swimsuits that flatten your stomach

Photo: Peter Rosa and Richard Majchrzak/Studio D

Q: "Like so many women, I'd love a suit that will tame my tummy. What should I look for if I want the ultimate smoothing effect?"

A: Ruching, wrap details, color blocking, and built-in shapewear are your friends. Each of these suits uses visual trickery and well-placed color to draw the eye away from trouble spots.

Clockwise starting with model:

1. Available in sizes 12-32. ($89, torrid.com)

2. Pretty pleats camouflage lumps and bumps. Available in sizes 4 to 16. (Calvin Klein, $128; macys.com)

3. A side-tie wrap cinches the waist. Available in sizes 6 to 16 (Gottex, $182; bloomingdales.com)

4. Asymmetrical ruching smooths all over. Available in sizes 8 to 16. (Magicsuit, $166; lordandtaylor.com)

5. Has a seaming, color blocking, and tummy-control fabric. ($138, )
swimsuits for plus size women

Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D and Peter Rosa

Q: "Do I need to avoid color and prints if I'm plus-size? I don't want to limit myself to black or navy."

A: Absolutely not! You can embrace color and patterns. Just use them wisely. Contrast piping is one way to create interest and direct the eye in a flattering way; ruching and wrap details are slimming, too. You want to keep prints on a small scale, or choose suits that use them as accents. I'm crazy about ready-to-wear designer Sophie Theallet's new swimwear collection for Cacique at Lane Bryant. Her unique color combos and high-fashion draping flatter all sizes.

On model: $130, lanebryant.com

Right: Top, $90, and bottom, $60; lanebryant.com
pear shape swimsuits

Photo: Devon Jarvis/Studio D

Pear Shape
The Fix: Look for suits that are bright on top and dark on the bottom, retro-inspired one pieces that skim the hips, and deep V necklines that elongate the torso.

From left to right:

1. A black higher-cut bottom minimizes your lower half and elongates your legs. ($100, llbean.com)

2. Flowy fabric provides extra hip coverage. Available in sizes 4 to 16 and 16W to 22W. (Lauren Ralph Lauren, $114; macys.com)

3. Ruffles and a plunging neckline draw the eye upward. (Zinke, $126; shopbop.com)
swimsuits for small bust

Photo: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D

Small Bust
The Fix: Choose padded push-up tops, eye-catching patterns, embellishments, and ruching. They all add va-va-volume.

From left to right:

1. Boost your bust with push-up gel cups. The top is available in sizes 30B to 38B. (Top, $75, and bottom, $35; landsend.com)

2. A well-placed bow adds oomph to a strapless suit. (Kate Spade, $151; shopbop.com)

3. A structured top makes the most of what you've got. (Top, $71, and bottom, $57; bleurodbeattie.com)
swimsuits for athletic body type

Photo: Devon Jarvis/Studio D

Athletic Shape
The Fix: Show off your sculpted shoulders and arms with one-shoulder and racer-front styles. Graphic patterns and side panels add curves.

From right to left:

1. A one-shoulder design and color blocking create a shapely look. (Vince Camuto, $102; zappos.com)

2. Dark side panels cut a curvaceous figure. ($40; downeastbasics.com)

A racer-front top flatters the shoulders. (Jag, top, $72, and bottom, $56; dillards.com)
swimsuits that flatter your butt

Photo: Marko Metzinger/ Studio D

No Butt, No Problem
If you're the opposite of bootylicious, don't fret. One-pieces can flatten, so to enhance your lower half, look for bikinis with ruffles, ruching, and details that give you a little something extra.

Left: A flirty bow perks up your posterior. (Top and bottom, $153 each; marysiaswim.com)

Right: Ruching adds volume and lift. Comes in sizes 4 to 14. (La Blanca, top $57, and bottom, $49; lablancaswim.com)
bathing suits with detailed backs

Photo: Peter Rosa

Not-So-Basic Backs
Now you can make a grand exit, too! Whether they're intricate straps or daring peekaboos, back details, a big runway trend, guarantee a second look.

From left to right:

1. Trina turk, $140; neimanmarcus.com

2. Arizona, $60; jcpenny.com

3. $175; issademar.com

4. $72; victoriassecret.com