The ultimate bikini guide

Wednesday, 06 June 2012
With summer holidays just around the corner, June is a perfect month to shop for your ideal piece of swimwear. There are a lot of different styles on the market. What you should take into consideration when choosing between different types of swimsuits, is not only the current fashion trends, but most of all your body type. Have a look at our quick guide how to choose the perfect fitting piece and look fabulous this summer.

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Photo courtesy of Vogue China

Whatever your body issue, you can look stylish and sexy at the beach or pool. It starts off with knowing your figure - the good and the bad. You can find the perfect suit to flatter your look if you just understand a few things. The very first thing to know is that there are very few perfect bodies out there.Everyone has something they are trying to deal with.

Looking amazing in a bathing suit is all about flaunting your assets - sexy shoulders, toned abs or leanlegs - and playing down your weaknesses. It is also about finding the right style and feeling confident.Here are a few tips.

SMALL ON TOP

If you are small on top, try fringes, ruffles or frills. Embellishments will pump up the volume and create an optical illusion. You may also go for a demi-cup top with plenty of padding.

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Photos courtesy of Shan & Simons.ca

Try to find a top with adjustable straps at shoulders and around back so that you can tighten and adjust things, to help fill out the top line. Avoid tops with too much fabric or have a poor fit. Opt for separates, where you can choose your top and bottom separately and create the look you want.

Don't be afraid of bright colours and vivid prints. Horizontal stripes are also an ideal pattern for giving your small bust a boost.

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Photo courtesy of Prelude Swimwear

BIG ON TOP

Try a V-neck. This style shows just a right amount of cleavage and elongates your figure, minimizing the fulness of your breasts.

A thick-striped halter is a better choice then spaghetti straps or strapless tops that will accentuate your top-heavy chest in an overwhelming, unflattering way. Look for styles that are banded around the midriff and can be tied in back and around the neck. This style will give you some lift and will allow you to make adjustments for a personal fit.

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Photo courtesy of Elite Fashion Swimwear

Look for one piece swimsuits with some structure in the bust, such as soft foam cups or at least, a shelf bra. Straight cut bust styles such as a classic tank can look clean and sporty.

A top with an underwire will support your bust when you are active. Try to find one that ties in the back to minimize the chance of your top coming undone. Structure and support is crucial for busty girls.

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 V-neck Sky Love by Rebecca Swimwear

FULLER BELLY

Look for ruching and small, busy prints to visually whittle away pounds.

Gathering can hide lumps and bumps and horizontal seams or stripes are naturally slimming. Wrap suits are also really flattering.

Tankini or a beach coverup will hide a few extra pounds. Make sure your top isn't too tight and is long enough. Wearing a loose fitting suit doesn't translate to sacrificing style.

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Photos courtesy of Prelude Swimwear & Vogue

A belted one piece will be a great choice for you. Cinching your waist creates an hourglass shape that distracts from other, unflattering curves. Some swimsuits are designed with a control panel (a ruched design made from innovative fabric for all-over control and support) to make tummies look flatter.

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Jazz Fusion Monokini by Prelude Swimwear

BIGGER HIPS

Boy shorts with a few extra inches of fabric will cover you up, but still show off the curves. The newest, mini-skirted bikinis are made just for you. Don't go for a super frilly one, though. Instead, pick a smooth, skimming skirt that is short and sweet, but covers what it needs to.

A plunging neckline or a ruffled or highly decorated top is OK though. The details will draw attention to your top half and help balance out your figure.

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Photos courtesy of Jolidon Fashion

Wear darker bottoms with a brighter top: dark colours have a slimming effect and minimize the look of your hips. But make sure you don't wear tiny prints, even if they are dark.

As a general rule, avoid too skimpy bottoms, or lots of ruffles and details at the hips. 

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Fashion statement high waist monokini from Prelude Swimwear 2012 collection

TIPS & TRICKS

Find it BEFORE you go

Cindy Alpers. the owner and president of an online swimwear retailer Tropi-Ties Inc., advises: "Find your suit BEFORE you go on vacation. Prices at resorts can be astronomical and you don't want to spend all of your time looking for a suit that fits, especially in a foreign country that considers a size 6 "average".

Make sure you take your measurements before you start shopping and use those, not size numbers to find your best fit. Choose your tops and bottoms separately so that you can create a custom tailored suit. What ever you do, don't just sit there on the deck or sand. Get out there and enjoy your tropical adventure!"

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Jessica White in the 2011 Swimwear Issue of Sports Illustrated

Be honest

"Be realistic," advises stylist Bridgette Raes, author of Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. "Some women hope that a bathing suit is going to completely eradicate a figure flaw.

Unfortunately, bathing suits don't have magical powers. Instead, a more realistic goal is to find the most flattering swimsuit that will do the body the most justice."

Personal Advice

If I would have to choose a brand that I recommend, I would definitely go for Australian swimwear. Two of my favourite companies are Billabong and Watersun. They have not only great selection of products at very reasonable prices, but most of all, it's really easy to shop online and choose the right size. Tried & tested! :)

THE PERFECT BODY

And if you are one of the lucky ones and don't have anything to hide, make a bold statement this summer. A tiny, designer bikini looks good on so few people, that if you've got it, go for it! Style your look with unique accessories and have fun with different shapes, fabrics and patterns.

Let's face it; you work hard to keep your body in perfect shape, so now it's time to get some attention and make a few heads turn. Enjoy the sunshine!

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Warrior Queen Monokini by Prelude Swimwear

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Photo courtesy of Vogue
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