Swimsuit Smarts

Bathing suit season is fast approaching. If the mere thought of trying on an armload of swimsuits has you breaking out into a cold sweat, fear not. We’re here to make the process as painless as possible. Follow our guide to finding the best bathing suit style for your body.

Happy woman wearing bathing suit

Cursive number 1Finding the right fit

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.

Cursive number 2V neck bathing suitminimizing a large bust

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.

Read more on chest flattering swimwear >>

Cursive number 3Boosting a small bust

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.

Check out 4 Bikinis that will up your bust >>

Cursive number 4Bathing suit with ruchingMinimizing your waist

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.

Cursive number 5Hiding hips

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.

Cursive number 6Lengthening your legs

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.

MUST READ: Find out how to dress for your body type >>

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Tags: bathing suit shopping swimsuit guide

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