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