Style File: Swimwear Styling Secrets

By, Roberta Hughes, President, Avidere

Top 5 Swimwear Styling Secrets:

It’s that time of year again where many of us are beginning to think about summer vacations and swimwear shopping. To help make your swimwear shopping easier and visually take pounds off your figure, follow these shopping and styling tips.

1) Wear bright or light colors to highlight your favorite figure areas. Brighter colors tend to enlarge the area. Select swimwear with brighter tops if you have a smaller chest or darker bottoms if you have a full abdomen, bottom or hip curve.

2) Wear dark colors to minimize and slim figure area. Dark colors absorb more light and visually reduce or minimize an area. To slim your overall appearance and to minimize a full bust, bottom or abdomen, wear dark colors such as black, brown, navy, or olive.

3) Don’t divide where you are wide. To slim your appearance, select swimwear that elongates your figure. Avoid color breaks (where to opposite colors meet) or wide horizontal patterns such as stripes or stitching along troubled figure areas such as the abdomen or hip curve. Tip: thin, horizontal lines closely placed together tend to lengthen and slim. If you have a tubular, thin figure, horizontal patterns and color breaks will help to offset your figure and provide more curves.

4) Choose a pattern to camouflage an unflattering area. Patterns can help hide less favorable figure areas because the eye will notice the pattern and not a smaller bust or full abdomen. Select the right pattern size and style to avoid adding visual weight to your figure. Medium size patterns are universally flattering to most. Tip: Diagonal patterns such as stripes or gathers worn along the waistline tend to visually slim the figure.

5) Select slimming fabrics. Swimwear made of a mixture of nylon and Spandex® or Lycra® provide support to help hold your waistline in and lift your bottom. Nordstrom and Bloomingdales sell Wonderwear—the #1 slimming swimwear.

Figure Styling Tips:

Follow these timeless styling tips to help you select styles that flatter your specific figure area. For more figure slimming tips, order the Avidere Image Styler™ or schedule a Figure Profile or Styling Session with Roberta at

Long Torso / Low Waist. Adjustable spaghetti strap tops or tankini styles will fit comfortably and flatter you best. If you wear a bikini, select tops with wide bands under the bust and bottoms with wider bands or horizontal patterns along the waist.

Slimming necklines. V-necklines are universally flattering to most women as they tend to lengthen the neck and balance the bust and hip area. How low you can wear the v-neckline depends on your skin, muscle tone and bust. If your bust is low or widely spaced, select a medium-width v-neckline to help narrow and lift your bust.

Narrow & broad shoulders. If you have broad shoulders or a full bust, select tops such as halter straps or v-necks with wide straps to help balance your upper body with your lower body. If you have narrow or sloping shoulders, thin halter necklines will lift and widen your shoulders whereas strapless tops tend to emphasize sloping shoulders and accentuate the hip curve.

High & Low Hip Curves. Minimize a fuller hip curve by wearing dark colors on bottom and colorful patterns on top to draw attention away from the hip area. Swimwear with vertical or diagonal patterns will help lengthen and slim the hip area. Avoid bottoms with a high French leg cut as they will emphasize a full hip and thigh. Bikini bottoms with a 2″ wide waist band or swim shorts that stop at the smallest part of your thighs will help minimize your hips.

Small bust. Look for tops in bright colors, bold patterns, with gathers or added texture to create more curves on top and help balance your curves on bottom.

Short Legs / Longer Slimmer You. The longer the line the taller and leaner you will appear. Wear your swimsuit with a nude or tan shoe with a 1” heel to lengthen your legs and slim your appearance. Dark or bright shoes tend to shorten your legs which can make you appear heavier. Remember, your skin is a color too so wear styles that mirror it to avoid shortening your legs. For ultimate height impact, be sure your swimsuit bottom cover-up stops at the slimmest part of your leg—never at the fullest part of your leg.

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