Beach Blanket Bombshells! Baring The Season's Best For Your Body

Looking great in a bathing suit comes down to knowing your body type.

By , Contributor
Summer beckons!

Sun, sand, surf and those tiny triangles a.k.a bikinis await us. While we're all exiting our caves, rubbing our eyes and doffing the fleece, most women are not quite ready for the shock of donning that little bit of Lycra. Only the truly intrepid are up to unveiling pale flesh under fluorescent lights in a dressing room. Why not let your fingers do the walking?

UrsulaAndress.jpgThis beachfront staple was originally dubbed 'l'atome' and 'le bikini' by two Frenchmen in 1946 as a nod to the momentous effect of all things nuclear. Surely their itsy bitsy invention would be explosive once it hit the market? Add to this nuclear nomenclature the fact that1964-cover.jpg beautiful women were referred to as 'bombshells.' Though the bikini was banned by a few factions and a country or two, the sexy suit reigned on the Riviera. After a slow start in the US, we can thank Ursula Andress (1960, Dr. No) and Babette March (1964, Sports Illustrated) for establishing the bikini beachhead for the rest of us.

History, especially in fashion, repeats itself.

Victoria's Secret has declared it a 'Bombshell Summer' and they've hit their target. Pear-shaped? Long and lean? Petite? Curvy girl? There's something on the catalogue pages for everyone. Don't be discouraged if Giselle's sporting your pick. Take an honest look in the mirror, follow a few guidelines and add a dash of confidence. So-called 'figure flaws' are not part of the equation when it comes to summer fun. In Style magazine and Victoria's Secret online offer a terrific template and a wealth of choices to rock that figure. Details, details make the difference.

0521_kim-kardashian-bikini-may-2009-2.jpgRachelBilson.jpgPear-shaped girls...embrace those curves! A belted, banded bottom and structured top will create the architecture your own curves crave. Use color and pattern to balance your body visually. Think solids, color blocks or a dark bottom and printed top and keep the details sleek. Be a mixmaster and look for pieces sold as separates. This makes for the perfect fit and something more unique. One-shoulder maillots, sultry and slimming, bring the focus to your face, not your hips. Keep it simple. Rachel Bilson and Kim Kardashian know how to show this shape.

Gwyneth-Paltrow-blue-bikini1-400x527.jpgwenn1455696.jpgLong and lean are the lucky ones. Pick a trio of triangles with strings attached, any top and baring bottom because you're slim and you get the pickings. Horizontal stripes or vibrant can have it all. Tankinis are an interesting 'kini alternative. Sexy still, it adds a little balance to a long torso. Create an hourglass shape with a belted or scooped out tank. Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz...long, tall drinks. Graphic prints add splash to a petite frame. Side ties, ruffles and ruches give the illusion of curves. A ruffle or ruche can pump up the volume for a small bust. Add a little padding and you've evened the score with your hips. It's all about balance.

KatyPerryBS.jpgangelina_jolie_bikini-2012111928.jpgThe curvy girl is fashion forward with all things retro. Balance your endowment and try a higher cut bottom which accents the positive with an instant tummy tuck. Side boned bandeaus and halters keep the look current. If you need to minimize your top, stick with molded cups that have halter or substantial straps to work with teeny bottoms. Make sure that you've got the right structure to support the girl within. Look for maillots with built in foundations and v-necklines (halter or straps) to bring all the interest up to your face. Stick with solids or smaller prints. Angelina Jolie and Katy Perry got it and flaunt it.

So, dive right into the web or the glossies and start your suit sojourn. Let those package purveyors drop off a few to view in the comfort of home and who knows... 

Hello, Bombshell!

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Cynthia Carr Gardner is a free-lance stylist in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. She began her career at Glamour Magazine as a sportswear editor and arbiter of the famed 'Do's and Don'ts.' Her work spans 33 years incorporating feature films, commercials, and currently, personal stylist for ESPN Monday…

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