Being a bikini "It" girl

Apr 19, 2008 at 3:00 a.m. ET

The bikini is a touchy subject for many women but, luckily, there are a few dos and don'ts to carry along with you on your swimsuit shopping ventures.

Four women in bikinis

7 Things you need to know about being a Bikini "it" girl

When Cameron Diaz disclosed in Vogue that she's finally made peace with the fact that she'll never be one of those women bursting out of their bikini top, the subject was so hot that Oprah devoted an entire show to it. And now, bombshell Elizabeth Hurley has confessed in Bazaar that, like all women, even she has issues about what to wear on the beach.

Be true to you

No matter how big of a trend a swimwear style might be, if it's not you and you don't feel comfortable in it, don't buy it. The trend will pass. There are more great beach alternatives than ever this season so you can still look hip yet be true to your own style. Stick with what works for your skin tone, hair color, height, body type and who you are.

If you're shy, don't buy something so impossibly small and revealing that when it comes time to wear it, you chicken out and stay home -- or worse, spend the day hiding and sweltering under an oversized sweatshirt. 

Determine your body type and dress to flatter it

If you already know that Margaritas by the pool are more of an option than leg lifts, do the next best thing: Buy a flattering suit for your figure.

You'll notice in this bathing suit roundup that there is no tankini to be seen. Not one. I'm aware that every bathing suit round up in the world claims the tankini is the cure for a poochy tummy. Even Elizabeth Hurley gleaned this recommendation by grilling her best girlfriend Elle Macpherson for bikini tips.

 The thing is, those two have tummies flat enough to balance a tray of Mojitos on. Take it from me, a life long poochy tummy battler: tankinis are a big no-no. Here's why: anything that separates your midsection breaks up a flowing line.

If you're one of the lucky ones born with rock hard abs, why waste them wearing anything other than a fetching bikini?  But if you're self-conscious of your mid-section or want to appear taller, concentrate on keeping a solid flowing line, rather than drawing attention with separates that cut up your body.

Embrace your assets

If you're booty-licious and proud of it, then follow Beyonce's example and embrace your curves. This plunging V-neck tank one-piece by Gottex provides plenty of coverage for a curvy shape while cleverly enhancing cleavage. Remember, always accentuate your greatest feature tastefully.

Have an intention when you get dressed

If you're determined to look like one of Charlie's Angels, then consult with a fitness trainer like Ashley Borden, who was interviewed for the book, How To Get A Body Like A Rock Star (Without Suffering, Starvation, or Spending a Fortune). Ashley helps celebs like Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Tori Spelling, Poppy Montgomery and Lauren Graham get into top shape.

When you're ready, dazzle the world with these cute summer suits.

  1. Tommy Bahama Graphic halter bikini and Belted hipster bikini bottom
  2. Becca 'Cubism' halter bikini top and bottom

Choose one essential bathing suit

By investing in one flattering suit, rather than three cheaper ones, you'll have the foundation for a great look. A bathing suit is not the place to try saving money. It's worth buying a suit that makes you feel fabulous because, let's face it, wearing a swimsuit is a loaded issue for almost all women. If you need to rationalize it, a recent study found that 85 percent of all bathing suits never hit the water.

That means a good suit that makes you feel like a million bucks could last for a couple of seasons. You want to feel confident and know that your suit has enough support and enhances your assets while minimizing the rest. Come pool party time, you'll be able to enjoy yourself and have fun without the swimsuit monster hanging over your shoulder.

Less skin is more

Remember you can look flirty and cute even if you're not baring all in an itsy bitsy bikini. I love the idea of kicking around the beach in one of this season's dress cover-ups that are nice enough to double as a dress.  However, if you've got it flaunt it as long as you feel good about it. If you have a great body, the best belly-button, legs, toes, neck, shoulders or abs -- enhance, embellish, embrace your assets tastefully.

"It" is not about your body

It's easy to blame your body for not fitting into two triangles and a pair of skimpy bottoms. As Dr. Abby Aronowitz, former Weight Watchers consultant and author of the best-selling Your Final Diet, says, "Remember, it isn't your body that's the problem -- it's the bathing suit. Personalizing makes you feel bad, while externalizing can help you to pick yourself up and try on another suit."

If you look long enough, you'll find a bathing suit that works for your figure. Just keep in mind, being an "It" bikini girl is not about how you look in a bikini, but how you feel about yourself, no matter what you're wearing.

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

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