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In the Swim

Find the swimsuit that's right for you

When you head out to the pool or the beach, does your swimsuit make you look and feel your best? If not, you're not alone.

In fact, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 women, conducted by Lands' End, eight out of ten women (83 percent) confessed to having worn the wrong size swimsuit. The survey also found more than half of respondents (54 percent) purchase swim bottoms in a size that is too big hoping for more coverage, while a third (34 percent) have squeezed into a suit that is too small because a larger size was not available.

"With so many advances in swimsuit design, high-performance fabrics and a full range of available sizes, there is no reason why any woman should experience muffin top or saggy bottoms," said Suzanne Bryant, vice president of design, Lands' End.

To help you make a splash this summer, Bryant offers these tips for finding the swimsuit that's right for you.

Swimsuit Strategies

When it comes to finding the perfect-fitting swimsuit, the goal is to accentuate the positives and minimize the anxiety zones.

Minimize or Enhance Waist and Tummy

Strategy: Define a waistline, create some curves.

  • Find great waist-defining details such as princess seams, draping and shirring.
  • Suits for this shape will feature a shirred waist, lines and prints and special detailing that will help to define a waistline.
  • These same details draw attention to the waistline and can create the illusion of a smaller middle.

Minimize Hips and Thighs

Strategy: Draw eyes up and away from hips.

  • Triangle shapes should look for suits that slim the lower torso and draw attention to the upper torso with shapely necklines, bust detailing and shirring.
  • Details to look for include: surplice or V-necklines, empire-style waist, darker colors on bottom, patterns on top.

Enhance Bust Area

Strategy: Create a fuller-looking top half.

  • Find supportive built-in bras to offer support and bust enhancement.
  • Flattering top styles include halter, v-neck, scoop neck and shirred tops.

Minimize Bust Area

Strategy: Provide bust support with good coverage.

  • Higher necks are a must when trying to minimize the bust.
  • Look for back straps and supportive bras built into swimsuits.
  • Quality fabrics will also aid in coverage and camouflage top areas.

Lengthen Legs

Strategy: Higher leg openings to create the illusion of longer legs.

  • Choosing a suit with a two-inch leg opening will instantly lengthen legs.
  • Side-tie bottoms are great for adjusting the leg openings to a desired height.

Finally, Bryant says, "Do love your body - but don't stress about your suit. Get a good fit and balance your body proportions and you'll feel great in a swimsuit that complements your figure."

Learn more about swimwear styles and see the latest flattering designs at www.landsend.com.

How to Take Measurements

According to the Lands' End survey, six out of ten women stated they have never taken measurements to find the perfect swimsuit size - 43 percent confessed they simply don't know how.

"Taking measurements is the key to finding your size and ultimately looking great on the beach," said Bryant. "To easily find a flattering swimsuit, it's important to measure your body, then use sizing charts to pair up your measurements with swimwear designed to flatter your body shape."

With the right measurements, it's easy to find the perfect swimsuit size. A common mistake is not positioning the measuring tape correctly when taking measurements.

  • Bust - With arms relaxed at the sides of the body, measure the fullest part of the bust keeping the tape measure parallel to the floor.
  • Waist - Measure around the waist at the narrowest point. Add a 1/2 inch for comfort.
  • Hips - Stand with heels together and measure around the fullest part of the hips, keeping the tape measure parallel to the floor.
  • Torso - Run a tape measure down the back from where the shoulder meets the neck, through the legs and back up the front. (In other words, make a loop.)

Sport the Right Support

Not only is it important to get the correct measurements - it is a must to select the best bra support and coverage for each body type to achieve the perfect swimsuit fit. Bras shape and define, adding fullness to a small bust, support to a large bust.

Shelf: A shelf bra offers light coverage and support. It's constructed of a soft liner with an elasticized bottom band to help the bra stay in place.

Soft Cup: A soft cup bra provides shape and support. Most suits with soft cups provide extra modesty; some feature push-up pads to give your figure a boost.

Underwire: An underwire bra provides bra-like support in cup sizes up to DDD.

Mastectomy: A mastectomy bra is a soft cup bra constructed for support, combined with a liner. The bra and liner hold the prosthesis in place with a durable under-bra elastic band.

To see different swimwear bra styles, visit www.landsend.com.

Lands' End

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