Monday, May 24, 2010

Bathing Suit Season is Fast Approaching...

Now don't lynch me for this, or burn me in effigy- I would be remiss if I didn't at least cover the topic of swim suits. I know what a painful process bathing suit shopping can be, but it really doesn't have to be that way. I do NOT have Heidi Klum's body and trust me when I say you will NOT be seeing a "Rate My Look" Beach Edition anytime soon, but I do have several bathing suits that are comfortable and flattering. If I can find a suit (or two) that works for my body, so can you! I'll even do my best to break it down for you!

For small busts:
Tommy Bahama Swim Top, Macy's $49.40

Why do these work for a small bust? Because the underwire helps enhance your tiny ta-tas. The same could be said of a swim suit with padded cups, just like a padded bra. In this case, the underwire not only provides support which helps lift your bust, but it accents that area on your body as well. It draws the eye to the bustline, which is why this is a good trick for those of you who are small busted AND pear-shaped. By enhancing your upper body, you help to balance out wider hips, but that's not all! Pear-shaped ladies, check out these suits:

Mitered One-Piece, Venus, $59-79

Halter Tankini with High Waist Bottoms, Venus, $36 and $24-26, respectively

In addition to accenting the upper body, pear-shaped ladies should also stick with a high cut on the leg. (Just don't go Baywatch high, if you know what I mean.) The reason for this is that the line of the swimsuit will not only fall on a smaller part of your hips, but it will also help to lengthen the line of your leg. Boy-cut is your nemesis as is any cut that isn't at least a little bit vertical. A pear-shaped lady has plenty of curves, all she needs to do is make sure the top is in proportion with the bottom- always think in terms of balance. Some women don't have curves to balance out, though- instead they are "boy shape" for lack of a better term. In that case, they have the unfortunate challenge of creating curves. For them, I recommend:

Embellished Cut-Out One Piece, Victoria's Secret, $115

Colorblock One-Piece Swimsuit, Neiman Marcus, $198

This trick can be incorporated with a cut-out style or color blocking. In both cases, there is an illusion of an hourglass shape. The rounded curves of the cut-out suit in a color that contrasts against the skin tone creates the illusion that the rounded curves of the suit are the curves of the woman in it. In the case of the color blocked suit, the black detailing also creates an illusion of a small waist balanced against a larger bust and wider hips. Who says you need Harry Potter to work some serious magic? But the cut-out and the color blocking aren't the only things helping out a girl with a "boy shape." The necklines and high leg cuts of both suits are also keys to creating curves where there aren't necessarily that many. It's the combination of the two that help create an hourglass, curvy shape. Look for rounded, plunging necklines and the same kind of high leg cut as recommended for the pear-shaped ladies. Also, avoid at all costs any straight or square neckline and especially avoid the high-neck Speedo-type of suit. Speedo's? They are not flattering on ANYONE, I don't care how rockin' your bod may be.

Not everyone is able to wear such revealing suits as bikinis or cut-outs like the one above. Some of us have a little tummy to hide. Or a large tummy to hide. Whatever the tummy size, select one with ruching. Ruching that angles across the body is best, but any type will help mask a little belly: 
Twist-Front One-Piece, Victoria's Secret, $134-140

Crisscross Shaping One-Piece, Victoria's Secret, $132-138

In addition to ruching in the front, look for a suit with a high back and a high content of spandex or lycra in the fabric. These two criteria combined will help act as "shaping" agents. An open back with ruching will never be nearly as effective because ruching is most flattering when it is fitted across the body. If the ruching drapes or hangs, pass on that suit and keep on looking.

There are plenty of women out there who dread summer because it means having to find a suit to contain large ta-tas. If you are one of these women, look for suits like these:

Kenneth Cole Halter Suit, Dillard's, $110

Underwire Tank Halter Swimsuit, Land's End, $59.50

Women with a large bust should keep an eye out for suits that first and foremost offer support. Underwire with full coverage and halter necklines are the best options for support. Avoid triangle top bikinis and bandeau or tube tops as none of these will be flattering or offer the support you need. In addition, look for wide straps that will be more in proportion with the bust they are helping to hold up.

Well, I hope this has been a helpful post. Feel free to completely ignore it if bathing suit season makes you cringe. I won't take it personally. And if there are any other swimsuit issues you may have, feel free to email me with a question and I'll do my very best to help you out! Happy suit hunting!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Having avoided buying a bathing suit for the past, oh, five years, I feel better going for it with this info in hand. I will resist the urge to Speedo.

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