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5 Swimsuit Styles for the Everyday Woman

You don't have to be a glamazon to look great in a bathing suit!
You don't have to be a glamazon to look great in a bathing suit!
Goodshoot/Thinkstock

If you're like most women, the last time you sported an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini was when you were about 5. Most of us have areas of our body that we'd rather not show the masses, which means swimsuit shopping is about as fun as a trip to the dentist.

Rest assured, these days there are enough styles out there that you're sure to find one that will be well-suited to whatever piece of fruit you're shaped like. Here are five swimsuit styles for the everyday woman that will make you proud to strut your stuff at the pool.

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Swimming suit manufacturers are fully aware that one style does not fit all, so there are many one-piece options for different kinds of bodies these days. Suits for pear shaped figures have ruffles or patterns up top, creating balance by drawing attention to your upper body, while suits with molded and padded cups offer a little more in the bust department if that's where you need help. If you have issues in the stomach area, look for suits with a minimizer that helps keep everything sucked in or ruching to disguise your tummy. And if you're long and lean, the right one piece can help add a little bit of curviness.

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Bikinis don't have to be cut up to there to be stylish.
Bikinis don't have to be cut up to there to be stylish.
Pixland/Thinkstock

Few of us in the real world have the bods for a bikini with a triangle top and a skimpy bottom, so just as with one-pieces, bikini makers have kept different bodies in mind. Bikinis often work better than a one-piece for women with a large bust and smaller hips, or vice versa, because you can buy different sizes in each. This is also a major plus for women with a long torso.

If you want to show some skin, but not all of it, look for bikinis that have good coverage and support on top. If you don't need that extra support, then an enhancer top might be for you. Even if your midriff isn't quite bikini ready, that doesn't mean you're destined for a one-piece; look for high-waist bottoms that come up over your stomach, preferably with some minimizer support.

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Even if you're not a size 6, that doesn't mean you're relegated to a one-piece for the rest of your life. There are benefits to a two-piece suit that we all can enjoy, namely not having to strip to use the restroom. Enter the tankini, which comes with bikini bottoms and a top that covers your stomach. They can give the illusion of a longer torso if your bottom is bigger than your top.

Tankinis with halter style tops enhance figures that have great shoulders and collar bones, drawing attention away from the derriere, while the apron tankini falls from the shoulders to the hips in a straight line to keep from accentuating a muffin top.

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You certainly don't want to show off your naughty bits when you're in the water.
You certainly don't want to show off your naughty bits when you're in the water.
Photos.com/Thinkstock

If you're active in the water, you really don't want to have to worry about one-piece straps sliding down or a bikini top coming untied and baring all. Athletic styles tend to have straps that crisscross or that come up higher around the neck with thin straps that are designed to stay in place despite frequent movement. They're form fitting to minimize any drag or resistance in the water for competitive swimmers, which means they're not terribly forgiving if you have some noticeable flabby bits. While athletic styles tend to be a little more no-nonsense than swimsuits intended for a relaxing day at the beach, you can still find them in fun colors and patterns.

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If you're rocking a fuller figure, then a swim dress may be the suit for you. If this conjures up visions of your Great Aunt Helen lying around at the pool in her old lady skirted swimsuit, then you haven't shopped for a suit in a while. Newer styles have replaced frump with fashion in a multitude of styles and colors. Many styles feature gathered material in the torso that help hide stomach pooch and others offer flattering V-necks to highlight one of the plusses of being a plus size. You can also opt for a swim skirt to pair with a tankini top or swim shorts for a more retro look or to achieve surfer-girl chic.

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Sources

  • Crow, Kim. "Size 14 is average Amercian woman's size, but not the average shopper's." Cleveland.com. August 25, 2010. http://www.cleveland.com/style/index.ssf/2010/08/size_14_is_average_american_wo.html
  • Glassman, Adam. "Find the Perfect Swimsuit for Your Shape." Oprah.com. June 2010. http://www.oprah.com/style/Os-Swimsuit-Makeovers-for-Every-Body-Type
  • "How to Buy Women's Swimsuits." Sportsauthority.com. March 25, 2012. http://www.sportsauthority.com/info/index.jsp?categoryId=222805#D
  • "How to Find the Most Flattering Swimsuit for Your Body Type." Oprah.com. June 2011. http://www.oprah.com/style/How-to-Choose-the-Right-Swimsuit-for-Your-Body-Type-Find-a-Swimsuit/1
  • "How to Find the Sexiest Swimsuit for Your Body Shape." Glamour.com. March 25, 2012. http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2010/05/how-to-find-the-sexiest-swimsuit-for-your-body-shape#slide=1

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