Make shopping for swimsuits less of an ordeal with these hot tips.
No matter how many Pilates and CrossFit classes I take, or how much protein and green juice I ingest, I will never be confused for someone who might appear in the Victoria’s Secret swimwear catalog. You cannot turn a petite girl, pushing 5-feet-2-inches, into Miranda Kerr. I came to terms with my figure years ago, and I work out hard to keep high and tight what very little God gave me; when it comes to swim season, I play the cards God has dealt me.
I can promise, after more than a decade in fashion, that there is not a single female who thinks her figure is perfect. “Wow! I just love everything about my body!” said no woman ever. Even the girl in front of you in barre class — the one whose rear end defies the law of gravity — probably hates her saggy kneecaps or oversized earlobes. Moreover, I have not once heard any woman say that her preferred article of clothing is a bathing suit. Swimwear shopping is a universally dreaded event.
There are three items of clothing with which it’s difficult to attain a flattering fit, yet vital to achieve the perfect look. The process of obtaining a good bra, a great pair of jeans and a becoming swimsuit will cause undue stress on a woman’s self-esteem. I, however, deem that swimwear is the most difficult. At least with bras and jeans, you will not be standing mostly naked surf- or pool-side.
The staff at Basics Underneath Fine Lingerie is a wonderful and trustworthy resource for acquiring the ideal bathing suit to flatter your body. Peggy Gundlach, at the store’s Magazine Street location, is an expert in all things needed to address your assets — or lack thereof. “Like bras,” Gundlach says, “it is essential to try on, try on and try on.” Basics’ objective is to focus on the entire body and enhance your best features. “Covering up your whole figure in a swimsuit can actually work against creating an attractive look,” says the swimwear guru. “We help you identify your best features and focus on enhancing them within a great piece.” Here, some tips to help alleviate the pain and discomfort of swimwear shopping.
Confidently Rock a Swimsuit (We All Have Issues)
Tummy Troubles Aka “the pooch,” your tummy can easily be masked with a higher-waisted bikini bottom or a one-piece with some support. Look for retro styles and separates that have a darker bottom and lighter top. Gundlach also suggests buying styles with ruching. “They are incredibly sexy and flattering,” she says.
If your bee stings are a problem for you, choose a top with details and texture that will amp up your assets. “If you want the look of a bigger chest, add padding; triangle string tops are also made just for little breasts,” Gundlach says. Ruffles, fringe, halter-tops and molded cups can build cleavage.
Baby Got Back
When your backside is always in motion while you’re headed to the ocean, find a suit that has full coverage and a higher cut on the leg. A solid-colored bottom, with a graphic or print on the upper half of the suit, creates symmetry.
Embrace those shapes! Accentuate and flatter curves with tops that have U-shaped underwire, and choose a suit with ruching on the waist and hips. “You do not have to limit yourself to a black suit; asymmetrical patterns and zigzag prints give the illusion of a smaller waist,” Gundlach says.
Attempt a bikini bottom with a high-cut leg opening. It will lengthen and slim the leg. Refrain from square-cut openings and boy-short styles.
Cup Runneth Over
We do not want any spillage — not with your beachside frozen concoction, nor with your breasts. Support and lift them up with high-cut tops, cups and underwire. Wide straps and halter styles emphasize shoulders. “Many swimwear brands are now sold [by] cup size,” Gundlach explains. “Investing in a swimsuit is similar to purchasing a good underpinning.”
Boy, Oh Boy
Athletic bodies and straight figures benefit from suits with embellishments to create curves and break up long lines. Ring-top bikinis, and bottoms or tops with ruffles and flouncy details, add dimension. Enhancing details and molded cups build cleavage.
We all understand that when you look good, you feel good — and the same should be true whether you’re lounging by a friend’s pool or relaxing in your cabana on a remote island. A decent garment can give you a shot of confidence to tear off that cover-up and strut to your beach chair … or, if not, perhaps a shot of tequila would help.
Basics Underneath Fine Lingerie
5513 Magazine St., New Orleans
(504) 894-1000; 1281 N. Causeway Blvd.
Mandeville, (985) 727-9521