Monday, December 11, 2017

Shopping for Swimsuits

July 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

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As our thoughts these days are often on boats, boardwalks, and beaches, it’s natural to think about bathing suits as well.

While sunshine and surf go hand in hand with swimsuits for many, others clench their fists at the mere mention of buying a new bathing suit (frankly, shopping for swimsuits doesn’t rank too high up on the fun scale no matter our sizes and shapes). My suggestions will take some of the guess work out of finding a flattering bathing suit before you go shopping.

The one piece swimsuit has had a bumpy ride in the fashion world, having long been deemed appropriate for only the youngest and most mature generation. The cuts, colors, and patterns were limited and lackluster, but this is no longer the case. The one piece has come a long way — it’s now a great choice for anyone.

One piece suits are a great way to help cover up the midsection (if you love bread and pizza as much as I do, you know what I mean). Suits with a ruched bodice help create the look of a flatter midsection, and many on the market also have built-in support for further smoothing.

One piece suits come in strapless, halter, one shoulder, and — for the very fashion forward — with strappy cut-outs. The trends for this year echo the general trends in fashion. Floral, prints, corals and cobalt blues are the front-runners. Classic colors like navy and black are always in style and on trend as well.

Choosing a suit that features color blocking results in a slimmer looking waistline. Darker colors on bottom and lighter colors on top draw the eye upwards and away from trouble spots below. The same can be said for patterned suits; be sure to choose a pattern that does not overwhelm you — if you are petite, stick to smaller scale patterns, and if you are on the bustier side, larger patterns will suit you.

Regardless of preconceived notions, the bikini is a great option for women of any size. From triangle tops to tankinis, it’s a ubiquitous staple of summer, coming in a seemingly endless color palate from bright colors reminiscent of the Caribbean to metallic scuba inspired looks.

Triangle tops are great if you have a small frame and bust. They are the most adjustable swimsuit tops so you can easily find one that flatters you, adjusting the ties and triangles as you see fit.  Please know that while these tops are great for lying on the beach or the boat deck, they are not suited for physical activities like swimming and surfing. As there really is not much to them aside from strings and small pieces of fabric, the bikini tops are prone to wardrobe malfunctions.

Halter-style twist tops combine the fit of a bandeau with the added support of straps. While a bandeau could ultimately flatten your chest, the twist top creates separation and stability for your bust. Ruffled bikini tops (my favorite) create the illusion of a fuller bust line while adding visual interest. Stick to the brighter colors of the season as they attract the eye.

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It’s all about the construction and straps for women with ample busts. Underwire bikini tops are a great option, providing support similar to that of a bra. If you are not a fan of underwire in swimwear, then seek a top with a thicker strap underneath to help support the weight of your chest and provide added lift.  Halter tops keep busts sculpted and are usually a better selection than strapless tops which fall short in support and often threaten to fall down.

Tankinis have made a comeback. They are best for those active in watersports as they provide the coverage of a one piece with the convenience of a two piece. These swimsuits also give you the freedom to mix and match your tops and bottoms and come in styles from strapless to racer-back like their single piece counterparts.

You may have noticed that I’ve not touched on the topic of bathing suit bottoms. That’s because bottoms are more of a personal choice than a fashion choice. If you’re not buying a one piece, take advantage of the fact that bathing suit tops and bottoms are often sold separately. You can still match them for a traditional look or go bold and create your own look with different color tops and bottoms. From boy shorts to scarcely-there Brazilian, you choose what you dare to bare.

As with everything in fashion, proper fit is key. While a swimsuit may look pretty on the rack, it may not look so good on yours, so try everything on!

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Photos of swimsuits

Ann Cole Thick Strap Top-Macys

MiracleSuit-Macy’s

Old Navy Colorblock Balconette One Piece

Patterned One Piece -H&M

Ralph Lauren Tankini

Ruffled Bikini Top-H&M

string bikini top H&M

Underwire Bikini-H&M

 

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