Swimsuit confidence: Tricks to boost your self-image

May 15, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. ET

With swimsuit season just around the corner, you may be getting nervous about strutting around in a bathing suit. But it doesn't have to be that way! Enjoy your time at the beach or by the pool with this little list of tips and tricks.

Happy woman in swimsuit at the beach

Pick a suit you love

Feeling good in your bathing suit depends on your loving the one you select. If you pick one just because you think it's "trendy" or "in season," you might not be particularly comfortable wearing it. Instead, look for a suit that emphasizes what you love most about your body. For instance, if you're pleased with your hourglass shape, choose a style that draws attention to your silhouette, such as a ruched one-piece. Look for patterns and colours you really enjoy, and don't shy away from embellishments — they are the jewellery of the swimsuit world. Buckles, ties and bows can add a lot of flair and personality to your look, which will have you feeling truly beautiful. What's most important is that you select a suit that fits properly. If you buy a smaller size with the hope of changing your body so it will fit, you may find yourself trying to squeeze into an uncomfortable swimsuit. It's hard to feel beautiful when you're wearing something that is digging into you. When you buy a bathing suit, make sure you love every bit of it at that moment so you know you'll love slipping it on when the time comes.

Have a backup or two

There's no denying it (we're all human, after all) — you may feel like you're on top of the world one minute, and then someone you envy walks by and you feel a little less stellar for a while. That's OK. There are plenty of stylish cover-ups that will have you feeling glamorous and comfortable in moments. Victoria's Secret offers some gorgeous lace rompers and flowy tunics that are just as sexy as the slinkiest bikini.

Eat well to feel good

You may have selected the perfect swimsuit and received a mountain of compliments, and you're feeling great. But then you down a burger, a large order of fries and a chocolate milkshake, and suddenly you don't feel quite so terrific anymore. This is understandable. Eating foods high in salt and sugar can leave your body feeling bloated and sluggish. Having it on display at such a time is challenging for even the most confident of people. If you know you're going to be spending the day strutting around in a bikini, drink lots of water, and enjoy plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Packing a healthy lunch for your trip to the beach or pool will have you feeling good inside and out!

more on self-confidence

Best scents for optimism
The art of meditation
Ways to feel more beautiful on a first date