SMALLCHESTED

Fashion (Canada) - - Swim Lessons -

If you’re…

“Try a bikini top with a push-up bra or opt for a belted one-piece with a V-neck plunge. The belt gives you an hour­glass shape, while the ‘V’ draws the eye to your mid­sec­tion.” bright light doesn’t cast shad­ows and won’t em­pha­size the ap­pear­ance of cel­lulite. Only a cam­era will leave a shadow,” she says, adding that high­erend swimwear brands use bet­ter fab­rics that tend to fit bet­ter. “They re­search things like stitch tech­nolo­gies and print place­ment. It makes a big dif­fer­ence.”

When you step into a spe­cialty bou­tique, be pre­pared to get schooled in swimwear de­sign—fits and cuts are key. Vasilia Pana­gakos, owner of Toronto’s Avec Plaisir and Eres bou­tiques, says that with the dawn of Google, more and more cus­tomers are ask­ing for things that sim­ply won’t work. “A lot of cus­tomers come in with as­sump­tions on what to wear based on what they’ve read on­line,” she says. “I’ll have clients with a full bust say they want a ban­deau bikini top be­cause they read that it gives more cov­er­age, but what they need is the ex­act op­po­site.” Pana­gakos and her staff work to de­ter­mine which brand will work for each cus­tomer. “This is where tech­ni­cal ac­cu­racy and qual­ity come into play,” she says, list­ing longevity of the swim­suit, com­fort, breatha­bil­ity and mem­ory of the fab­ric among the benefits of the brands she car­ries.

Of course, be­ing re­al­is­tic is im­por­tant when shop­ping for swimwear. “It’s like shop­ping for jeans,” says Pana­gakos. “You have to know what’s go­ing to work and what won’t. I have a Mediter­ranean body type, for ex­am­ple, and I can’t wear any style that’s too low-cut.” But when a look you’ve set your sights on won’t jive with your body type— farewell, high-waisted bikini bot­toms— it’s ac­tu­ally an op­por­tu­nity to stop the carousel ride of shame that ac­com­pa­nies swim­suit shop­ping. “Fo­cus on the most beau­ti­ful parts of your body and for­get your im­per­fec­tions,” says Chan­tal Levesque, designer of swimwear la­bel Shan.

So the next time you hit the shops look­ing for a new swim­suit, be pos­i­tive and re­mem­ber that sunny beach days lie ahead. I plan to slow down a lit­tle, take stock of what will ac­tu­ally suit my fig­ure and make peace with my thighs. Bar­ring all that, there’s al­ways my trusty corkscrew and re­ally large glass.

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