Swimsuit makeover
Photo: Keith Lathrop
Follow these guidelines to find a suit that flatters your figure.

  • Glad tidings for the bikini challenged—minimal-coverage suits aren't the only kind to make waves; a one-piece can be just as sexy without a big show of skin.
  • Don't squeeze into a barely-big-enough suit (nobody is going to inspect the label), especially if you're tall.
  • It's a swimsuit myth that excess fabric is a successful form of camouflage. Ruffles and skirts and such merely tend to make your body look larger.
  • To minimize a larger chest, choose a higher-necked suit; look for strips of color cleverly positioned to draw the eye up, up and away.
  • Unless tankinis fit properly, they can look bulgy—it's the extra material around the midriff that's the killer. When in doubt, a one-piece is usually sleeker.
  • Black can become a habit because of its slimming properties. But a woman with presence can carry off an intense shade and look just as sleek.
  • If you're not crazy about your legs—particularly if you're small—try a suit cut higher on the thigh rather than a less revealing one; it creates the illusion of greater length. (If you want extra coverage, you can always tie on a sarong.)
  • Deep cleavage, no (if a suit dips so low that the valley between your breasts is clearly visible, something's wrong). Discreet cleavage, yes (a built-in bra is the way to go).

Amazing makeovers: See these guidelines at work!

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