By Laura Timberlake
Swimsuits are possibly the worst item of clothing to shop for.
Unless you have the perfect body, the experience can often be harrowing and uncomfortable.
The stores always seem to have harsh fluorescent lighting that accentuate any flaws and hide the flattering aspects that a pair of bathers might have.
But it shouldn’t be such an ordeal.
Rather than focusing on your imperfections, it helps to pick styles that work with your body shape and highlight the best parts.
After all, there is no point trying on a string bikini if you hate your bottom.
That’s just depressing.
So, what are the best styles to look for?
This is a brief overview of styles that can hide flaws and help you feel your best.
For all the curvy ladies: Vintage styles are the way to go.
Think high-waisted styles or add a ruffle or sheath to a one-piece like they did in the 1950s.
The sheath might be slightly out-dated, but it looks like you are wearing a sexy shift to the beach.
Another option to consider is a suit with rushing detail – the gathering in the suit often hides any bulgy bits!
Hide that belly: It’s sad but true that the majority of us carry a bit of an extra tyre around our middle.
How do you hide it?
With ruffles of course!
A layered ruffle one-piece hides most flaws.
If you love your legs, pick a high-cut style.
Similarly, pick a deep V-neck to highlight the bust area.
Straight up and down: Women who have slim-line figures can also use detailing to create a fuller body image.
It’s all in the detailing! An oversized ruffle on the bust makes it look fuller, just as fringes around the legs can add some depth to the hips.
Basic rule: Add detail to where you want to draw attention.
Cut out or ripped detailing may leave you feeling exposed, but can also create a curvy shape where none existed before.
(Just beware of unusual tan lines!)
Best spots to shop:
The greatest vintage togs can be found at American Rag.
The sales staff are awesome, and the best bit: no harsh fluorescent lighting to make you cringe!
Visit www.americanragmelbourne.com.au for city locations and details.
There is an amazing variety of bathers available at H&M.
If you are looking for cheap and cheerful, these babies range from $9.95 onwards.
Located at 350 Bourke St, Melbourne.
Do you like to support home grown labels?
Island State offers styles for all body types.
And finally: for the more adventurous.
A label called 2nd Skin Bikinis offers cheeky styles for anyone who is comfortable with their body and loves to flaunt it!
Check out their ranges at www.2ndskinbikinis.com