Maximize a Small Bust
• Underwires, boning and padding add shape and fullness to your chest, says stylist Julie Weiss, who has worked with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Gabrielle Union.
• Jeanne Yang, who has styled Katie Holmes and Brooke Shields, says a top with a funky pattern, polka dots or embellishments will distract from a petite chest.
Swimsuits at left: Nylon-Lycra bikini, Cia Maritima, $100; at Sirenson Third, 303-322-7500. Nylon-Lycra polka-dot one-piece, Leilani, $80; at Macy’s.
Minimize a Large Bust
• An underwire or built-in bra gives structure and support, says Weiss. Straps also help prevent sag.
• Keyhole or string-bikini triangle tops and demi bras aren’t ideal for big busts, says Yang, since they don’t provide enough coverage or support.
Swimsuits at left: Polyamide-elastane printed one-piece, Fantasie, $110;
figleaves.com. Nylon-spandex bikini, top ($110) and bottom ($79), Shoshanna: at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Slim Yourself All Over
• An Empire waist and detailing at the chest balance big hips by drawing the eye up.
• Opt for a built-in tummy control panel or a suit that has significantly more spandex; the Miraclesuit, for instance, has up to three times more than the usual swimsuit.
Swimsuits at left: Royal blue nylon-spandex one-piece, Miraclesuit, $132;
cyberswim.com. White halter nylon-spandex one-piece, Letarte by Lisa Cabrinha, $160; at Eye of the Needle, 561-833-4533.
Banish Belly Bulge
• A plunging halter top draws the eye up and away from any pooch below.
• Details or a bold pattern on the midsection can also be positively distracting-a busy print keeps the eye moving so it doesn’t settle on a less-than-flat tummy.
Swimsuits at left: Strapless nylon-spandex one-piece with beading, Liz Claiborne, $81;
Trim a Long Torso
• Tankinis and bandeau tops shorten the length of the body.
• A one-piece needs an Empire waist or detailing below the bust to reduce the expanse of fabric covering an elongated torso.
• Avoid high-neck tops, which can call attention to the body’s length.
Swimsuits at left: Tropical halter nylon-lycra one-piece, Tommy Bahama, $114; 800-647-8688 or
Lower Body Help
• A high cut in the leg (but nothing higher than the hip bone) helps heavy thighs look slimmer.
• Leave boy shorts at the store-they make the derriere and thighs look bigger.
• Emphasize your top with color blocks, light colors or embellishment at the chest-they’ll draw the eye away from a heavier bottom.
Swimsuits at left: Striped strapless nylon-spandex one-piece, Banana Republic, $88;