Q: Am I too old for a bikini? I'm 47, wear a size 4 to 6, and exercise regularly.
If you've got the body, go ahead. Lots of women in their 40s and 50s work hard to stay in shape, and they've earned the exposure. Just be brutally honest about how fit you are—if there's any muffin top going on, forget it—as well as how comfortable you'll feel in public. I'm no prude, but I wince at teeny-weeny surfer-girl bikinis on mature figures. Get one that covers more of you (a substantial fabric, like a nylon-spandex blend, is also a plus). And if you think a bikini is the only way to look sexy on the beach, think again: A great tankini or one-piece that shows less skin can be equally appealing.

Buying Guide: Adam's picks for the best sophisticated swimsuits


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