When in doubt, accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio has spent more than a little time in a swimsuit over the years and says the quickest way to get comfortable is to add accessories. "I love pretty wraps and embroidered shirts and, of course, sunglasses," she tells us. "A great beach hat and a tote to carry all your beach essentials are also must-have accessories." If you feel nervous about showing off your hips, cover them with a great sarong. Want to draw attention away from your bum? Draw the eye up to your fun floppy hat!
Don't go swimsuit shopping after a big meal.
If your tummy is feeling-or looking-full, pulling on a swimsuit is not going to be a fun experience. Instead, go on your quest for the perfect bikini in the morning or afternoon, and remember that the often-unflattering light in dressing rooms does not exist at the beach.
If You're Gonna Wear That Bikini, Then Wear It With pride.
Because as fashion historian Olivier Saillard said, "The emancipation of swimwear has always been linked to the emancipation of women." Even now, bikinis are verboten in some countries. So strut your stuff, just because you can.
Be fussy about the fit.
"If great fit is lost, the look is lost, no matter how fantastic the style," says Andrea Matousek of Invista apparel, the company that manufactures Lycra.
Get a great (fake) tan.
Nothing gives you an instant confidence boost quite like a little sun-and since we're all about safety first, we advocate it comes from the bottle. Ricky Croft, the founder of Mystic Tan, recommends exfoliating in the shower before you self tan, avoiding moisturizer before applying the lotion, and applying petroleum-based products (like Vaseline) to cuticles and nail beds to avoid giving away your little faux-tan secret!
Pay attention to your personal style.
If you tend toward flowing skirts and hippie headbands off the beach, go for something crocheted in a neutral color; if you're super sporty, bright stripes are probably more your bag. You'll be much more excited to wear a piece that really feels like you. Check out the new Ashley Paige line at Target-and they're under 30 bucks per piece! Visit target.com now to shop for 'em.
Remember these facts and figures.
Most of us don't wear a size 2. In fact, the average woman wears a size 14 suit-not that teeny-tiny dental-floss number you might find on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Next time you're stressing out about disrobing by the pool, take a look around. Chances are the other women there look more like you than like Gisele.
Mix and match.
Got a tiny bum but hate your tummy? Love your cleavage, but your hips, not so much? "When shopping for a bikini, try to find styles that are offered as mix-and-match separates," Alessandra Ambrosio says. "Many women are a different size on top and bottom, so this will ensure a perfect fit." Try tankini tops, boy shorts and even bottoms with skirts to make you feel comfortable and confident.
Create A Diversion
Think of your trouble spots as opportunities to create points of visual interest. "Ruching and strategic patterns can camouflage the midsection, while a high-cut leg or deep plunging neck will elongate the torso," Andrea Matousek of Lycra says. Swimwear designer Brette Sandler agrees: "First find a suit where you are just drawn to the great color or special hardware. Try a bandeau top with a ring in the center front; they create a great shape!'
Give yourself a little credit.
Odds are you're hotter than you think. One classic study found that while women were impressively adept at estimating the size of a box, they overestimated the size of their hips by 16 percent and their waists by 28 percent. Remember: You look good, girl! And sometimes a little confidence is your best accessory.