How-to: Find swimwear to suit you
Swimsuit shopping may be up there with visiting the dentist or filing taxes, but it doesn't need to be such a dreaded experience. Focus on what works best for your body type and the task will become a lot easier.
Here's what to remember when you hit the shops.
BIG BUST: The main thing to look for is support by way of wide straps, underwire and fabric. With bikinis, look for halter styles, which tend to be the most flattering, and adequate fabric coverage so you don't pop out the top, sides or bottom. For one-piece suits and tankinis, look for underwire and racerback or thick straps that offer added support.
WOBBLY TUMMY: Busy prints confuse the eyes and distract from a wobbly tummy. Swimwear with built-in shapewear will give definition to your midsection. Tankinis are also great for disguising problem tummies; look for tunic-cut styles that flare out from under the bust.
WIDE SHOULDERS: Contrary to what you might assume, thin spaghetti straps will not disguise wide shoulders. Instead, opt for wide, supportive straps that lead into a V, which break up the width of your upper half. Deep plunging necklines will draw the eye downward and away from the area, balancing out your silhouette. Likewise, togs with asymmetrical straps are fantastic for making wide shoulders appear narrower.
ATHLETIC FIGURE: If you'd like to give the illusion of some curves to your straight, up-and-down body, look for swimsuits that feature side panels to make the torso appear shapelier. Swimsuits with cut-out sides work on a similar principal-the negative space alludes to a defined waist and a perfect hourglass shape. Ruffles on bikini separates add bulk and give junk to those who need it in their trunk.
BOTTOM HEAVY: The trick to flattering pear shapes is to draw the eye upwards by wearing busy prints, bright colours and eye-catching details on the top half and wearing dark shades on the bottom half of your body.
LARGE THIGHS: Cover your upper leg area without looking like a prude in stylish sarongs or swimwear with a built-in skirt.
ALL-OVER SHAPE: Wrap style swimsuits visually haul in your waist and make you appear slimmer. Also, look for contrasting panels that play tricks on the eye and make the torso appear long and lean.
TOP SWIMWEAR SHOPPING TIPS
1. Know your favourites. Before shopping, think about the parts of your body that you love. When choosing options to try on, pick styles that highlight these areas.
2. Fake tan before you go swimwear shopping. Tanned skin looks leaner and smoother, so you won't be distressed by your glaring white legs.
3. Make sure you wear a G-string the day you go shopping so you won't have your giant knickers mucking up the line of your swimsuit.
4. Be patient. Shopping for the right togs is sometimes an arduous and depressing task. Take plenty of breaks to peer into lovely shoe shops and reboot your self-esteem.
5. Buddy up. It's easy to lose track of reality after staring at your naked body in the mirror for so long. A piece that you think looks average could look fantastic - take along a trusted friend for a second opinion.
6. It may sound simple, but don't forget to step back from the mirror and get a look at your full silhouette in the swimsuit, rather than focusing on yourself at a close range.
WIN NEW SWIMWEAR!
New Kiwi swimwear brand Surface Too Deep have already won fans for their unique prints and vintage-inspired cuts that are made to flatter female curves. We have one pair of Surface Too Deep togs to give away. To enter, visit their website and pick your favourite style, then come back here and tell us which one you'd love to win by leaving a comment below.