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From the Catwalk to the Boardwalk
This year's swimsuits take their cues from the best, most wearable runway trends.

Here are 4 runway-inspired swimsuits we love
middle management

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Middle Management
Q: I want to camouflage my stomach area. What sorts of swimsuits are my best bet?

A. Lots of women have the same question, and here's what I tell them to look for: dark colors; built-in inner mesh for tummy control; and ruching, ruching, ruching. These three suits fit the bill:

Clockwise, from top left:

1. Vertical detailing elongates, and strong Lycra holds you in.
Bleu/Rod Beattie, $113, Dillard's; 800-345-5273

2. Navy side panels are visually slimming.

3. A wrap design makes you look ten pounds thinner.
La Blanca, $113;
makeover before and after

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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. Freya top, $68, and bottom, $42;

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

More swimsuit problems—solved!

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Crazy for It!
Lands' End has amazing swimsuits—the label really understands women's bodies, and its suits fit incredibly well. I love its SwimMates Collection: You can mix and match sophisticated-looking tops and bottoms, including tanks and skirts you can throw on whenever you need more coverage. (Think Garanimals for adults!)

Bikini tops, $54 each, purple bottom, $34, yellow polka-dot bottom, $39, cami tops, $34 each, swim skirt, $34;

4 more swimsuit trends we're crazy about

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So Jelly
I love the notion of mixing plain and fancy, and these watches get it exactly right: They combine the sportiness of silicon bands with the elegant design of classic timepieces, making them easy to wear from beach to cocktails.

1. $148;
2. $95;
3. Judith Ripka for QVC, $98;
4. $895;
5. $125;

More trendy swim accessories
lingerie swimsuits

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Great Idea!
I've always said that you only look as good as your undergarments. So you can imagine my delight now that lingerie makers are getting in on the swimsuit game, with tops that are designed like bras, complete with underwire, cup and back sizing and adjustable straps. The best part? The colors and patterns are chic, sophisticated and definitely not dowdy.

Clockwise, from top left:

1. Fantasie top, $66, and bottom, $44; Available in sizes 32D–42H

2. Maidenform Beach top, $70, and bottom, $52; Available in sizes 36C–40D

3. Panache, $92; Available in sizes 30D–38G

Photo: Marko Metzinger/ Studio D

8 Reasons Not to Wear Your Usual Flip-Flops
Yes, they're comfy. But aren't you bored with the same old rubber thongs? Here are some pretty alternatives to make your summer footwear look like more than an afterthought. Add a cute pedicure, and you're good to go.

Mossimo for Target, $23;

7 other pretty flip-flop alternatives
made for swimming

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These Suits Are Made for Swimming
Basic tank suits may be functional, but they're not much fun. Here are some fashionable, wedgie-proof numbers you can really swim in.

Clockwise, from top left:

1. TYR top and bottom, $31 each; Adjustable straps ensure a snug fit.

2. Adidas by Stella McCartney, $120; Thick straps and back fasteners stay put.

3. Speedo, $82; Four-way stretch prevents riding up.

Photo: Marko Metzinger/ Studio D

Gotta Coordinate!: Blue and White
Sure, the suit is important, but I love a total look—matching bag, shoes, sunnies—for the beach.

Here are some winning combinations—and the sun-soaked locales that inspired them.

The Look
Blue and white is a classic beachside combo, and these printed pieces work together because the color palette is consistent.

Roberta Roller Rabbit, towel, $150, and bag, $85;

Sunglasses. Dolce & Gabbana, $195;

Swimsuit. $50;
colorful stripes

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Gotta Coordinate!: Colorful Stripes
The Look
Colorful stripes meet boho chic for a look that's relaxed, yet still pulled together.

Tommy Hilfiger Surf Shack bikini, $125, tote, $98, and shoes, $49;

Shirt. Figue, $375;
nude suits

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The Little Nude Suit
Swimsuits that match your skin tone have the same effect nude heels have on your legs—they make you appear taller and leaner. It's also a chic look, especially when paired with matching tonal sunglasses: no bright colors to distract from your sun-kissed skin, hair, and face.

Malia Mills top, $145, and bottom, $135; Prada sunglasses, $290;

4 more chic skin nude swimsuits (and the sunglasses to pair them with)

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Swimshirts for Grown-ups
Rashguard suits are no-brainers for children and surfers, and now they've hit the mainstream, with more fashionable options than ever. Offering extra coverage and sun protection (all of these pieces have UPF—ultraviolet protection factor), they're also perfect for swimming, lounging, and poolside cocktailing. Just don't forget to put sunscreen on exposed areas so you can soak up the sun guilt-free.

Shirt, $165, and bottom, $185;

3 more fashionable swimshirts with built-in sun protection
plus size

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Plus-Size Suits with Style!
Just because you're not sample size doesn't mean you have to put up with garish colors or grandmotherly styles. These suits are fashion-forward, subtle, and slimming.

Anne Cole, $124;

6 more stylish swimsuits for plus-size (and big-busted) women
under covers

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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.

Clockwise, from top left:

The Boyfriend Shirt
Shirt, $225; Bikini top, $180, and bottom, $160;

The Palazzo Pant
Pants, $265; Swimsuit, Bleu/Rod Beattie, $115;

The Tunic
Cover-up hoodie, $238; Bikini top, $39, and bottom, $37;
under 50 swimsuit

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The 3 Best Suits Under $50
Pretty, flattering swimwear doesn't have to be pricey.

Clockwise, from top left:

1. A fashionable floral! Top, $13, and bottom, $13;

2. Top, $25, and bottom, $20;

3. $49;
swimsuit orange towel

Photo: Marko Metzinger/ Studio D

Here's how to make swimsuit shopping more enjoyable and the best Web sites for specialty suits.

Swimsuit shopping dos and don'ts

Next: Beach reads you'll blaze through