Splashing in Style: Shopping for a Swimsuit

Taylor’d with Style

By JeanAnn Taylor


older woman stares at camera in red swinsuit in a pool

It’s that time of the year again—swimsuit shopping time. And the thought of it can send us into a tizzy. There are so many decisions to make about the suit itself, not to mention the intimidation of standing nearly naked in front of a full length mirror. With all the different styles and colors available, the process of finding a new bathing suit can feel like an overwhelming task. The most important aspect of choosing a flattering swimsuit is not following the latest trend. It is to pick out an age appropriate suit that fits well and best flatters your figure and

skin tone.


Before walking into a shop, give thought to what you are looking for. Color and design can be your best friend . . . or worst enemy. The right color will brighten your eyes and complement your complexion. The wrong color will wash out your skin tone giving you a sullen appearance. The design of the suit includes the print and the silhouette. The trick is to know which design features work for you . . . and which don’t. The goal is to draw the eye to the most flattering areas of your body and distract from the least.

When selecting a color, choose one that isn’t too close to your skin tone. The contrast will be more flattering and prevent you from looking as if you are not wearing a swimsuit at all. Also remember that white, as well as other very pale or pastel colors, can become translucent when wet.


Your everyday wardrobe is a good indicator of styles you enjoy and feel most confident wearing. For example, if you tend to dress conservatively, you will most likely feel more at ease in a modest bathing suit. If you are accustomed to wearing an underwire bra, buy a suit with this feature. Many suits now come with built-in shapewear. If this makes you feel more comfortable, choose a suit with this in mind. If you prefer solid colors, settle on a solid color suit rather than taking yourself out of your comfort zone with a wild zebra print.


Balance is a key to happiness in many areas of our lives, and it is also the key to finding the most flattering swimsuit. If your bottom half is heavier than your top, you can balance your look by emphasizing your top line. A bright color at the top will attract attention away from hips, and also flatter your face. Ruffles, flounces, and other embellishments will draw the eye upward. Likewise, if you are full-busted, avoid this extra volume. A halter-top is flattering for the full-busted woman. This style gives support, while the side fabric offers coverage. Ruching is a woman’s best fashion secret. This gathering-technique visually creates a slimming silhouette. Diagonal lines and belted suits can define your waist and be very slimming.


As I’ve said many times, the eye will always go to the spot where fabric meets skin because our eyes naturally go to exposed skin. This spot is a focal point. For this reason, take care that your suit covers any place you don’t want emphasized. Floaty overlays, attached swim skirts, and swim dresses are all attractive and feminine. These design features cover, conceal, and camouflage in modestly sexy ways.


When purchasing a swimsuit, quality is important. Check the fabric label for a high content of lycra. This fabric blend will mold to your body offering a better fit. Lined suits will hold their shape and offer the most protection from becoming see-through when wet.


To know how a suit is going to look and react to your body, you must try it on and move about. Sit down, wiggle, wriggle, bend over, and move your arms as if you were swimming. This is the only way to know how the suit will move when you do.


A simple trick to looking your best when trying on swimsuits is to wear the right undergarments. It’s impossible to get an accurate assessment of how you look when your undies are hanging below the bottom of the suit. Bring a pair of sandals to wear while trying on the suit. It’s also hard to visualize walking along the beach if you are wearing a pair of dark colored boots.


Lastly, put on a bright shade of lipstick. Lipstick will brighten your face and give you a boost of confidence. Remember, nobody is perfect. Find the best swimsuit for you and splash!

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