Friday, July 10, 2009

7 Ways to Not Look Fat in a Swimsuit

Are you in the middle of swimsuit season and still not wanting to go down to the beach? Finding the right swimsuit can be traumatic!

Many of Oprah's guests feel the same way. She asked Lauren Borish, senior buyer for, for some tips to offer women. Using those tips, Oprah's makeover team have helped "Eight women trade in their unbecoming suits for styles that make them look younger, slimmer, better toned.

  • Buy bigger. A common mistake is to go too small, especially with bikini or tankini bottoms. (Don't be distressed if you need a larger suit—swimwear often runs a size or two smaller than streetwear.)
  • Brighten up gradually. Although dark-skinned women can wear bold colors right away, paler types should start summer with a neutral like mocha or chocolate (less stark than black), working up to juicier shades as they get some sun.
  • Accentuate the positive. Put color and pattern where you want attention, dark solids where you don't.
  • Know your body. Each figure type imposes its own limits. Some helpful innovations: bikini tops with fixed cups (like a T-shirt bra for the beach) to support larger breasts, one-pieces with cutaway backs—they cover the stomach but look like sexy two-pieces from behind.
  • Psych up for trying on. Shop in the morning, on a relatively empty stomach; avoid bloat-prone days. Self-tanning beforehand makes women feel more confident, Borish says—and arms and legs look slimmer.
  • Don't rush. Block out a few hours for shopping, and try on at least ten suits. If the changing room doesn't have a three-way mirror, leave...."

    A couple make over examples are below.

Malissa Dean, 38

Before: "I was a tall, chubby girl who got teased a lot, so I used to cover up," Malissa says. "Not anymore!" But the flimsy, zero-support bra is no match for her lush figure.

After: The stylishly open back of this underwire maillot (Keiko New York, $260) has a strap for extra uplift. "I usually go for patterns and colors because I never thought a black one-piece could be sexy. But I was blown away when I saw myself in this—even my legs looked longer."

Yan Xi, 34

Before: Yan doesn't exactly worry about looking fat, but she's "so flat-chested" that she thinks her bottom is out of proportion. This squared-off tankini top bisects her midsection, making her seem shorter and even less generously endowed.

After: A string bikini (Tomas Maier, $395) is spectacular on Yan, elongating her body, playing up her curves, and showing off slim, athletic legs.

To see more swimsuit make overs, click on Oprah Swimsuit Makeovers.

Bonne chance, my dear Lingeristas! Remember if you're comfortable and confident in your swimsuit, you'll project that too!

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