Swimsuit Shopping: 15 Tips to Reduce the Stress (cont.)

  • Never underestimate the power of mail order. Whether you're shopping online or in a catalog, nothing beats having your suits delivered right to your door.

    "You can try it on in the privacy of your own home, you can bend and stretch and sit and move and look at yourself from all angles," says Kauchner. "And if you buy at least two or three suits in different sizes, you can find the perfect fit, return the ones you don't like, and do it all on your own timetable."
  • Wear a thong. Because nearly all stores require you to wear underwear when trying on swimsuits, wear the skimpiest undies possible. "There's nothing more distracting that trying on a swimsuit over loose, bagging panties that are going to crumple and bunch under the suit," says Paige. Wearing a thong, or at least bikini panties, will give you a cleaner line that makes any suit look better.
  • Get a faux tan. The lighter your complexion, says Paige, the worse you're going to look in that first glance in the full-length mirror. "It's all that flesh coming into view all at once that shocks the eye," she says. The antidote: Slather on some self-tanner the night before you go shopping.
  • "Being tan not only makes you look slimmer, it also puts you in a kind of summer frame of mind," says Paige. "Plus it allows you to see how your suit is going to look once you do pick up a little summer color, even the kind in a bottle."

    Find a Suit that Suits You

    Even when the shopping conditions are perfect, let's face it: You're still going to have to sort through dozens of suits to find the one that's right for you. To save time, here are eight tips to help you zero on styles that will work:

    • To camouflage bumps and bulges. Look for large bold prints in light and dark combinations, Kauchner says. When possible, pick up a pareo or wrap to match.
    • To hide a tummy. Choose a skirted suit, Paige says, but look for one with edges that turn up at the sides in a "shirttail" style. "This will make your legs look longer and the skirt look more flirty," she says.
    • To diminish a full middle. Opt for a one-piece suit with a blouson top, or a long tankini- style top over a bottom that hits at the waist, Weston advises.
    • To create curves in all the right places.Try a deep V halter top and high-cut legs to fill out your figure and give you curves instead of bumps and lumps, says Weston.
    • To detract from a large waist and hips. Go for a low-cut suit with a wide neckline to create balance between the upper and lower body, Blondeau says. A solid-color bottom with a printed top will minimize hips.
    • To slim a full chest. Choose a halter top to lift you, cover jiggly areas at the side of the bust, and put all the focus up front, says Paige.
    • To enhance a small bust. Get a suit with a bright or printed top and an underwire bra or molded cup to enhance cleavage, says Weston.
    • For the best overall control. Opt for a one-piece suit with tummy and derriere lift panels, says Paige. Or choose a two-piece with a bottom that reaches your belly button and has an interior support panel.

    Published May 12, 2006.

    SOURCES: Michele Weston, editor-in-chief, AmaZe.com magazine. Anne-Marie Blondeau, marketing director, Maillot Baltex swimsuits. Andy Paige, beauty and style expert, Starting Over. Fran Kauchner, merchandise director, Silhouettes.com and Silhouettes Catalog.

    ©2006 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

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