Banish those costume dramas

Banish those costume dramas

Banish those costume dramas

First published in NewsXtra

Dive into holiday mode with a swimsuit to be seen in. Lisa Haynes reveals the bikinis and one-pieces for poolside perfection.

As if the annual pressure to obtain a beach body isn't enough, this summer we have the Olympic Games with all those honed and toned bodies in skimpy costumes to contend with.

According to a recent survey for Moontide swimwear, 53% of women start thinking about how they'll look in their costumes more than two weeks before their holiday, with 15% worrying more than a month beforehand.

But don't fret if finding the right swimsuit is turning into a major event - let your figure lead the way to a winning bikini or one-piece.

Whatever your shape, there's a costume out there that will disguise your hot spots and flaunt your best bits to the max.

Forget all those apples and pears references and find your ideal swimsuit with our refreshing guide to body shapes: :: The rocket lolly If your figure is 'bottom heavy', your swimsuit choices should balance out your shape.

Your body is all about the hips, thighs and bottom, so try mixing a print or embellished top with solid colour bottoms, which has the effect of slimming down your hips.

Want supermodel pins on the beach? Seek out a high cut around the thighs to emphasise your leg length.

Celebrity examples: Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Coleen Rooney :: Cornetto cone An 'inverted triangle' shape. If you have a wide upper body, avoid fussy detailing on your top half.

Your legs may be one of your best features, so try a bikini bottom with adjustable long tie sides that will make them look even more enviable - and won't squeeze into your body if you carry weight around the middle.

If you're top-heavy due to a bigger bust, look for a simple, well-structured bikini top and steer clear of deep-plunging V-necklines.

Celebrity examples: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Jessica Simpson :: Coca-Cola bottle If your body fits the bill as a classic hourglass shape, it's all about emphasising your voluptuous silhouette.

The swimwear world is your oyster but avoid anything too skimpy, you're looking to emphasise - and contain - your curves.

Look to old school Hollywood glamour with retro cuts to flatter your figure. A one piece with a low V-front will highlight your womanly shape.

Celebrity examples: Kelly Brook, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet :: Lollipop stick Long and lean with a tomboyish shape, your aim may be to create curves through your swimming costume.

Fashion yourself the illusion of a bigger bust with pleats, ruffles and gathering to add volume.

Use the same principles if you want to magic yourself a bigger bottom. Look for briefs with a wide frill around the waistline - the cut should kink out and create an hourglass silhouette in an instant.

Celebrity examples: Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Holmes :: Mini milk Those petite in frame and stature should avoid busy prints that swamp your diminutive figure like the plague.

A V-neck swimsuit or halterneck will give your a torso a few valuable inches and make your neck appear longer too.

Make your torso look lean and lengthened by choosing low-cut bikini bottoms. Belted styles will help carve out a silhouetted, defined figure to boot.

Celebrity examples: Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Kylie Minogue Get the look Look pretty in pink like Ginnifer Goodwin in her Roksanda Ilincic designer dress. Flaunt your fuchsia credentials in The Pretty Dress Company's Renee couture pencil frock, £85 (www.theprettydresscompany.com).

Buy it now Spotted on countless celebrities, Miss Selfridge's sell-out Designed By shirt is back in stores. Grab it while you can and make a print impression, £50 (0844 984 0263).

Fashion flash :: Secret shopper Is your man's wardrobe mysteriously growing? More than half of men 'hide' new clothes from their partner for fear of being rumbled for spending too much. A fifth of men also admit to never cleaning out their wardrobe, a new MyVoucherCodes survey reveals. The guys questioned, aged 18-35, went clothes shopping an average of 15.3 times a year. When asked to estimate how much they spent a year on clothes shopping, the average worked out at £658.37.

:: Work your wardrobe If your workwear outfits need an overhaul, look to McArthurGlen. The designer outlets are teaming up with women's charity Dress for Success to launch their first ever Workwear Week. Style consultants and recruitment advisers will be on hand to offer fashion advice and bespoke career guidance. The pop-up event takes place at McArthurGlen's Ashford, Bridgend, Swindon, East Midlands, York and Cheshire Oaks designer outlets from July 2-8. For more information visit www.mcarthurglen.com/workwearweek

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