The key to buying a bathing suit you like and that you feel good wearing is to find the right fit. Just because you love the look of a certain style doesn't mean it's going to flatter your body type. You need to take your proportions into consideration. Whether you have a small bust and large hips, no curves to speak of or a large bust and narrow waist, there's a swimsuit out there to flatter your unique (and gorgeous) figure.
Look for something with a solid color on the top and a printed pattern from the waist down to minimize your top half and emphasize a narrow waist. If you're opting for a two-piece, choose a halter top (which provides ample support) or something with thicker straps. If a one-piece is more your speed, choose a look with built-in bust support rather than a sportier style. A V-neck one-piece is also very flattering if you want to show off your assets; it's sexy without being over the top.
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Padding helps, but make sure it looks natural and doesn't make you feel uncomfortable or self conscious. Tops that feature some kind of embellishment -- for example, beading, ruching or embroidery -- can help make your bust look bigger.
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A style with a deep V gives the illusion of a narrower midsection. A pretty print across the torso draws the eye up and the attention away from your waist. Avoid high-necked swimsuits and solid colors. If you want to wear a two piece (and why not?), try a tankini, which covers more than an itty-bitty style does.
Try a tankini with a bold print on the top and a solid color on the bottom, which pulls attention away from your bottom half. Play with cutouts and interesting necklines on top -- anything that will de-emphasize your lower half. Try on some wraps and sexy beach cover-ups if you're self-conscious by the pool.
Not everyone was blessed with the mile-long legs of Cameron Diaz or Gisele Bundchen. Make yours look longer with a suit cut high on the leg, which helps elongate your lower half. A one piece in a solid color with a plunging neckline lengthens your torso. Avoid boy-cut shorts and styles with frilly skirts, which can make you look shorter.
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