This year, thanks to expert tips from Christine Lackan, the owner of Toronto's Brava Boutique, bathing suit shopping will be an easy experience that will get you ready to make waves all season long.
Know your body type
In addition to being prepared to try on many different shapes and sizes of swimsuits, having an idea of which styles are most flattering on your body will help make for a smooth shopping trip. If you're unsure of your body type, ask for fitting advice from an associate at a swimwear boutique.
"It is important to keep an open mind and try many different styles when looking to purchase a swimsuit, because you may be pleasantly surprised by what ends up flattering your figure," explains Lackan. Savvy swimsuit shoppers can use styling tricks to emphasize their best assets and visually balance their proportions. Here are some tips to consider when searching for the best swimsuits for your body type.
1. If you have a small bust
"Ruffles, fringe and padded tops can add the illusion of volume," says Lackan. "And triangle-style tops, although they won't add much in the way of volume, often provide a great fit for a smaller bust."
2. If you have a large bust
"Swimwear with underwire and straps that are positioned over the shoulders, or styles that clip in the back rather than tie up, offer better support -- which make them ideal for a fuller bust," says Lackan.
3. If you have small hips
"Choosing bottoms that have ruffle details or ties on the side can add volume to your hips to help you achieve an hourglass figure," suggests Lackan. "Also, classic bikini-cut bottoms can give a clean and simple balanced look." she adds.
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4. If you have large hips
"Contrary to popular belief, less coverage can actually de-emphasize the fullness of your hips," says Lackan. "Alternatively, full-style bottoms with high-cut legs can narrow your hips and elongate your legs, as well as highlight a narrow waist."
5. If you want tummy control
"A one-piece suit with ruching can be your best friend by camouflaging any little bumps and creases," says Lackan. "A deep V-neck or wrap style can de-emphasize a tummy and draw the eye upward, while prints keep the eye moving and can have a very flattering effect."
If you prefer a two-piece suit there are also some things to keep in mind. "When choosing a bikini to de-emphasize a tummy, you'll want to be aware of selecting the right bikini top and bottoms to create a proper balanced proportion so that you retain focus on the overall hourglass silhouette," recommends Lackan.
6. If you have a short torso
"A tankini can be helpful for those who want a one-piece suit but have trouble finding one that fits properly in the rise. When choosing a two-piece suit, low-rise bottoms often elongate the body for a more flattering look," Lackan suggests.
7. If you have a long torso
"Pick a bandeau or a bikini top that has a wider band at the bottom to create balance," says Lackan. "French-cut bottoms with high-cut legs can also elongate your legs to achieve an appropriate proportion in comparison to the length of your torso."
More swimsuit buying tips
More often than not, fashion trends also appear in swimwear. You can generally expect that the bold prints featured on the runways will also be seen in the water.
Know the trends
"Watercolour and graphic prints are a big trend for 2012, especially zigzag and kaleidoscope patterns," says Lackan. However, if patterns are too busy for you "solid-coloured bikinis that have unique visual details, including fringe, ruching and interesting hardware finishes" are also popular, she says.
For the ultimate luxurious poolside look, "add on pieces such as kaftans and coverups that match your swimsuit in order to create a complete ensemble," suggests Lackan.
Look for quality
Don't simply look for bargains, because these discount swimsuits are not likely to last the whole summer.
"Aside from the quality of the fabric, design, versatility of styles and array of colours, you are paying for a suit that will cover you up and expose you in all the right places," says Lackan. "The creation and technology that goes into a more expensive suit is what will provide structure, support and lift, as well as keep you looking and feeling beautiful."
Now that you have the right tools to transform yourself into the ultimate beach beauty, check out the best new bathing suits for your body type 2013.
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