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Making A Splash With A Swimsuit

Swimsuits have graduated from accessories to fashion statements in recent years, according to a Glamour magazine editor.

Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion director, said both Dior and Celine featured swimsuits in their runway shows last year, a sure sign the garment has come of age.

In an interview about what to look for in choosing a suit, Schwartz said you should never cheat when buying a bathing suit. It's like anything else in your closet that you treasure. You must look at it as an investment.

She also suggests paying careful attention to your body type when choosing a bathing suit. The better you feel in it, the more you will wear it. A good suit should reveal your assets and also conceal your flaws

Among the hot designs for Summer 20002, Schwartz says, are stripes, florals and the nautical look.

Experts advise that you shop at the beginning of the season and try on lots of styles. Schwartz says Glamour staffers tried on 900 suits to get the best for the special swimsuit issue. Avoid shopping after a big meal or when you are in a hurry.

Here are the best styles for different body types:

A Full Tummy: For those who wish to conceal the waist area, suits containing a high Lycra content, between 10 to 15 percent, are suggested. Also, draped, gathered, or textured fabric obscures the tummy area. This body shape can opt for swimsuits made from thick-textured or double-layered fabrics, as firmer fabrics with a strong stretch are able to hold in the stomach much more effectively. Moreover, all-over printed suits are good bets as they are optically tummy trimming. Shiny materials only succeed in magnifying the stomach and are not recommended.

Slender, Curveless Figure: While few things are off-limits for women with boyish figures, bathing suits with shorts-style bottoms, can prove detrimental, as they may make a leg appear shorter than it really is. String bikinis are a great choice for lean bodies because they are appear so feminine-looking. One final recommendation is to seek rounded, scoop necks to embellish the chest area.

Long- or Short-Waisted: Tankinis, tank-style two-pieces, are the perfect solution for both long- or short-waisted women, and it does not require a waif-like figure to wear one.

Full-Busted: The most important element in a bathing suit for this body type is to find one that provides proper support. Avoid flimsy materials such as cotton, instead look for the more forgiving Lycra fabrics. In addition, a good recommendation is to find a suit equipped with an underwire bra and molded cups for a more supportive fit. To minimize a large bust, use color-blocking by selecting a darker shade for the top than for the bottom.

Pear-Shaped Torso: These particular body shapes should seek one-piece swimsuits with low backs or bust-enhancing details to lure eyes upwards. Also, swimsuits with wide necklines help to balance the width of hips. Avoid camouflaging with shorts-style pieces or one-piece suits with skirts, as both tend to draw attention towards the fleshiest part of the thighs. For a two-piece, one with a bottom that is high-waisted and legs cut fairly high is ideal. Higher leglines reveal more leg, hence giving the illusion of length and leanness.

Small Bust: Bust-enhancing features, such as bright colors, prints, or diagonal stripes, visually enhance your chest area, making it feasible for smaller-busted women to give off the illusion of more cleavage. Push-up, underwire styles do help to build up the bosom, however, avoid ones with large foam cookies or removable inserts. Color-blocking is also effective, wearing a dark bottom with a lighter-colored top.

Bottom Heavy: If you've got a bottom that you want to camouflage, find a swimsuit that offers full rear coverage. One of the biggest mistakes, however, is for one to wear a suit that sits too low on the sides of your legs, as these tend to look old-fashioned. The higher-cut bottoms can be more flattering by elongating the leg and helping to make it look more slender.

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