The Return of the One-Piece

Toss out your tankini! Fashion experts have spoken, and the verdict is this: the one-piece swimsuit will make a splash this season.

Studio 5 Beauty & Style Contributor Holly Stone helps you pick a flattering one-piece, perfect for your body type.

Although swimsuit season comes every year, it creeps up quickly, and – wham! Hits us square in the face. Despite our declared intent to prepare for this season, it seems to send most of us into a frenzy. If you are one of these people, consider this: how many memories have not been made because you were too uncomfortable in a swimsuit? Perhaps you don’t swim with your children or you avoided your best friend’s birthday party? Or perhaps you sat on a beautiful vacation beach in your t-shirt and capris just admiring the ocean with your eyes? If this sounds familiar, the below information is for you. I submit that regardless of your figure type, purchasing a great swimsuit solves 75% of the swimsuit-aversion battle. Balance the remaining 25% by changing your mindset and believe that memories make life beautiful. You should never hold back because you do not feel pretty or confident enough to participate in events that make these memories. Your body does amazing things every day. Honor it. Own it. Love it and create memories by stimulating ALL of your senses-sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. The ocean FEELS just as beautiful as it looks and sounds.

One-piece suits are wonderful. They flatter all figure types, they are more comfortable than ever before and the greatest fact? They are trending as the new best suit to own. No longer must you wear a bikini or tankini to be fashionable. One-piece suits are all the rage so this is the season to find a fabulous suit to flatter you.

One-Piece Shopping

When shopping for a swimsuit…

· You must try it on. This is a dreaded event, I know. But you must feel the suit on your body. Sit in it. Bend in it. If you frequently have to pull it out of unmentionable places, it is not the suit for you.

· Do your hair and make up before you go shopping, so you are at your best. If you look frumpy, you will feel frumpy and the self-sabotage will be much worse in front of the mirror in a new suit.

· Take some time. Just like a great pair of jeans, you must try several on before you find the one made for your body. If you feel rushed, you may settle for a lesser of 2 evils. But remember, even the lesser is still an evil J

· Know that a great swimsuit is an investment. Budget at least $60 for a flattering, durable swimsuit that will last more than a summer. If you find a suit for less, bravo. But prepare financially and emotionally to spend a little more on yourself. After all, you cannot put a price tag on the payoff-which is confidence and comfort!

Features to Look For

· Color

Select the color that best reflects your personal coloring which is made up of your hair color, skin tone and eye color. Patterns and prints should be proportionate to your height and weight. If you are taller, larger prints are great. If you are smaller, small to medium prints/patterns will look just right. The intent is to look like a woman wearing a swimsuit, not a swimsuit with a woman in it.

· Shape

The overall shape has the ability to visually morph your body to mimic its shape. Watch where the curves are/are not to make sure that the shape of the suit suits you. If it looks funny on the hanger, chances are you will think it looks funny on you. Avoid boxy suits without any strategic shapes. These suits are dull and won’t flatter you in all the right places.

· Fabric

Fabric matters. Don’t buy 100% cotton suits. They will not snap back after each wear and will quickly become saggy. In addition, they dry very slowly once wet. Instead look for a lycra or nylon blend with a high percent of spandex for the best result.

If you have a longer waist/torso and shorter legs:

Purchase a suit with a higher cut leg line that lifts towards your hipline. This extends the look of your legs making them appear longer in contrast to the suit itself. Longer torsos can also support bows around the empire waist or even the waistline itself. This brings a break point to that long area allowing other areas to appear more balanced in relation.

If you have a fuller chest:

The suits of this season are bombarded with embellishments. Bows, ruching, criss-cross, even sequins and costume jewels. If you have a fuller chest, avoid suits with these details as they will only draw attention to your breasts. Also, look for a suit with underwire breast support or a tie in the cleavage area to keep them from sagging or looking disproportionate. The opposite would apply for those with smaller chests. The more detail in that area makes you appear fuller-chested.

Featured suit:

Kelly Green One-Piece, $55.00

If you have a fuller tummy:

Suits are so well designed today with illusion seams and special effects. To minimize a fuller tummy, look for a suit with stitching that indents at the waistline or ruching which provides a myriad of flattering lines across the tummy. A mock skirt with a ruffle is also helpful to take the focus to the ruffle and away from the tummy.

If you have longer legs, and a shorter waist:

Long legs are great to have but when completely bare, can look slightly off-balance. The whole goal with dressing your body in any outfit is to create a balanced, long, lean vertical line towards your face. If you are all legs, they can be distracting to the eye. Break the length with a one-piece “swim dress” which is a suit with a mock skirt. This type adds visual length in the torso area and comes down comfortably onto the upper thigh. Not only are these suits very comfortable-with much give in all the right areas-they will retain all of your great features and assist with those features you may not be as comfortable with. Those who have larger thighs can also benefit from these kinds of suits.

Featured suit:

Gingham Swim Dress, $59.50

If you have a thin frame:

Again, the goal is balance. If you have a frame that is thin overall but perhaps lacking a little shape, look for suits with horizontal lines to create visual shape. Color blocking is also an effective way to create illusion of shape and movement. Pay attention to any light and dark contrasting lines and make sure they hit you on a place on your body that you are more comfortable emphasizing slightly.

These tips are not intended to make a thin person look fuller but to give the illusion of chic curves in all the right places.

Featured suit:

Parker Barker Line “The Dunaway”, $75.00

This advice applies to everyone: to dress up a basic one-piece, throw on a sarong in a complimentary pattern or print to not only spruce up your look but also provide a little more flexibility in your movement. These great accessories can be tied in multiple ways for a versatile look.

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