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by DietWrite,'s Diet and Fitness News Reporter

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Let's go shopping for a new swimsuit... ready or not!

Right now is the best time while the selection of swimsuits is still good. Shop NOW so you'll be able to try on lots of suits and get the best style and fit for you. Don't procrastinate if you need a new bathing suit! If you wait you may be left empty handed!

bathing suit shopping

Finding a suit you love but that's sold out in your size is too heartbreaking, just like wearing last year's worn out suit is too depressing. Now's the time to get the swimsuit of your dreams!

When you're ready to go swimsuit shopping, bring the right attitude too. Don't let the ugly glow of the dressing room lights get you down. The natural outdoor lighting is so much more forgiving and kind! It's hard to think you are going to wear so little in public, but with a positive attitude (and the tips below) you'll find the best suit ever. You may have some (okay a lot of) reservations, but when you know what styles to look for you are going to find the perfect one!

So let's get started...

Start by thinking about why you need a swimsuit. Are you going to be playing with the kids in the pool, swimming laps, lying by the pool or for a special vacation trip? Assess your swimsuit needs so that you can choose among the styles I recommend in this shopping guide.

Do you prefer one or two-piece? Let me first say, some of the most beautiful women on the beach wear one-piece swimsuits. So don't think you need a two-piece in order to have sex appeal - you don't. One-pieces do not reveal it ALL, just enough to keep things interesting. Some one-piece swimsuits have cut-outs; others have a deep plunge to reveal some cleavage or are high-cut to accentuate the leg. Whether you choose a one-piece or two (sometimes better for the best fit) the rule here is to show off your best assets and minimize the others.

bathing suit chart

I am offering style tips to help you minimize the not so great parts and play up the features that are your best. We all have tummies, heavy thighs, small or large busts or something we want to hide. The right suit can help draw the eye away from these areas and show off our best features... like our smiles : )

Swim Suit Season Primer

Thong or sarong? Duh! C'mon, you know the answer to that! Go with the sarong! These are cute and stylish and offer just a bit of coverage. Don't forget you can tie them above the bust or around the waist for different looks.

Beach Babe glow or no go? It's up to you. But, if you are really fair, some color is going to make you feel more confident. I use the "tan in a can"... also try the new glowing lotions - they're great! My fav is Oil of Olay "Touch of Sun" Overnight.

Color my world. If you are fair skinned, a dark colored suit will complement your coloring better. However, pale pastels will wash you out. Try black, navy, royal blue and chocolate browns. Try dark to medium tones to find the right one for you.

Product placement is EVERYTHING. Buy a really cute and colorful big tote, and while you are at it, maybe a hat, sunglasses, and sandals. Everyone will just love your tote - all the attention will be on it! Your bathing suit is the same way. Wear bows, ruffles, bright colors, shiny fabrics, stripes, etc. in areas where you rather have attention.

Fit is IT! Make sure you can sit and bend over in your bathing suit. Check that you are able to move around by bending over and squatting in the dressing room. The "girls" should stay where they belong and have the correct support. There should also be ample coverage on your bottom - not too tight and not baggy either.

A Miracle Suit can only do so many miracles. But seriously, don't beat yourself up! Get out there and have fun! Miracle Suit can take you down a full size.

White suits are pretty but best only in catalog layouts. All-white bathing suits become transparent when wet! Okay, they become A LOT transparent! Not the best bet.

Be a loner. Taking your husband bathing suit shopping is NOT always the best idea. (Thanks anyways, honey!) Some things a gal's just got to do alone. Leave the kiddos at home too. Give yourself time to try on a lot of suits. Make sure you are not hungry, tired or rushed for time.

Check that attitude, girlfriend. Try on LOTS of bathing suits! You never know what new styles or ones you don't think will work, end up looking surprisingly terrific! MissusSmartyPants has some great selections for you to choose from. Have an open mind when you shop.

Don't get hung up on a number. Now is NOT the time to get stuck on a size or number. Bathing suits are generally made a bit small (especially the bottoms) so take in 2 different sizes to try on. Cut out the label if the size bothers you.

Separate but together. If you are like most women your top and bottom are not the same size. Mix and matching separates lets you concentrate on the best fit of each piece. It may cost more, but you can't get cheap when it comes to getting the suit that will give you the most confidence.

You may not want to skirt the issue. If you insist on a skirted style, choose one that comes up in the front (like a sarong) or one that rises up on the sides (like shirt-tails) these are both more flattering than one horizontal line at the widest part of your lower body! Be care where the skirt stops!

Ahoy, look here! Bring attention to your best areas with bright colors, embellishments, etc. Minimize the not so good areas with dark matte colors.

Align and define. Bathing suits with busy prints distract the eye and can help with those with an undefined mid-section. Wrap styles add a figure slimming diagonal line to your torso, while a blouson top gives coverage and plays up your bottom half.

Go custom! Hey, swimsuits are expensive; why not get one to fit you just right! Get a swimsuit made to your specifications.

How to highlight the good stuff and minimize "other" areas:

Top-heavy: Choose styles that have underwire or supportive cups (just like your best bras). Tank styles with wide supportive straps or a halter style top. V-necklines lengthen the torso. Dark colors on top help minimize. Avoid bright neon colors and shiny fabrics here.

Small bust: Push up bra styles with padded cups, rouching (fabric gathers) and ruffles make the bust appear fuller, bandeau bikini tops also look fab on you. Two-piece suits or a one-piece with brighter top helps. Halter or sweetheart necklines work for you. If you want more cleavage add silicone gel breast enhancers (you can wear these in a regular bra or bathing suit).

Short-waist: Empire-waist (gathers under the bosom) helps elongate the waist. A higher neckline will also make your torso appear longer. A low-cut bottom also lengthens the torso. Patterns/prints as well as vertical stripes along the sides or diagonal lines give the illusion of a longer waist.

Long-waist: Tankinis (2 pieces) give you more length for your long torso. Belted styles will help with a nice horizontal line and are quite stylish. Higher leg openings make your legs appear longer and helps balance a longer torso.

Broad shoulders: V-necklines and scoop necklines will lengthen your torso. Diagonal lines and draping work well too. Your shoulder straps should be wider and in the middle of your shoulders.

Tummy: Look for styles with built-in control panels (Miracle Suits). Wrap styles and blouson styles can help minimize a tummy. Shirred torsos (ruching) work nicely for thicker waists and gives the illusion of a defined waist line. Styles with v-necks elongate and draw the eye up and away from the tummy.

Full thighs and hips: A bathing suit that is two-toned with a bright top and a darker bottom minimizes hips. A suit with higher cut leg openings lengthens the legs and slims. Wear suits with bright colors and detailing at the neckline to bring attention upward. Strapless or bandeau styles create a strong horizontal line at the neckline and this helps balance out a fuller hip. Skirted tankinis with dark colored bottoms can work for full thighs and hips. The best styles for skirted suits are ones that go up in the front like a sarong, or the ones that go up on the sides like shirt-tails. The problem with skirted suits is you must be careful that the skirt does not stop at the thickest part of your thigh.

All body types: Choose a bathing suit that is cut mid to higher up on the thighs. This elongates the legs and visual add height which is slimming. Boy shorts are best for talls and those with long legs.

Before you have fun-in-the-sun, here are couple more stylist tips:

Less is more. Don't run for cover and hide under a large piece of fabric. This may be a natural reaction for some ...    Continue

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@ 11:09am ET on June 3, 2008
Thanks for the tips

@ 11:22am ET on June 3, 2008

@ 12:14pm ET on June 3, 2008
SUMMER IS ABOUT TO HAVE ITS END HERE IN ASIA!! Ahk, I want to get there and have more summer moments. hahahah ;))

@ 1:31pm ET on June 3, 2008
Swim suit shopping is one of my biggest fears. I always let it get me down. I was going to wait until the last minute. You know, hoping for a few more pounds lost, but it makes sense to go now while the selection is better. Thanks for the tip.

With all this talk about suits I am heading to the gym.


@ 3:06pm ET on June 3, 2008
Wow! Thanks for the tips!


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