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Swim FAQ

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How do I find a suit that will slim my hips?
  • First trick: Attract attention to your fabulous bustline or sexy shoulders. Interesting stuff up top (contrast trim or a keyhole, lace-up or V-neck) all works to draw the eye up and away from hips.
  • Next trick: a bottom that's a shade darker than your top. Last trick: Avoid details that visually pair down your waist, like a darker color waistband; they can make your hips look even bigger.
Where to shop for this suit: La Blanca by Rod Beattie bikini, $84, sizes 4-14, Bloomingdale's, select Dayton's.
How can I look like I spent all winter at the gym?

Your best bet is to look for these over-all slimming features:

  • A leg line that hits right at your hipbone, not above or below—it makes for long slenderized legs.
  • A V-neck or other non-straight neckline—it enhances curves, rather than flattening them.
  • A darker-shade suit—it's simply more flattering than an allover pale suit.
Where to shop for this suit: Anne Cole Collection swimsuit, $98, Macy's; Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale's , sizes 6-14.
How can I avoid bulges around the edges of my suit?

Ooh, those are a look-wrecker. Think-positive swimwear designer Malia Mills blames bulge on a) too-small suits and b) too-narrow straps and bands.

Her wisdom about sizes? "Ignore 'em." They're inconsistent from brand to brand anyway, says Mills.

On straps: Choose broad, not skinny, ones that won't cut into your skin and create bulge.

Where to shop for this suit: La Blanca by Rod Beattie bikini, $86, Bloomingdale's, sizes 4-14.
Find me a white suit that's not see-through!

Here's how to find a white suit that doesn't go X-rated when wet:

  • Hold up the suit, with your hand inside it, to the dressing-room light.
  • If you can see your hand, the suit's dangerous.
  • And, says Amahlia Stevens, designer of Vitamin A swimwear, suits with a solid (not mesh), double-layer lining are reliably opaque.
Where to shop for this suit:Keiko suit, $168, sizes S-XL and custom-made, Keiko, NYC, 212-226-6051
I'm Pregnant. What should I look for?

Maternity suits are now available in just as many sexy, sporty, flirty, and classic styles as regular ones.

Just make sure you get the bust support you need:

  • A built-in shelf bra is best because it stretches as you grow.
  • If you're OK with belly exposure, a bikini allows for plenty of growth.
  • Look for: Gap; Belly Basics; Veronique Maternity; Japanese Weekend; Shoshanna, exclusively at A Pea in the Pod; Robin Piccone; MaMa by Lisa Curran Swim; Liz Lange Maternity.
    Where to shop for this suit: Belly Basics tankini, $65, babystyle.com; 877-378-9537, sizes S-XL.
How do I find a suit to support my 38C bust?

Search out a top or suit sized like a bra (34C, 36D etc.), with either a shelf bra, underwires or princess seams-all give excellent support.

  • Look for: Malia Mills, Victoria's Secret, Aerin Rose and Christina.
  • Every-woman fit tip: Try on your suit top as you would a bra-lean over and into it.
  • Tip: Diagonal lines give the illusion of slimming your middle.
    Where to shop for this suit: Lauren by Ralph Lauren swimsuit, $86, sizes 6-16, Macy's.
I'm a plus size. Do I have to wear a dark suit?

No! Sure, a black suit is minimizing on all bodies, but colors can be flattering too.

Deep shades of blue and red are natural concealers.

If you want to go with lighter shades, avoid solid pastels and opt instead for an allover print in a smallish to medium graphic.

Where to shop for this suit: Jantzen swimsuit, $78, jantzen.com for stores; 800-238-7946, sizes 8-16.
Suits that look good on everybody

Tested on a zillion women, and they looked great on all! What's working? Halter necks, ideal leg cuts and smart use of color.

Every-woman fit tip: What do you love about your favorite underwear - the cut, the fit, the color? Look for those features in a swimsuit, says designer Malia Mills.

Where to shop for this suit: Speedo bikini, $72, sizes 4-14, speedousa.com
Suits that look good on everybody

Tested on a zillion women, and they looked great on all! What's working? Halter necks, ideal leg cuts and smart use of color.

Every-woman fit tip: What do you love about your favorite underwear - the cut, the fit, the color? Look for those features in a swimsuit, says designer Malia Mills.

Where to shop for this suit: Liz Claiborne Swimwear swimsuit, $80, select Lord & Taylor; select Foley's; select Dillard's, sizes 8-16.
Suits that look good on everybody

Tested on a zillion women, and they looked great on all! What's working? Halter necks, ideal leg cuts and smart use of color.

Every-woman fit tip: What do you love about your favorite underwear - the cut, the fit, the color? Look for those features in a swimsuit, says designer Malia Mills.

Where to shop for this suit: Baja Blue Tankini, $80, sizes 6-14, everythingbutwater.com, select Dillard's.
How can I find a suit that stays put when I am swimming?

We asked Holly, 26, an assistant swim coach, to try out six of this season's most fashionable suits and find out what, besides her usual Speedo, works in the water.

Her pick: "The wider straps on top and full-coverage bottom were so comfortable. I felt like I was in my training suit."

Where to shop for this suit: Calvin Klein Swimwear tankini, $92, Macy's; Bloomingdale's, sizes 4-14.
How can I find a suit that stays put when I am swimming?

We asked Holly, 26, an assistant swim coach, to try out six of this season's most fashionable suits and find out what, besides her usual Speedo, works in the water.

Her pick: "I didn't expect much-it seemed too fashion-y, but I was wrong. Nothing even bubbled out when I did laps."

Where to shop for this suit: DKNY tankini, $95, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Lord & Taylor, sizes 4-14.
How can I find a suit that stays put when I am swimming?

We asked Holly, 26, an assistant swim coach, to try out six of this season's most fashionable suits and find out what, besides her usual Speedo, works in the water.

Her pick: "Everything stayed in place. I love this suit; I'd even body-surf in it!"

Where to shop for this suit: Roxy swimsuit, $64, roxy.com for stores; 800-576-4004, sizes S-L.
How can I avoid that belly bulge I get in a tankini?

Time for a tough tankini truth: They're not the savior swimsuits we all once thought they were.

Solutions: Tankinis sold as separates, so you can get adequate coverage for top and bottom. Ruched sides on top, so you can adjust length as long or short as needed.

Every-woman fit tip: Make sure the top and bottom of your tankini meet.

Where to shop for this suit: Tommy Hilfiger tankini, $84, Macy's East, 888-866-6948, sizes 6-14.