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Q & A
Q: How do I find a swimsuit that will fit and flatter my unique figure?

A: The most overriding passion and desire for most women when shopping for a swimsuit is locating that one perfect swimsuit that will flatter every curve and cover every imperfection. However, no matter what their particular shape is, most women find swimsuit shopping difficult. This brief guide to swimsuits, categorized by body shape, will help you find the best type and style of swimsuit to fit and flatter your body.

Big Thighs: Bulging skin from the thighs and belly in a skimpy bikini can be an embarrassing fashion disaster. While a dark-colored one-piece swimsuit will generally slim the body and solve the problem of bulging thighs, most women wish to receive the same results in a slightly more fashionable swimsuit. To slim the thighs and elongate the legs, try pairing a light, attention-grabbing tankini top with dark-colored bikini bottoms. Be sure to choose a pair of bottoms with high-cut legs. High-cut legs are the best secrets to slimming the thighs and hips. Also, be sure the tankini tops and bottoms meet. A long tankini top will reduce any unsightly belly bulges, as well.

Pear Shapes: Some women are naturally born with pear shapes, and other women develop these shapes after pregnancy. Regardless of the reason behind the pear shape, women with pear shapes often have a difficult time shopping for flattering swimsuits. However, there are certainly designer swimsuits out there that will not only conceal the undesirable characteristics of a pear shape but play up the good characteristics, as well. Try a one-piece swimsuit or tankini that pairs a lighter, eye-grabbing top with darker, more subdued bottoms. A low-cut or plunging neckline will draw even more attention to the bust. Also, remember to look for swimsuits with high-cut legs in order to slim the hips and thighs.

Short Torso/Long Torso: Torso length is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting the right swimsuit fit. A swimsuit that is too short will result in constant readjustment, while a swimsuit that is too long will result in a saggy, unattractive fit. Whether you have a short torso or a long torso, the most important factor you can take into consideration when buying a swimsuit is the fit of the bottoms and the cut of the leg. If you have a short torso, try a bikini with low-rise bottoms that sit just on the hip. The low fit of the bottoms will lengthen the appearance of the torso. If you have a long torso, be sure to find bottoms that sit a little higher on the hips. Also, if you are slim in the belly, you may try a short tankini top that ends just at the waist. This type of top will break up the torso and lend it a shorter appearance.

Big Bust: When looking for a swimsuit to flatter a large bust, be familiar with the amount of bra support you need. Many women with large breasts make the mistake of choosing a swimsuit with no support. Swimsuit manufacturers now produce a variety of swimsuits with hidden underwires in both bikini and maillot styles. A hidden underwire helps to lift and support the bust. Try a swimsuit with a bandeau-style top or wide-set straps to minimize the bust, but be sure to choose a pretty, young color to avoid looking too matronly.

Small Bust: To accentuate and flatter a small bust, try a traditional triangle-cut bikini top. The triangle cups tend to lift and shape small breasts. Also, look for a bikini top or maillot with a hidden underwire. This feature will allow for bra-style lift and support. Detailed seams around the breasts will draw attention to the bust and give it a fuller appearance, as well.

Overall Pudginess: If you are feeling just a little uncomfortable and self-conscious in your swimsuit, but your body does not seem to fit any of the listed categories, you may want to try a minimizer-type swimsuit. Minimizer swimsuits contain a relatively high percentage of Lycra or spandex in the fabric (anywhere from 15%-20%) and tend toward an overall slimming effect on your body. Just remember that, while minimizer swimsuits are fantastic for smoothing out bulges underneath the suit, they can create bulges outside of the suit if the straps or openings are too tight. Look for a swimsuit with adjustable back and neck straps and tie-side bottoms to avoid this problem.

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