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How to Look Great in a Bikini

By Vanessa Lausch Published 04/20/2006 | Women
Summer is around the bend, and the swimsuit-shopping season is now upon us.  Department store racks are full of new bikinis in all shapes and sizes, and it is your job to choose one that makes you look and feel great. Chances are, if you feel at all self-conscious about your body, shopping for a bikini is not at the top of your list of favorite things.  Undoubtedly, the never-ending trips to the dressing room seem like pure, unadulterated torture as you try to tuck your leftover winter fat into two tiny scraps of cloth.  So, how do you choose that one magical bikini that will make you look toned, beautiful, and beach-ready?  To get you started, check out the tips below for a guaranteed successful shopping trip and then scan through the analysis of the seasons latest bikini and swimsuit trends.

Shopping and Flattery Tips

  1. Before you hit the department store circuit, schedule a spray tan for yourself.  Spray tanning is quickly becoming one of the hottest trends on the beach because its easy, effective, and very slimming.  There is nothing like a bronzed appearance to shave at least five pounds off your look.
  2. Once you get into the store, choose a variety of bikinis in different styles and cuts to try on.  You do not want to get trapped into thinking only one style will work for your particular body shape.  If you have a variety of different swimsuits on hand, you can quickly and easily see how different styles make you look.
  3. When trying a swimsuit on, remember to consider your particular requirements for the swimsuit.  If you plan on moving around or playing beach sports, you will want to stay away from swimsuits with a lot of excess fabric.  If you are wearing a bikini, make sure the straps offer adequate support and the front of the bottom sits a little lower than the back.
  4. As you analyze your look in a particular bikini, be sure to use a three-way mirror.  This will allow you to see how the suit fits you from every angle.  Also, be sure to check out your appearance while squatting or sitting.  You will quickly become alert to a too-skimpy bottom or uncomfortable style.
  5. When choosing a print or fabric color, remember that nearly everyone looks good in smaller prints and darker colors.  If you love the look of big prints, try to find a print in a dark color for slimming effects.  Dont be afraid to pair a print top with a solid bottom, or vice versa.  And, if you are mixing colors, be sure to wear the darker color on the part of your body youd like to minimize.
  6. If you are choosing a string bikini, make sure to tie it properly.  The tie at the bottom should rest on your hipbone, with the remaining string stretching across your hip at a length of no more than seven inches.  To tie the top, make a bow at the back first and then stretch the fabric cups over your breasts to tie the neck.  You should allow for no more than two to three inches of string between your breasts.
  7. At the store, dont let yourself be talked into a trendy style or color you are not comfortable with.  If you do get pressured into a purchase, you will likely never wear the swimsuit again, or you will be constantly tugging at ties and straps.  If you have an old swimsuit you love, feel free to bring it into the store and ask for assistance finding a similar style.
  8. Once you buy your new bikini and make a trip to the beach, remember this sexy look for sunbathing.  Make a small pillow out of the sand for your head and neck and dig a little hole for your butt.  Having your legs and chest slightly elevated is a very flattering look.

Bikini Trends

Now that you know how to shop for and look great in your new bikini, check out the latest trends below to see if any styles match your figure and personal taste.

Florals: Flowery suits are in this year, and the best way to wear them is in bright, preppy colors.  The color mixes are full of blues, yellows, and greens with fun, contrasting trims.  If you are self-conscious about your weight, look for a floral print with small designs to minimize your appearance.

Polka Dots: They may seem a little goofy, but polka dots in all sizes and colors are guaranteed to be a hit this summer.  To jazz up the look, check out bikinis with belts and buckles.  Just be sure that any extra details in the bikini are placed in areas of the body youd like to showcase.

Solid Black or White: Bikinis in simple, solid colors like black and white are always stylish, but this year they are quite trendy, as well.  Black bikinis are slimming and sophisticated, and white bikinis can be very sexy.  Remember to check for adequate lining on your white bikini before heading out to the beach.

Tiny Skirts: Boy shorts were the style of last season, but tiny skirts are the new trend for this year.  Look for a skirt that extends just a little longer than a pair of boy shorts and offers plenty of coverage in the butt.  As a warning, a short skirt tends to cut your body at its widest, so be sure youre not sensitive about your hips or thighs before donning one.

High-Waisted 50s Styles: Trendy bikinis are returning to their roots this year with the high-waisted, ruched styles of the 1950s.  These swimsuit styles offer more coverage and lend you a Marilyn Monroe appearance, but make sure the high-waisted style is flattering for your body before purchasing it.

With a little preparation and forethought, you can look better than you ever imagined in a bikini.  This summer, feel free to luxuriate in the warm sand of your favorite beach knowing that you found a perfectly stylish and flattering bikini for you.

For more tips about bikini fashion and styles, check  out More Swimsuits.