For years, one-piece swimsuits made a strong fashion statement: “Don’t look at me!”
One-piece swimsuits came in an array of dark, solid colors and unremarkably conservative cuts designed to avoid attracting attention. Yet swimsuits of any kind (bikini, tankini, or one-piece) really leave little to the imagination, so the idea of hiding in one is a false sense of reality.
And those of us who swim laps or have kids know that swimsuit security is a top priority when buying a suit. Who needs a wardrobe malfunction in front of the Boy Scout troop at the community pool?
Thankfully, smart use of colors, fabrics, designs, and prints are turning one-piece swimsuits into poolside rock stars. It’s time to come out of the cabana and put the FUN back into functional. It’s time to SHINE!
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Here are some favorite trends for different body types:
Contoured Color Blocking. Seams and color blocks can create the illusion of an hourglass shape—a strategy that works for most body types. Olympic-worthy color schemes add a cool edge like this 365Swim design from SwimsuitsForAll.com.
Cutouts in The Right Places. A cut-out sweetheart neckline is super sexy without having to show much skin, and works wonders for attracting attention upward. Perfect for triangles, rectangles and ovals. This Boss underwire swimsuit is a best seller.
Sheer Detailing. Sheer (or nude-lined sheer) fabrics are a safe “tease” for women who still want a bit of sexy mixed with security. This Sundance crochet suit works great for inverted triangles. Pick designs that use sheer, mesh, or crochet where you want to attract attention.
Zippers. Look like a surf queen in maximum-coverage swimsuits thanks to the colorful, contrasting zipper. Deep zippers lengthen a short torso, so stick with a shorter zipper (stop at the bustline) if you have short legs and a long torso. This MOTT50 one-piece will protect even the most sensitive of skin with built-in UPF.
Lace It UP! Corset-style lacing or crochet weaves add spice to any one-piece swimsuit, whether at the neckline or running up the hip. The criss-cross effect attracts a lot of attention, so choose lacing that accentuates your best assets.
* Size matters NOT! Many suits run small, so bring your “usual” size and a size up. Sometimes you need to go two sizes up. Don’t be alarmed, this is the nature of swimwear.
* Suits need to be form-fitting, not loose. If you need to hold it in place when you jump in the pool or risk “falling out” in any way, buy a smaller size or adjust the straps until you are snug.
* Wash your suits according to the care instructions to avoid color fades and fiber breakdown. It’s embarrassing when a stranger informs you that she can see your bottom through your wet suit due to deterioration. (Yes, this happened to yours truly.)
* Remember that prints are effective at illusion—don’t be afraid of them! Diagonal and vertical prints lengthen while horizontal prints widen. If you are bottom heavy, try a one-piece that has horizontal prints/seams from the waist up. They key is to create balanced proportions from top to bottom no matter what size you are.