By: Staci Rutherford
Memorial Day marks the official start of summer in my book, which means that it’s time for a new swimsuit! How many times have you set out to buy a swimsuit and ended up frustrated, overwhelmed or disappointed? I usually avoid shopping for swimsuits but this year, I decided to do a little research before venturing out so I know exactly what style to get for my figure. Yes, I research almost everything because knowledge is power. If I can identify my body type and understand which swimsuits are the most appropriate and flattering, shopping will become less stressful and more fun, as it should be.
Nordstrom has a fantastic swimsuit guide that I want to share with you. You are not limited to only the swimsuits outlined below, however, I thought this was a great starting point for anyone who wants a little more direction before hitting the stores.
Straight – Little definition between bust, waist and hip measurements.
Prints, patterns, horizontal stripes and strategically placed seams can create the illusion of curves. Look for underwire styles and close-together, padded cups to enhance and lift a small bust. Or try thicker, textured fabric on top to add fullness without padding.
Pear – Fuller at the hips and bottom and smaller on top.
Suits with detailing on top or at the waist will draw the eye up. Straight and high necklines visually broaden the shoulders to balance out proportions. Wear a paler shade on top with a darker bottom. Sheaths and skirted suits also work to cover trouble spots.
Hourglass – Curvaceous, with full bust, defined waist and full hips.
Wide strap tops and underwire bras with soft cups offer best bust support. Many tankinis and sport bikinis also flatter curves and provide lots of lift. To minimize cleavage, opt for a straight or higher neckline that conceals while providing a pretty silhouette.
Apple – A rectangular shape without a well-defined waist.
Banding will give the appearance of a waist as will chevron or diagonal stripes. Look for tummy control and side panels, side seaming and shirring to create curves. Classic styles and solid colors are the most slimming. Sheer cut-outs offer a sexy peek of skin.
Full Bust – Bust measurement is fuller than hips and bottom.
High necklines help minimize the bust, while V-necklines draw the eye downward for a slimming effect. A keyhole back or sport style with an additional back closure will provide good support for a fuller bustline. Halters with bra cups provide more coverage. High-cut armholes can minimize side bust exposure.
Now that we have discovered some of the common body types, check out some of my favorite figure flattering swimsuits that I found online. If it is more convenient for you to shop for a swimsuit online, make sure shipping (and returns) are free, and whether there is an option to return or exchange items at the store. Try to avoid any “all sales are final” deals because there is always a chance that you won’t like what you buy online.
LOFT Floral Print One-Piece Swimsuit in summer plum, Price: $79.50 at www.loft.com
Swim Solutions Bandeau Floral Printed Ruched Tummy Control One Piece, Price: $94.00 at www.macys.com
Merona 1-piece swimsuit in pink/black floral print, Price: was $34.00 one sale now for $12.24 at www.target.com
Lane Bryant Pinpoint one piece swimsuit, by Miraclesuit Price: 156.00 on sale now for $109.20 at www.lanebryant.com Robin Piccone Ikat Swimsuit in emerald, Price: $122.00 at www.nordstrom.com
If you find a swimsuit that you love, please share the details in the comments section. Next time, I will feature my favorite swimsuit cover-ups, which are perfect for lounging by the pool or strolling along the beach.