Swimsuit makeover

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Swimsuit Makeover: Celene, 33
Celene says it's beyond difficult to find suits that fit her petite yet voluptuous frame. "I'm always tucking my boobs into the tops, and the bottoms are problematic, too—I need something that fits my hips but doesn't give me a wedgie 20 minutes later." The answer? A swimsuit sold as separates, with bra sizing on top. This bikini top is available in sizes 28D to 36H. (Celene thought she was a 34C, but she was actually a 32E!) The matching bikini bottom hugs her hips and keeps her covered.

Before (Left)
Not enough support!

After (Right)
High-cut cups prevent spillage.

"I love this color, and I feel confident in the suit. I can bend over without anything falling out!"

Freya top, $68, and bottom, $42; BareNecessities.com
Swimsuit makeover

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Swimsuit Makeover: Alyse, 27
Q: I have an athletic build, but I'm a girly girl at heart. Can you help me find a swimsuit that adds curves?

A: When a suit has enough structure that it looks shapely on a hanger, it's probably going to look great on you! Look for flirty details like peplums, ruffles and molded cups to give curves a boost; halter straps offset wider shoulders.

Before (Left)
Spaghetti straps make shoulders look broader.

"I'm completely straight—no hips at all!"

After (Right)
"The peplum is really pretty and creates a waist, and I love the halter style," she says. "This is the perfect suit—so Marilyn Monroe!"

Red Carter, $180; EverythingButWater.com
Swimsuit makeover

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Swimsuit Makeover: Meaghan, 27
At 6'1", Meaghan rarely finds one-piece swimsuits that can accommodate her long torso. And even with a two-piece, she needs to be careful about proportions: "If the suit's too skimpy, I look like a giant in a 2-year-old's clothing." The solution? A tankini that has the look of a one-piece but the comfort of two. Bonus: A blouson top is not only a hot trend this season—it's also a great disguise for muffin top.

Before (Left)
Not enough coverage!

After (Right)
A two-piece gives you wiggle room.

Eco Swim top, $80, and bottom, $48; Nordstrom.com

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Swimsuit Makeover: Theresa, 44
Q: I know color is in. But won't brights make me look larger?

A: Curvy women don't have to resign themselves to a lifetime of black tanks. Not only is color an option, it can be just as slimming as blackā€”as long as you find a suit that uses it strategically, like this one by Swimsuits for All. The vivid pink shades are balanced by black zigzags that visually create a waist and downplay the hips.

Before (Left)
"I really need support on top, and coverage is important to me—I don't want to feel like I'm falling out, and I'm definitely not a thong girl!"

After (Right)
"I felt secure and confident in this suit. It's got all my favorite colors, it has enough coverage on top, and it makes my waist look smaller."

Beach Belle, $68; SwimsuitsForAll.com

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Swimsuit Makeover: Betty, 62
Betty is in great shape, but the wrong suit can emphasize gravity's effects on the body. "I don't want to look like an old lady," she says. "I like suits with higher-cut legs so I don't look too short, but not too low-cut in front." What she needs is a one-piece that can sculpt and make the most of her figure: Underwire cups, a control panel and ruching at the waist provide contouring and support.

Before (Left)
Makes her look droopy.

After (Right)
A U-shaped underwire flatters her bust.

"The neckline is beautiful, plus there's support throughout the suit. And I need it!"

$146; MiracleSuit.com
Veronica Brett swimsuit

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Post-Op Pretty
Q: Are there any stylish mastectomy suits out there?

A: Yes! I really love these bathing suits. Created by Veronica Brett, who had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, the collection features pieces designed to make a woman feel beautiful and sensual. The suits feature supportive under-bust elastics and pockets for breast forms, as well as stylish details like this number's lace-up front.

$225; VeronicaBrett.com
Swimsuit cover-ups

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Under Cover
Q: It seems like most bathing suit cover-ups are either of the sloppy T-shirt variety or hopelessly polyester. Is there anything out there that won't make me look like I wandered off the set of The Golden Girls?

A: Absolutely. Look for quality pieces that can pull double duty both on and off the beach: Après sun, a hooded tunic or boyfriend shirt can be dressed up with dark jeans; pair a palazzo pant with a sparkly top and heels.

The Boyfriend Shirt
Shirt, $225; MonikaChiang.com. Bikini top, $180, and bottom, $160; MaliaMills.com

The Palazzo Pant
Pants, $265; TheodoraandCallum.com. Swimsuit, Bleu/Rod Beattie, $115; SwimNSport.com

The Tunic
Cover-up hoodie, $238; LemLem.com. Bikini top, $39, and bottom, $37; Gap.com

Next: 4 runway-inspired swimsuits we love