other will tell you whether you’re an apple, a pear, an hourglass or a banana.

Banana babes: You are thin all over and your bust, waist and hips are all about the same.
Pear cuties: Your bust and waist are considerably smaller than your hips.
Apple lovelies: Your waist and bust are about the same, and slightly wider than your hips.
Hourglass hotties: Your bust and hips are roughly the same, and your waist is considerably smaller.

Choosing the Best Swimsuit for Your Body type — Tips for Success

Color, fabric and cut can all be used to enhance your best features and/or disguise your lesser features. Here’s a rundown of strategies you can try:

To highlight your chest or your backside, look for a brightly colored or patterned top or bottom. Alternatively, a solid color will bring less attention to that body part.
If your skin is pale, look for colors like black, maroon, navy, or dark purple.
If you are dark-skinned, brightly colored suits look beautiful on you.
To add some volume to your top, for example, look for pieces with ruffles.
To hide volume, choose a piece with ruched or shirred fabric.
To hide your waist, go for a one-piece in a dark, solid color, or with shirred panels at the stomach. You can even go for a high-waisted bathing-beauty bottom of the 1940s style.
A tankini, on the other hand, will highlight your waist.
Boyshorts will make your hips look wider.
To make your legs look longer, try high-cut bikini bottoms
If you want to draw the eye to your bust, you can purchase a halter top or a triangle top. A tie-front bikini top can pull your breasts together, making them look larger, while a Bandeau top can make your bust seem wider.
For those with larger busts, swimsuits with straight across cuts at the top and broad set straps may be the best.

Those are the rules of play. Now, read on for our picks for swimsuits by body type.

Banana Babes

So what if you weren’t graced with JLo’s behind, Scarlett Johansson’s boobs, or Beyonce’s hips? If you’ve got an athletic body type, you’ve got lots of choices and numerous swimsuits can give you the curves you crave.

When you need add shape and curves, embellishments will do the trick. easy embellishments, like beads, sarongs, ruffles, and belts will turn your curveless figure into a shapely one. You’ll be strutting down the boardwalk (summertime’s makeshift runway) in no time.

Here are our swimwear picks for beach babes with an athletic body type.

Magenta ruffle top ($92) and bottoms ($65), Shopbop

Off-shoulder, one-piece swimsuit, $48, NA-KD

Pear Cuties

If you’re heavier on the bottom, implying your butt is wider than your shoulders, objective to accentuate your torso and your neckline to draw the eye upwards. choose a top that’s a lighter color than the bottom, or has some noticeable, standout feature. Halter tops and scoop bottoms are a terrific option.

If you’ve got a sizable booty or thick thighs, don’t be scared to show them off! They’re not anything to be ashamed of! Higher-cut bottoms will flatter, too. only resort to skirts and shorts if you’re feeling ultra modest.

Check out these budget and figure-friendly swimsuits.

One-piece swimsuit in Nautical, $79, Modcloth

BleuRod Beattie Halter Top, $55, Bloomingdales

Top Heavy

Maybe you’re a little busty — in a Barbie kind of way — or maybe you have really broad shoulders and small hips. You’re what they call an apple or an “inverted triangle.”

Since everyone will naturally look up (at your chest, perhaps), remind them that you’ve got a sexy waistline, too! To do so, go with a high-cut leg, young boy shorts, and/or a bottom that has a much more vibrant color or busier pattern than the top.

All the while, make sure you’re well supported with a swimtop with cups, a halter top or heavy-duty underwire.

These suits are terrific for top-heavy women.

Gingham Pom Pom Longline Bandeau Bikini Top, $24, ASOS

Gingham High-Leg Bikini Bottom, $15, NastyGal

Plus Size

There are TONS of awesome plus-size swimwear available these days, and they are affordable and stylish (no much more hideous floral printed muumuus). Most plus-size sistas think they look “slimmer” by covering themselves up. Not true! High-cut bottoms really are much much more flattering.

As far as colors and patterns go, look for the “crossover” style (you’ll know it when you see it) and avoid horizontal stripes along the waistline. Also, the much more skin you show, the thinner you look, so don’t be scared to show what your mama gave you (within reason). If you don’t have a conventional black one-piece suit yet, that’s a should purchase (for any body type).

When picking out suits, think voluptuous, not matronly.

Jessica Simpson Lace Bikini Top, $72, Lord & Taylor

Avenger Sashi Bikini, $47, Swimsuitsforall

Hourglass

If you’ve got an hourglass figure, first thank your mom. Second, have fun trying on swimsuits. You’re one of the few women out there who can get away with practically any style.

Here are some options for curvy girl.

Lace-up Bikini Set, $16, Zaful

Body wrap One-Piece, $33, Victoria’s Secret

Tummy Issues

If you’ve got a pouch (and most of us do), there’s no reason to hide underneath a cover-up. just look for swimsuits with tummy control panels or ruching (gathered fabric). Also, bikinis with high waisted bottoms are also a good bet as showing much more skin actually makes you look thinner.

Charcoal Control Underwire Suit, $34, Swimsuitsforall

Plunging Tummy-Control Swimdress, $84, Macy’s

Petite

As a Petite fashionista, your biggest issue is how to find a small swimsuit that doesn’t make you look like an elderly member of the Mickey mouse Club or a 36-year-old Lolita. Don’t fret. You actually have numerous options, including checking out the juniors department, and, in a pinch, the children’s department. Your best bet, though, will be a suit that’s designed for the shorter lady — in other words, shop suits specifically for petites.

Check out these picks for petite fashionistas.

Petite Striped Scoop Neck, $14, Boohoo

Petite Strappy Striped Swimsuit, $16, Boohoo

Older Fashionista

Look, just because you’ve reached a “certain age” that doesn’t imply you have to head directly to the muumuu section when looking for swimwear. As an older fashionista, it’s your responsibility to bring as much style to the beach as you do on shore.

Play up your assets (great bustline (Helen Mirren) or curvy hips (Susan Sarandon). try patterns (not the conventional muumuu floral print) and try a bit of color. See our post on swimsuit options for ladies over 40 for top picks.

You may also like these:

Spring swimwear trends
How to purchase the best swimsuit for your body type

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