FAKE IT, FLAUNT IT

U Magazine - - FEATURE - By ME­LANIE BUTCHER

Whether you want to re­veal or con­ceal, don’t miss your guide to find­ing the per­fect swim­suit for your body type.

Swim­suit sea­son is !nally here! "at means that we can !nally hang out by the pool with­out a care in the world, right? Un­for­tu­nately, nav­i­gat­ing the fright­en­ing world of swim­suit shop­ping can scare a lot of women into hid­ing un­til jacket sea­son re­turns in the fall. Sure, this sea­son’s new swimwear styles are beau­ti­ful and in­no­va­tive, but are they #at­ter­ing? Read on for tips and tricks to !nd­ing swimwear that dis­guises your not-so-fa­vorite at­tributes while play­ing to your physique’s great­est strengths.

TRI­AN­GLE

Pear-shaped women are some­times at odds with their cur­va­ceous, fem­i­nine hips and der­rières, which some seek to flaunt while oth­ers pre­fer to dis­guise. For­tu­nately, there are lots of swimwear op­tions to flat­ter your shape, no mat­ter what you choose. To show off a tri­an­gle-shaped fig­ure, look for spe­cial de­sign el­e­ments that draw at­ten­tion to your lower half. Swim­suit bot­toms with ver­ti­cal ruch­ing down the back hug your cheeks and show off a full bot­tom, which can also be ac­cented with ruf­fles for a girly flair. Ac­cents that sit low on the hips like a chain belt, tas­sel ties or a fold-over waist­band can also show off a pear-shaped frame. Two-piece swim­suits with a bot­tom that re­sem­bles a miniskirt have long been rec­om­mended for hid­ing a curvy lower half, but they ac­tu­ally em­pha­size large hips, so try a high-waisted style for a suit that hugs ev­ery curve. If you pre­fer to down­play your shape, try mix-and-match sep­a­rates that al­low you to cus­tom­ize your look. An at­ten­tion-grab­bing top with ac­cents like se­quins and bead­ing paired with a sleek bot­tom piece will draw the eye up­wards to­wards your neck­line and away from your lower half.

IN­VERTED TRI­AN­GLE

Women blessed with a large bust and broad shoul­ders seek swimwear that high­lights their as­sets while keep­ing their top and bot­tom halves in bal­ance. Some women with the in­verted tri­an­gle body type of­ten dread swim­suit shop­ping sea­son for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons – many brands don’t of­fer pre­cise cup siz­ing, un­der­wire tops are few and far be­tween, and it’s hard to find suits that keep the chest area se­cure but still look con­tem­po­rary and stylish. Luck­ily, tons of de­sign­ers have jumped on the big-bust band­wagon in re­cent years, re­sult­ing in a wealth of fash­ion­able op­tions. For those with a large chest, a hal­ter neck is a girl’s best friend: it lifts ev­ery­thing up while em­pha­siz­ing your dé­col­letage. If you want a two­piece suit, look for brands that of­fer lots of mix-and-match op­tions for tops and bot­toms, and tops that have a built-in un­der­wire and a wide strap for all-day com­fort. In-store, touch the fab­ric to test its tex­ture – fab­rics that snap back tend to lift the bust and make you look leaner. A boy-short bot­tom will bal­ance out a big bust and keeps the look mod­ern.

HOUR­GLASS

Lucky you: this is one of to­day’s most cov­eted fig­ures! While some women may be at odds some­times with their va-va-voom frame, show­ing off or down­play­ing your fem­i­nine fig­ure is no sweat. Just re­mem­ber, it’s all about work­ing with your dan­ger­ous curves. A fun op­tion for hour­glass shapes is to get inspired by a blast from the past. Pin-up wor­thy swim­suits celebrate a cur­va­ceous fig­ure, pop­u­lar­ized when a healthy and curvy frame was the most cel­e­brated shape. The full­cov­er­age bot­toms and al­lur­ing neck­lines of vin­tagein­spired swim­suits like Norma Ka­mali’s em­pha­size the curve from your bust to hips. Try a tie-front or twist­front ban­deau or a clas­sic mail­lot to get the look. Al­ter­na­tively, biki­nis look great on an hour­glass fig­ure. Try one that has a sporty vibe with el­e­ments like belt buck­les, zip­pers, racer­backs, neo­prene and pip­ing to get that en­vi­able Bond-girl vibe à la Ursula An­dress. For max­i­mum im­pact, grab a sporty suit in a bold look-atme color like coral or turquoise, or try a graphic print that makes your curves the can­vas.

OVAL

Women whose body­lines are gen­er­ally straight up and down, in­clud­ing a waist that is not no­tice­ably dis­cern­able from the bust and hips, can use in­no­va­tive fab­rics and em­bel­lish­ment to vis­ually sculpt their ideal frame. A solid-col­ored suit with print or de­tails at the waist can draw the eye in, cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion of an hour­glass sil­hou­ette. Try a one-piece tank in a darker color like olive or navy blue with cut-out de­tail­ing around the waist, and ex­pe­ri­ence the op­ti­cal il­lu­sion for your­self! Ad­di­tion­ally, a oneshoul­dered swim­suit is an oval-shaped gal’s se­cret weapon – not only does it make the eye zig-zag, cre­at­ing curves, but it looks ul­tra-so­phis­ti­cated too. Get the most out of your mid­dle with ac­cents that hit right at the waist. Bustier-style long­line tops cinch you in when paired with a clas­sic bikini bot­tom, or try a high-waist short with a ban­deau top for the same hour­glass ef­fect. The most el­e­gant hour­glass op­tions are usu­ally one-piece swim­suits with a fab­u­lous sash, me­tal­lic belt, or other em­bel­lish­ment at the waist to show off your curves.

SLIM

Some might be sur­prised to learn that slen­der women shop­ping for swimwear ex­pe­ri­ence a bit of the “grass is al­ways greener” com­plex, too. While they are more likely to find a va­ri­ety of swimwear in their size, find­ing a suit that fits and one that flat­ters are two dif­fer­ent things al­to­gether. For slen­der frames, it’s all about cre­ative de­tails that give the il­lu­sion of curves. Ruch­ing on the top and bot­tom cre­ates vis­ual vol­ume which drapes softly across the body – try a sculpted ban­deau top with a bit of ruch­ing and a lightly-padded cup to em­pha­size your bust. Another bust-en­hancer is the draped over­lay top style, which pulls the eye away from the torso to cre­ate def­i­ni­tion. Bandagestyle strappy suits aren’t flat­ter­ing on all body types, but slim women can rock this edgy look, which of­fers the al­lure of a true bomb­shell. Slim frames can go crazy with em­bel­lish­ment, which add vis­ual in­ter­est and traces the shape of your nat­u­ral curves. Bead­ing, studs, and rows of ruf­fles are flat­ter­ing on slim women and of­fer plenty of fem­i­nine ap­peal.

SHORT

Pe­tite women some­times strug­gle with find­ing a swim­suit that will give them a long and lus­cious look. Length­en­ing the torso is sim­ply a mat­ter of cre­at­ing an op­ti­cal il­lu­sion us­ing the right cuts and col­ors. A plung­ing deep-v neck­line can make a girl that’s 5-foot-2 look six inches taller in­stantly. The best deep-v op­tions are usu­ally one-piece suits with a hal­ter neck: the eye trav­els across the ver­ti­cal line from the curve of the neck down to the ribcage and the sliver of ex­posed skin dra­mat­i­cally length­ens the torso. To take this look a step fur­ther, try this neck­line with a zipper ac­cent or soft drap­ing that skims over your curves. Al­ter­na­tively, sculpt long, el­e­gant legs with a bot­tom that shows a lit­tle skin. Bot­toms that are high-cut on the legs are the eas­i­est way to look no­tice­ably taller, and they’re sexy in a clas­sic way. Medium-cov­er­age bikini bot­toms, dubbed “cheeky” bot­toms by some swim­suit mak­ers like Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret, recre­ate your body­lines, length­en­ing your legs and torso to cap­ture the look of a glam Brazil­ian girl.

TALL

Women who are lucky enough to have tow­er­ing model height gen­er­ally fall into two cat­e­gories – the ones that play down their stature, and the ones that have em­braced their Ama­zo­nian looks. For those that want to chan­nel the look of a pe­tite girl while ly­ing pool­side, choose shapes that cut across the body hor­i­zon­tally. A straight strap­less ban­deau top makes the torso look shorter, es­pe­cially if it’s a medi­um­length one that falls to the waist – the sliver of skin at the navel above your bot­tom piece short­ens the body sev­eral inches. Boy-short style bot­toms op­er­ate in a sim­i­lar fash­ion, de-em­pha­siz­ing the length of the legs and torso. To show off your fab­u­lously tall frame, try swim­suits that ac­cent your neck, shoul­ders and hips. Women with lots of height look amaz­ing in surfer-style wet­suits with cap or short sleeves be­cause they show off the el­e­gance of the shoul­ders and the cov­ered-up top half ac­cen­tu­ates your long, lean legs. De­tails on the hips like cutouts or other em­bel­lish­ment like tas­sel ties, me­tal rings or leather ac­cents help tall frames achieve a god­dess-like look.

ATH­LETIC

You’ve worked hard for that toned body – now is the time to show it off! Ath­letic girls with mus­cu­lar arms and legs some­times have trou­ble high­light­ing their svelte physique while still main­tain­ing their fem­i­nine al­lure. To em­pha­size your toned build, chan­nel the healthy beau­ties of old-school Sports Il­lus­trated mod­els, who made ac­tivewear swim­suits sex­ier than ever. Try a clas­sic tank swim­suit in a pho­to­re­al­is­tic or graphic print – the scoop neck will show a bit of dé­col­letage while the sim­plic­ity of the cut shows off your re­fined frame. Ex­trasporty de­tails like scuba fab­rics, grom­mets and zip­pers add to the ap­peal. If you want to soften your toned bod, don’t be afraid to go full-blown girly. We’re talk­ing the whole nine yards – pink and pas­tel tones, lace, jew­elry-like ac­cents, ruf­fles, and more. This sea­son’s draped and floaty bikini tops give the bust a lit­tle ex­tra oomph. Try a ban­deau top with a sexy sweet­heart neck­line that fakes a soft and cur­va­ceous frame, or bare a lit­tle skin with a sen­sual back­less one­piece that will have all eyes on you. From edgy strappy styles to so­phis­ti­cated mail­lots, there’s a swimwear style that looks phe­nom­e­nal on ev­ery shape and size. Your man­ner of dress­ing in ev­ery­day fash­ion can easily carry over to swimwear – just re­mem­ber how you feel when you wear your fa­vorite dress, and look for el­e­ments of that look in your new swimwear. When you shop for your new swim­suit this sea­son, don’t get dis­tressed in the dress­ing room un­der those un­for­giv­ing flu­o­res­cent lights – take a deep breath and re­mem­ber the things that are most beau­ti­ful about your body, and the traits that make you uniquely you.

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