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The best swimsuits for your body

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Oh, no -- it's swimsuit season! Most women cringe at least a little when trying on swimsuits, and the experience can be even more intimidating in harsh dressing room lighting. Don't fret: Know the kind of suit you need to flatter your figure and to help you feel beautifully confident at the pool or beach.

1Be the apple of any eye.

Apple shapes generally have a larger upper half with broad shoulders and large breasts for the size of their frames. Avoid low-cut tops. Swimsuits with high necklines and thick straps flatter you. Look for a suit with good support at the top. A great built-in bra helps.

Ideal for you: the tankini

2Pear it down to size.

If you have a small upper body and larger hips and thighs -- and tend to gain weight on your bottom half -- you're a pear. Try swimsuits that are color blocked to focus the eye on the center of your body. Keep colors dark at the bottom and lighter on top to draw attention away from your problem area.

Ideal for you: Boy shorts or swimsuits with a flirty flounce of a skirt

3Round up a flattering look.

If you have a wide waist and larger breasts, and you carry your extra weight in the tummy, you're considered a round shape. Many women fall into this catagory due to the natural changes in their bodies after childbirth and as they age. Prints and patterns distract the eye, so go as bold as you dare. And try high-cut legs to elongate your entire torso.

Ideal for you: One-piece swimsuits with built-in stomach control panels

4Throw a curve ball.

If your top size matches your bottom size, and you have a well-defined waist with proportional hips and breasts, lucky you: You're a curvy hourglass. You can wear any style that you want, and choose any color that flatters your skin.

Ideal for you: A swimsuit in any style that's comfortable

5Lifeguard your shape.

If you're slim and trim, with small bone structure and slight curves, you're a slim/athletic type. The bikini was made for you. Halter tops and skinny straps work well for you, too.

Ideal for you: A solid-color bikini with strategically placed padding


Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate station. Deciding to switch gears and write fulfilled a lifelong ambition. She started as a blogger for a diverse group of businesses, and now writes for a number of websites for companies in her hometown in the Rocky Mountains, and provides advertising copy and media buying for national and regional clients. She finds the research as interesting as the writing, learning about subjects as diverse as construction scaffolding, child safety seats, and newest trends in beauty and fashion. As a long-time devotee of SheKnows, she’s thrilled to see her own work on the pages.