Dreading that first dip in the water? Or at least that trip to the dressing room to try on swimsuits? It’s one of those shopping trips most women would like to put off indefinitely. We’d rather wear the same swimsuit we've had for years than buy a new one. However, it’s time to dive in. This year’s styles are making a splash with bold cutouts, exotic beading, fringe and halter tops. Bikinis are bigger than ever. But there are also lots of new ways to cover it all up! Here are some tips to help you take the plunge.
•Take your time. OK, so you don’t have all day to try on swimsuits, but you do need to plan to set aside at least a few hours to explore all your options. There are racks and racks of swimwear out there, for all sizes and shapes, and if you haven’t shopped for swimsuits in a while, you'll be surprised at all the stylish ways there are to suit up this year.
•Size up. I know none of us want to admit that we may be a size 12 in a swimsuit, when we wear normally wear a size 10 dress, but remember, we’re talking swimwear here — tight-fitting, bare-your-skin stuff. So don’t be afraid to take it up a notch or two — or even three. But make sure it fits, no matter what the size. Wrinkly is not a good look, and neither is a string bikini stretched under that dreaded muffin top.
•Try on new styles. You may think you have to have another one-piece black tank since you’ve always worn that style. I know it’s a classic, and it may still be a good look, but be open to new possibilities. A tankini in an all-over hothouse floral may just be the thing to perk up your summer vacation.
•Pay attention to color. There are just as many colors of swimwear out there as there are styles this season. But your skin tone is often the best indicator of what new hue will be the most flattering. Pale skin generally does not look its best in white or pastel colors; instead opt for darker tones. And beware of shining metallics that may reflect a larger you than you would like — stick to matte fabrics instead.
•Study the hangtag. Before you haul dozens of suits into the dressing room, look at the hangtags. Many swimwear manufacturers have included details with sizing and body style information. Look at the label for fabric content. This can give you some invaluable tips to steer you in the right direction.