Look sexy this summer, at any size!

Jul 23, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Most humans with two X chromosomes dread swimsuit season. But for many women, this feeling of doom far exceeds hanging by the pool.

Plus size woman wearing sundress

These women hate summer and long for when the thermometer drops below 60 degrees so they can cover every inch of their not-size-6 figure. That’s silly! Everyone should enjoy the beautiful weather, and we can help you do that — even if you are a bit un-slim…

Buy bigger sizes

It’s alarming how our vanity dictates the number on the shorts, skirts and capris we purchase. Remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you are pouring yourself into a size 8, but you are really a healthy 10, try wearing a 12. Think we’re crazy? Think again. When capris and shorts hang off of you, you look slimmer than you really are. Stick to the old rule of thumb of wearing dark colors whenever possible. Try it once. Tear out the size tag as soon as you get home if it makes you feel better. That number on the label should not define you. Feeling comfortable and confident is more important than a number.

Get a tan

We’re not here to debate how you get a tan, because there are so many schools of thought on how a little sun is good for you and how the chemicals in spray tans may be unhealthy. Just get some color. Here’s why: Brown fat looks better than white fat. Memorize that. It just does. Like anything, don’t over-do it. We’re looking for a healthy, sexy summer glow, not over-done rotisserie chicken.

How to get even coverage from sunless tanner >>


If you are going into summer with the jiggly remains of last winter still apparent, fear not. It’s all about accessorizing your swimwear. Have long, lustrous, amazing hair. Rock jewelry that makes everyone wonder, “Why didn’t I think to wear a necklace like that?” Throw on a pair of heels. Spend money on a beautiful wrap or loose skirt. Most of all, just have fun. We get in our heads about what other people think of our appearance, but the truth is we give ourselves way too much credit if we think we occupy more than about 30 seconds of someone else’s mental musings. Everyone else is too preoccupied with their own insecurities to worry too much about yours!

Bless the dress

If you don’t have a stunning collection of summer dresses, fix that. Now. If we are to speak on practical terms, dresses are about the most comfortable thing you can wear in the heat (no clinging or binding). Summer dresses showcase your best assets and hide the rest. If you’re bloated or you haven’t been on a run since the last Ice Age, no one will be the wiser. Everyone looks amazing in dresses. Look to Kirstie Alley as an example. When the scale starts telling her stuff she doesn’t want to hear, she reaches for her dresses. And she looks amazing. Best of all, men love women in dresses. Few things are more feminine or alluring.

Watch: How to get that Hollywood glow

The Hollywood glow, found on the red carpet at every award show, can be done by everyday women too. Watch as the SheKnows.com celebrity makeup artist, Allison Pynn, demystifies the secret to this well-known Hollywood trick.

More on summer fashion

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Pick the best summer dress for your body type