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Best Swimwear: How to Look and Feel Fabulous

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

Something holding you back from buying a new swimsuit this season?

Studies show women become more depressed when trying on a bathing suit, even scoring lower on math tests after the event. I’ve dreaded the experience most of my life – at least since developing curves. Not just because my body has been in a constant state of flux from pregnancies, weight gain, or aging.  Nope. It has more to do with wading through hundreds of hangers in the department store.  Choosing from multi-colored tankinis, bikinis, and one-piece suits, some with wires or padding, and all in sizes and at prices that may not conform to my shape and budget. Then there’s that strange feeling you get in the dressing room. All alone, half-naked, surrounded by a wall of mirrors; it’s open season on finding some previously unseen physical flaw. I try on and toss away most of the cute selections picked from the racks. For years I blamed my own rack, too large and spilling out over tops. If by some miracle my boobs did look great, it was my thighs or butt that were a problem.

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When it comes to swimsuit shopping, nearly half of all women have a hard time finding something that both fits and flatters. And it has less to do with how we feel about our bodies and more about choosing a style that suits our unique figure. The results of a recent Consumer Reports Shopsmart Magazine survey revealed that only 18% of women dislike how they look in swimwear, while the rest either feel attractive or are neutral on the subject. Our biggest beef? Effective boob support and more breast and butt coverage scored high, but it’s our tummies we want to camouflage.

This summer’s trend of retro, rauched one-piece suits is the answer to swimwear shopping blues. And those brands that claim to trim  inches off your middle really work! Shopsmart tested a number of suits and found they slimmed waistlines by up to 2-1/2 inches. The Tommy Bahama Cat Island Shirred Bandeau is one such wonder, but there are many more from which to choose. Shopssmart also discovered one style that flatters every figure: the classic solid black one-piece. Even Princess Beatrice, known for wearing unusual and eye-catching hats, stuck to basics on her recent royal cruise. Happy slim swimming!

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Breast and bra expert, author, and founder of TheBreastLife.com. My latest book, The Bra Zone: How to Find Your Ideal Style, Size, and Support, busts common bra fitting myths and helps consumers navigate the confusing world of bra styles and sizes.
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