Swimwear trends that flatter your figure

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I confess. I have never been one who enjoys wearing swimsuits. I suppose it speaks to my lack of body confidence; I run daily, but I have never found a swimsuit that flatters my figure. So whenever I go poolside, I typically opt for my standard pair of running shorts and a cute T-shirt, offering the weak explanation, “I really don’t like to swim.” Then I look at all of the other bathing beauties and silently wonder, “Why them and not me?”

If you want the confidence to wear a swimsuit that flatters your figure, it helps to understand certain trends and styles that will cater to and easily enhance your unique shape. Let’s face it, few of us have been given a model’s body, but we can all acquire the confidence that goes with wearing something relatively revealing out in public if we simply learn what styles complement our figures.

My late grandmother, who lived to 108, was the queen of bathing attire and loved to get in the pool even in her 100s. She appreciated a pretty swimsuit and bore no shame reflex when it came to strutting her stuff by the water’s edge. No, she was not a 36-24-36 fashion model, but she knew how to dress her body to deliver the message that she, too, could rock a swimsuit with the best of them. She would advise me, “A swimsuit should be like a great speech: long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting.”

So, if you don’t have a grandma who will tell you what to wear, then let me offer a few helpful tips that will encourage and hopefully inspire you to show off that poolside body of yours, no matter what your shape. After all, the best swimsuit is the one swimsuit that gives you the complete freedom to just be yourself.

While there are hundreds of different styles and trends from which you can choose to provide the most flattering look for yourself, we’ll narrow it down to a few basic tips to keep it simple.

For the most part, there are four main body types: athletic, straight, pear and curvy. Athletic women tend to have broad shoulders, narrow hips and muscular legs. Women with straight bodies have few curves accompanied by waist and hip measurements that are proportionately similar. Pear-shaped-women tend to be a bit wider on the bottom than on the top and curvy gals boast those envious hourglass figures.

Athletic women can easily rock swimwear that focuses on a feminine appeal and details. You can show off your toned lower half with a tapered-back bottom and embellishments at the hip. Padding, gathering or a girlie print will help to soften the chest area. Boy-cut briefs and shapeless tanks are not your friends.

Don’t fret if you have a straight figure. You have two options, both of which are awesome. You can fake some curves with the right stuff or you can delight in the fact that you have nothing to hide and actually get away with a skimpy style. You are the one who can successfully pull of that itty-bitty string bikini. Ruffles, gathering or padding are great ways to enhance your upper body and your hindquarters while still appearing classy without oozing too much sex appeal.

Pear-shaped girls can easily camouflage those troublesome spots by concealing hips and thighs with full-coverage briefs, hipsters or boy shorts. Keep the lower portion subdued by avoiding anything with a pattern or print that screams, “Look at me!” To keep the focus off the lower half of your body and draw eyes upward, consider a swimsuit top with molded cups, halter straps or cleavage detailing.

A curvy gal will look best in a solid or small print that doesn’t distort her proportions. A halter-style or underwire top will easily support the chest, and if you don’t want to appear to be an exhibitionist, resist the urge to wear anything with a shifty string top or bottom. The suit you choose should complement your curves while simultaneously keeping everything in place.

All in all, many women share two common areas of exasperation when it comes to wearing a swimsuit–a larger-than-desired posterior and an upper body that could stand a bit more “oomph” and recognition. That problem is easily addressed with a simple swimsuit bottom in a solid color paired with a top that has molded cups for extra lift and volume.

And, well, if you are anything like me (and I feel your pain!), you can always take advantage of the gorgeous swimsuit cover-up that will match your new suit, add showy shades and a great hat, and show off your glam! HLM

Sources: fitnessmagazine.com and womenshealthmag.com.