Swimsuit, $136, mazuswim.com.
Photography, Carlyle Routh
It's time to take back the beach—or pool or lake! Our #WeTheCurvy columnist, Meredith Shaw, has curated the swimsuit styles she's loving this season.
Come summer, one of the most overused magazine cover lines is "How to get a bikini body." The secret is simple: Put a bikini on your body! I get that we all have hang-ups about our shapes that sometimes prevent us from fully enjoying these few and far between hot summer months. But let this be the summer you set yourself free and feel confident in a swimsuit—or, better yet, a bikini.
I remember the first time I decided to feel good about myself in a bathing suit—and it really was a decision. I took the time to choose one that fit me properly and flattered my shape. I'm not going to lie: When I saw myself all beach-ready, I squealed. I looked good and so can you! No one cares about your cellulite or that extra bit of tummy, and if they do, they aren't our kind of people. Ignore that nasty voice inside your head that keeps you on the sidelines, because times are a-changing: Curvy women don't need to settle for basic one-pieces anymore. It's taken some time, but swim designs for the 14-plus crowd are on trend. Whether you're craving something glamorous or you live for minimalism, there's a suit that caters to your esthetic.
Timothy Snell plunging neckline swimsuit (sizes 14 to 26), $99, alwaysforme.com.
Statement swimwear is making a splash this year. Think high-impact patterns, sexy plunging necklines and va-va-voom high-cut bottoms. Make sure this one-piece fits the length of your torso; you don't want tugging in the wrong places.
2. Dressing up
Twist-front bandeau swim dress (sizes 12W to 26W), $95, alwaysforme.com.
If coverage is a priority, le me introduce you to your new best friend: the swim dress. These suits have a ladylike retro feel and provide modesty without sacrificing style. Don't be tempted to go up a size; this style has lots of material, so be sure it's snug in the bust and the rib cage—otherwise your cute shape will get lost.
3. Sneak peek
Swimsuit with cutout detail (sizes 0 to 20), $45, oldnavy.ca.
Peekaboo fashion isn't just for red-carpet gowns; cutout details on swimwear are dominating this season. Choose one in a flattering spot for your figure; that might be a tiny keyhole slice at the neckline or a full-on geometric chunk on each side. My favourite place for a cutout is at the sternum.
4. Sporty spice
Zippered swimsuit (sizes 12 to 24), $100, additionelle.com.
No dreams of becoming a professional swimmer? No problem. The athleisure trend has infiltrated swimwear, with sporty suits cropping up everywhere. Fashion meets function with this sleek style, truly perfect for cottage adventures.
Swim T-shirt, $72, landsend.com.
Invest in a rash guard. It's the perfect sporty topper, plus it protects you from UV rays.
5. Going to pieces
Multiway plunge bikini top (sizes 34 to 44W, with cups DD to L), $88, and classic briefs (sizes 12 to 22), $65, elomilingerie.com.
Whether it's an itsy-bitsy polka-dot bikini or something simple and structured, there is a bikini out there for your body. Most brands allow you to buy tops and bottoms separately (hallelujah), so mix and match patterns, colours and styles to best flatter your curves.