Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Swimsuits for Every Body, Part 1

The mere mention of swimsuit season strikes fear into the hearts of women everywhere. Never has shopping been such a painful experience. Standing in the dressing room, you stare at your nearly naked body. The combination of awful lighting and "fat mirrors" seem to highlight your every flaw. You cringe as visions of every dessert you've had since last August float through your head. Add onto that the seemingly impossible task of finding a suit that actually fits AND flatters, and you begin to wonder why people go to the beach at all.

Over the next week I'm going to tackle the issue of swimsuits, and give examples of which features to look for to make the most of your body type. Everyone has body parts they want to show off and others they want to hide, and the key is finding a swimsuit that draws attention to those parts you love and minimizes the rest. Today's post will deal with finding a suit that best compliments your bust size, whether you're a AA or DD.

First scenario: You have a small bust that you'd like to draw more attention to. Or alternately, you're trying to draw attention away from your bottom half. Here are a few suits that will do the job:

Victoria's Secret "The Miracle Bra" Push-Up Triangle Top, $38 (bottoms are $28)
Small chested ladies, the push-up top is your friend. Add an underwire triangle top in a bright, fun pattern and you'll definitely make the most of what you've got.

Victoria's Secret "The Miracle Bra" Push-Up Full Coverage Tankini Top, $33 (bottoms are $21)
If you're not comfortable showing off so much skin, try a push-up tankini top (also in a bright, fun pattern) paired with a more modest bottom in a dark color, which will draw the eye upward and make your top half look larger.

Paul Frank "Hearts" Keyhole Bandeau, Urban Outfitters, $36 (bottoms are $32)
Details, Details, Details. If you're ever trying to emphasize an area of your body, pile on the details. Ruching, ruffles, bows, cut-outs, bright colors, horizontal stripes, patterns, an interesting shape... all work to make the area look larger.

What doesn't work for a small chest? Spaghetti-strap bandeaus, which seem to be everywhere this season. To be honest, I don't think they work on anyone, because they give no support and make even small breasts look droopy and lifeless (as LaLohan and Kate Hudson show here).

The nice thing about having a small bust is that you don't have to worry too much about having enough support. But when you're blessed with a larger chest, support is key.

Anne Cole D-Cup One Piece Tank, Nordstrom, $138
Not only will this suit give you all the support you need, with underwire and thick, comfortable straps, but it does double duty as an allover slimming suit, using gathered fabric to draw attention to the top ribcage, your thinnest part. It also shows off enough cleavage to keep things interesting, but not so much skin that people can't focus on your face.

Victoria's Secret "Body by Victoria" Full Coverage Underwire Halter Top, $29 (bottoms are $24)
Because falling out of your top is NEVER an attractive look, a full coverage top (also with underwire) will keep your breasts where you want them to be, even when you're swimming, diving or playing volleyball on the beach. A halter top in a dark color is also very flattering, while a splash of color adds visual interest. It also comes in a graphic floral pattern.

Land's End Hi-Neck Slender Swimsuit, $82
Another great way to minimize a large bust without losing sex appeal is to wear a high neck suit with slimming details like ruching at the waist. The black color and boat neck adds a little Audrey Hepburn-esque glamor, while a high cut back prevents the dreaded back flab that so often occurs from a too-tight suit. An added benefit is that you can actually swim in this suit, without having to pull on the bottoms or readjust the top every time you do a flipturn, so it's very practical.

Be sure to check back in the next week as I discuss other tips and tricks for looking your best on the beach, no matter what body you've got.

Got a tip or suggestion to add? Leave it in the comments!


Emma said...

1st - great topic! I'm always stuck for ideas when it comes to bathing suits and there are some really nice designs here. Keep it up!

2nd - as cliched as it is, I always have a sarong handy with me. For those days when I'm on holiday but can't bear to go to the beach *only* in a cossie. Plus you can buy dead cheap sarongs and no one will ever know (and they have a thousand and one uses...)

Anonymous said...

Those are all gorgeous picks Meg, but the Anna Cole swimsuit is a real show-stopper, just beautiful cut...