Oh Summer… that blissful time of year when we get to don our swimsuits and head to the water to strut near naked in public. Anyone else feel a slight anxiety setting in?
We want everyone to feel great in their swimsuit and firmly believe that a woman should wear whatever she wants whenever she wants—especially at the beach. After years of working as stylists with clients from all walks of life, we understand two things: 1. Body shaming—the self-inflicted kind too—gets nobody anywhere 2. Enhancing your assets versus attempting to disguise your so-called flaws is the winning ticket every time.
We’ve put together ten tips to help you feel beautiful and confident when you hit the beach this summer.
- When your best asset is your behind.
The old adage to cover up the bits you’re unsure of as much as possible doesn't necessarily work when it comes to swimsuit bottoms. More fabric amplifies the area and less fabric makes your butt look smaller. If you have a round derriere that you don’t want to draw attention to, go for a cheeky cutaway style on your behind, and enjoy the less is more approach. But, if you want to highlight your rear, full coverage briefs achieves that pin-up style.
- The unexpected benefit of strings.
String bikini bottoms are great for a number of reasons. They are adjustable, which means you can pull them tighter across the back to remove the sag you sometimes get when you don't have enough junk in your trunk to fill them out. They can be be worn higher or lower depending on how tight you tie them to flatter your shape.
Strings are also useful if you don’t love your thighs, but want a long leg line. The extra movement created by the dangling strings, diverts extra attention from your thighs. They’re also great if you’re prone to bloating (over indulged a little last night) or will be pregnant over the summer. The adjustability means you can wear them as your body changes size.
- Let your stomach shine.
If you want your stomach to be the star of the show, a swim bottom that is lower at the center front than the sides (forming a v-shape) will be your friend. A v-shape near your stomach draws the eye up and down the center of your body bringing attention to your lovely abs. It also makes your torso and your legs appear longer.
- When you’re all about legs and less about arms.
Try a swimsuit with sleeves. Gone are the days of the embarrassing rash shirts your mom made you wear to the beach as a SunSmart kid. Long sleeve swimsuits are very much in vogue. You can get a cute cropped style if you like your midriff, or opt for a zip front style to show off a little more chest if you have great boobs. Also, you’ll make your mom proud—they are after all excellent for sun safety!
- Show off your shoulders.
Choose a high neck, halter style or racer front style for a chic look that shows off your shoulders. Strapless styles are great if you want to highlight your decolletage without exposing too much cleavage.
- Embracing modesty.
If you don’t like the idea of strutting down the beach squished into a lycra onesie, then ruching or gathered swimmers are for you. The extra fabric gives a little more room to breathe and can make your breasts appear smaller which is ideal if you don’t want everyone staring. You can also find some swimwear that is lined with Powernet, the same fabric used in Spanx. That's right, swimwear with built-in Spanx. You’re welcome.
- How to work stripes.
Not only do they make you feel like a badass tiger, but stripes can also be flattering too. Vertical stripes draw the eye straight up and down, making your body appear taller and slimmer. If you want to enhance the size of your breasts, wear horizontal stripes. You can use a combination of vertical and horizontal stripes to draw attention to your favorite areas, once you master the use of this design trick you will be strutting the beach with the prowess of the tigress you were born to be.
- Breast is best.
If cleavage is your thing, then a v-neck swimsuit is for you. You can opt for a deep plunging style, a regular V, or a triangle style string bikini top. Whatever you choose the shape works like a giant arrow pointing to your favorite area.
- Waist not, want not.
If you want to show off your waist, choose a style that has a belt or a seam feature at the waist. Not only does the belt draw the eye to your waist, it adds some sophistication to your beachwear.
- When you have legs for days.
There’s a reason you saw a high-cut leg line as seen on every Instagrammer everywhere last summer. It elongates your leg and gives that 80’s-legs-for-days look. Use this cut as a way to show off your already long legs or to cheat if yours are not as long as you’d like.
Cover Photo: Heather Hazzan
Words: Lauren Bush