Imagine this: your best friend just scored two free tickets to Cancun. She tells you to pack your bags – the flight leaves in three days! You’re ecstatically tossing flip-flops and tank tops into your suitcase when you suddenly catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. The body you see doesn’t exactly seem beach-ready, but it’s not like you have time to sweat off 15 pounds, and passing up a week of sunbathing on the Mexican coast is definitely not an option. So what can you do to look and feel thinner, to give your body image a swift kick in the bikini bottoms? We asked expert stylists for their slimming swimwear secrets, and they came back with these 10 awesome ideas.
1. Suck it up. “When thinking about trying on a bathing suit, every woman shudders a bit on the inside,” says Lizzie Parker, a women’s trend expert for the daily deals site zulily. “One option is to buy a really large beach bag and hide behind it. The other is to smile and accept who you are. That being said, suck it up and look in the mirror. Take your time and look at the front, and yes, the back of you. If you can get the right fit, you’ll feel like a million bucks when you hit the beach.”
2. Show your stripes. Picking a cute pattern is part of the fun of buying a new swimsuit, but if you’re a fan of stripes, be careful. Celebrity stylist Margaux Romero-Alampay wants to remind us that the direction and size of stripes can make a big difference in how slim you appear in your swimsuit.
“You can wear figure-hugging summer stripes, but vertical or diagonal lines make for a more flattering silhouette,” she says. “Thinner stripes are also more slimming than thick ones.” But those “fattening” horizontal stripes can actually work to your advantage if used properly. To enlarge breasts if you’re petite up top, choose a bikini top with horizontal stripes.
3. Call in a miracle. Illysia Neumann-Loreck is a fashion stylist and publisher of the blog MadlyChic.com. She knows which suits pack the best slimming powers. “Miraclesuit and Magicsuit are amazing brands! They have a high amount of spandex to suck everything in, and the silhouettes are very flattering if you want to look slimmer. Miraclesuit’s tagline is ‘Look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds,’ and it’s true!”
4. Wear slimming shoes. If you’re brave enough to rock heels on the boardwalk, you might want to take this advice from Yahoo! writer Anna Fox: “You won’t always be able to get away with it, but if you’re in a setting where you can wear high-heel wedges or high-heel flip-flops, take it! They’re casual and comfortable for the beach or pool, but they give you the added height and longer, leaner legs that you get from a pair of stilettos. Another plus to these heels is that they improve your posture, because it’s hard to walk with a slouch when you’re on 4-inch wedges.”
5. Become a vintage vamp. “Take a note from the 1950s femme fatales and try a vintage-style swim suit,” says Bethany Herwegh, the retro style maven behind The Glamorous Housewife. “They’re currently all the rage. Ruching was very popular in the ‘50s, and it gave women the illusion of being trimmer than they actually were. The gathering of fabric visually smoothes any lumps and bumps you might have.”
6. Strut your stuff in a monokini. If a negative body image makes you cringe at the thought of strapping on a string bikini but you’re tired of wearing your traditional one-piece, a monokini might be the perfect compromise. These suits look like bikinis that are connected by fabric, or like one-piece suits with cutout sections. Celebrity Stylist Keylee Sanders says these styles are a great way to look more slender at the beach. ”One-piece suits with cutouts can create a long, lean torso,” she says.
7. Count on color blocking. Janna Lowell is the author of the new book “Noodles For Dumbbells – Water Exercise, Weight Management & More,” and her secret trick for improving the look of your breasts is color blocking. It’s a good way to trick the eye, she says, especially when you combine “black or another dark color running up the sides of the body with another, lighter block of color front and back.” A dark suit with a light color across the chest can seem to enlarge breasts, while a brightly colored neckline can seem to make your breasts perkier.
8. A tan can tone. Nicole Busch is a stylist from the Bay Area, and according to her, tanning and highlighting your skin is a great way to appear thinner and more toned. “A tan body always looks smaller,” she says, “and some airbrush professionals can actually highlight and contour your body by shading it. Is there a body part that you love? Apply some highlighting cream to that area. This light-reflecting cream will add sheen and help you showcase your assets.” Focusing on the parts of your body that make you proud is a great way to improve your self esteem, so we’re definitely on board for this tip!
9. Beat the bloat. Fiber is great, but watch it before you hit the beach. That’s what Lori Rosenthal, a registered dietitian specializing in weight management, suggests. “High-fiber foods are not necessarily bikini-friendly due to the abdominal bloat that often accompanies them,” she says. “So stick to lean proteins and non-gas-forming foods. Common offenders are cabbage, broccoli, onions, cauliflower, beans and Brussels sprouts.”
10. Rethink your size. If a tighter tummy and firmer breasts are what you’re after, finding a suit in the right size is key. But according to Dan Koch, owner of Town Shop, NYC, you may want to abandon traditional sizes to find a suit that flatters you best. “Bra-size swimwear is an important part of current swimwear trends,” he says, and “buying a size 6, 8, or 12 is no longer the option, as many swimwear vendors are now making suits in D, DD and DDD cup sizes and up. Tankinis and bikinis are now available up to HH cup in specialty stores.”
Not only can these fitted suits help slim your frame, but their built-in bras are a great way to make your breasts perkier too.
It’s not easy to give your body image a complete overhaul, but remember, one of the best ways to improve your self esteem is also the easiest. Just smile. Remember that you’re at the beach or pool, not on the catwalks of Milan, and that your friends don’t want to see you obsessing over how you look. They want you to have a great time, like they are! Confidence is one of the sexiest accessories a woman can wear, and we’ll let you in on a little secret: sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. So use these expert tips to look and feel fabulous, then leave us a comment to let us know which tip helped you feel like the belle of the beach.
Click here for some inspirations to looks skinny in bikini!