As taken from MSN Lifestyle:
Your favorite swimsuit is falling apart. After a couple of summers at the beach or in the pool, it needs to be replaced. But if the thought of those fluorescent dressing-room lights fills you with dread, relax. According to Leah Feldon, author of Does This Make Me Look Fat: The Definitive Rules for Dressing Thin for Every Height, Size, and Shape (Villard, $24.95), given enough time and patience, anyone can find a great-looking bathing suit.
Wear a thong or small underpants. That way, your panties won’t poke out of the bottom of the suit, and you’ll get a better idea of how it fits in the seat.
Shop at the beginning of the season. If you’re a hard fit, start early because there’s a bigger selection.
Try on a lot of styles. Swimsuits are similar to jeans — you have to try on a lot of them before you find one that’s “just right.” Remember — what looked good on you five years ago may not be the right choice for you now. Styles change and so do our bodies.
Make the best of what you’ve got. So, you don’t have the body of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model — most of us don’t. “Be easy on yourself and focus on what you do have,” says Feldon, “because nobody’s perfect.” If you’ve got great cleavage, look for a suit with a deep V-cut top. And if your legs are to die for, find a suit with a high-cut bottom that makes your gams look a mile long.
Go shopping after a big meal. “If you feel bloated, you’re going to look bigger,” says Feldon. Instead, go first thing in the morning when you’re at your most svelte.
Shop when you’re PMS-ing. It’s not a good idea to try on body-baring suits when your body’s retaining water and you’re not feeling your prettiest. Wait another week.
Be in a hurry. Swimsuit shopping is a time-consuming process. Don’t be surprised if it takes more than one trip to the mall to find the perfect one.
Try on only your regular size. Even if you normally wear a 10 in street clothes, chances are you’ll need a size 12 or 14 in a swimsuit. It’s always better to wear a suit that looks good rather than one that’s “your size” and uncomfortable.
Large bust: If you have a large bust, the most important thing is to get proper support, says Feldon. Avoid flimsy materials like cotton and look for suits made out of the more forgiving Lycra. Many bathing suits come equipped with underwire bras and molded cups for a better, more supportive fit. Trying to minimize a large bust? Feldon suggests using color-blocking to your advantage by finding a top that’s darker than the bottom. She also recommends wearing dark, solid colors and sticking with suits that have higher armholes since they provide more coverage and won’t let you “spill out” of your suit. Also, try on bathing suits meant for long torsos. Your bustline can use the extra fabric meant for a longer midriff.
Small bust: Thanks to the bust-enhancing features in many of today’s bathing suits, it’s easy for smaller-busted women who want more cleavage to get it. Look for push-up underwire styles that build up the bosom you have and avoid ones with large foam cookies or removable inserts: “They stay wet after the rest of the suit has dried and don’t look very natural,” warns Feldon. And color-blocking can work for small-busted women, but reverse the strategy used for large-busted women: Go with a darker-colored bottom and a lighter-colored top.
Bottom heavy: If you’re got a bottom that you want to camouflage, find a suit that offers full rear coverage. But that doesn’t mean a scuba suit. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is getting a suit that sits too low on the sides of your legs. These suits tend to look old-fashioned, like something out of an Esther Williams movie, while a higher-cut one can be more flattering. “If a suit is slightly higher on the sides, it elongates the leg, making it look more slender,” says Feldon. And if you’re significantly larger on the bottom than you are on top, shop for bikinis and tankini separates so you can mix and match different sizes. Just make sure the top and the bottom are in proportion — wearing a skimpy top with a big, high-waisted bottom just won’t look good.
A full tummy: No matter how many Abs of Steel tapes we work out to, most of us will never achieve washboard abs. So, if you can’t make your tummy disappear, conceal it with a suit containing a high Lycra content. One with 10 to 15 percent Lycra is a good bet. Also, a draped or gathered fabric can work wonders, as can fabric with some texture. Just avoid shiny materials — they magnify a multitude of sins.
Boyish figure: According to Feldon, few things are off-limits for women with boyish figures — they can wear just about anything they want. String bikinis are a great choice for lean, slender bodies because they’re so feminine-looking. But watch out for suits that have little short-style bottoms, sometimes called “boy shorts.” They can create what Feldon calls “the sausage effect” and make a leg look shorter than it really is. “Every iota of excess flesh is squeezed down and pops out right where the suit leg ends,” she says. “They’re deadly!”
Long- or short-waisted: Long- and short-waisted women can share a similar solution — tankinis. These tank-style two-pieces are great for fitting a long or short middle — and you don’t need a waiflike figure to wear one. Plus, like regular bikinis, they come in a number of different styles, so you can be as covered up or as bare as you want to be.
If you have wide hips or thighs: High-cut pants elongate legs; skirted bottoms hide problem areas. Boy shorts seem like they’d help, but they don’t.
If you have a big chest: A halter top with a band of fabric under the bust gives support while de-emphasizing breasts.
If you have a small chest: Try a one- or two-piece suit with an underwire bra and foam padding.
If you have a tummy: Go for a high-cut one-piece with a halter top to draw attention upward. Shirring can also give you more of an hourglass shape.
If you have a short torso: Make it look longer with a scoop or V-neck top. And consider a tankini that shows a little of your middle.
If you have a long torso: A two-piece tankini will break up the line visually and will fit better.
So many of us are guilty of buying things that are cute, but don’t compliment our body type. Summer is here, & many of us will be taking those much needed vacations. The beach & pool are your bestfriends. However, I’ve witnessed many women in bathing suits that are definately a no-no. So I decided its best that I share this tidbit of info with my fellow BA ladies.