Swimwear Collage KOL

HOW TO BUY SWIMWEAR FOR YOUR BOODILICIOUS BODY

In Fashion, Style Tips by Karin Dickson

With many people of colour with families in hot climates, it is not just the summer months to dig out swimsuits. Whether you live where the sun shines all year round or are visiting family in far flung places with the right swimwear for your body type, you can stand out from the crowd.

The Basics

While the right swimwear is a vital staple in your wardrobe, it is important to remember they are not sized like most clothing. In fact, you should try one to two sizes larger than your normal clothing size. Even if you are hesitant to go up a size, do not get caught up in the number. The right fit is what counts. When you find a suit that you like, lift your arms, bend over, sit down, and walk around to make sure it is not going to gather or ride up.

With so many different styles of swimwear on the market, it is important to take note of what works for your body and what does not. For example, when shopping for a tankini, make sure the stomach portion of the suit lies flat against your stomach but is not too tight. If it is too tight, your stomach will bulge causing more harm than good.

Finally, when choosing patterns, remember that vertical stripes are more flattering than horizontal stripes. In fact, striped patterns with different sized lines look the best.

With so many different styles of swimwear on the market, it is important to take note of what works for your body and what does not. For example, when shopping for a tankini, make sure the stomach portion of the suit lies flat against your stomach but is not too tight. If it is too tight, your stomach will bulge causing more harm than good.

Finally, when choosing patterns, remember that vertical stripes are more flattering than horizontal stripes. In fact, striped patterns with different sized lines look the best.

Bottoms Up

When trying on a swimsuit bottom, make sure that your skin is not bulging from the waist or leg area.

If the problem still exists, once again, try going up a size. If it is still there you may want to  consider a different style bottom. In general, a bottom with a leg opening an inch below the hip-bone is the most flattering.

Remember, bottoms stretch when they get wet. Make sure the bottom fits snug enough where it will not look droopy when it is wet.

Boy shorts do not disguise hips, large bums, or large thighs – in reality they only accentuate your problem areas.

Swimwear
Mark & Estel Fall/Winter 2015

Get A Supportive And Stylish Lift

If you are looking for a top with an underwire, it should fit like your best fitting bra. The underwire should lie flat against your skin without any breast sneaking out of the bottom.

For most ladies, side cleavage is an issue. For large busts, a halter-top or an underwire top provides the best support and coverage. Halter-tops with a wider band provide the most support.

When it comes to swimwear, cleavage is not everything. Most women like to emphasise their bust, but over-padding is not the answer. Steer clear of large, push-up pads. The foam holds water like a sponge and tends to pull the top down resulting in a saggy look that is not attractive. If you want to add a little extra padding to your top, choose a thin pad that looks natural. Most pads can be cut to fit any style top. To prevent the pad from slipping, insert the pads into the lining of the top or sew the pads into the top.

Find a style for your shape

All of this swimsuit advice can be mind boggling when you are on the hunt for a swimsuit but just keep the following style tips in mind when shopping and trying on swimwear.

Short Torsos: Vertical stripes or prints will make your body look longer.

Long Torsos: High leg-lines and low necklines shorten body length. Stay away from vertical stripes.

Hide Your Tummy: For women who are conscious of their stomachs or bulging middles you can find Tankinis that has a bikini bottom but a top in a tank top design.

You can also find swimwear with panels for tummy control functioning just like a girdle would. You can always cover up with stylish sarongs, tunics and swim or surfer shorts.

Styles that focus the eye in other places are best. Try a printed top with a solid pant. Also, try a one piece that is slimming in the torso or that will move the eyes toward the bust line.

Boy-Shaped Body: Look for styles that create a waist. Avoid plain suits. Create the illusion of curves or an hourglass figure by wearing bottoms that are high in the thigh area. Sexy cuts or those with string sides would be best. Bikini tops with prints and decorative designs can give you fuller looking breasts. Try to avoid wearing a single solid colour one-piece suit as well as those with vertical stripe design.

Small Chest: Bold prints and bold colours always flatter. Bandeau tops only put emphasis on small chests.

Large Chest: For someone who is well endowed with bigger bosom, opt for a top in a halter style that shows off just a little cleavage and provides ample support. You can find tops that offer extra support, even those with cups and under wire to hold your breasts in place.

Avoid tops that offer minimal support or are flimsy giving only a small amount of coverage like those in strapless design or triangle tops.

Support should be your number one concern. Underwire tops will provide the best support. Halter-tops, especially ones with a wide band, also provide good support.

Stay away from patterns that emphasise the bust. Try a solid top with a printed bottom.

Swimwear Collage KOL
Swimwear Collage KOL

Large Hips or Saddle Bags: Draw attention to your top half. Choose styles with vertical stripes, dark slimming colours, or with bust details.

Try a solid pant with a printed top. You can create the illusion of smaller hips with a skirted bottom especially for those with pear shaped bottoms.

A v-neck top would make your body appear more proportionate as well. You can create a trick also by wearing a darker bottom and a lighter coloured top.

Swimwear Care Tips

Once you find the right swimsuit, you want to take extra special care of it. Follow these tips to keep your swimsuit ready all year long.

  • Always rinse your swimsuit with regular tap water after swimming. You should hand wash your suit with a mild liquid detergent. Some hand-washing detergents can cause colours to bleed. Mild soaps work best. Avoid all chlorine-based bleach products, spot removers, and dry cleaning. Never use bleach and never put your swimsuit in the washing machine!
  • The best way to dry your suit is to lay it flat in natural air. Never put a swimsuit in the dryer or wring it out. Avoid putting your swimsuit away until it is completely dry. If it is stored while still wet, it could become discoloured. For the same reason, avoid leaving your wet swimsuit in a bag or wrapped in a damp towel.
  • When applying oil based sun tan lotions, minimise direct contact with your swimsuit. The oils naturally cause the swimsuit elastics to breakdown.
  • Hot tubs and highly chlorinated water can cause your swimsuit to fade. Also, these water conditions can cause embellishments to fade or fall off of the suit. Limit your swimsuit’s exposure to hot or highly chlorinated water or wear an older suit in these conditions.

Photos: Miromiro