9 June 2010

bathing suit advice

Summer is upon us and the wonderful joy of going to the beach can sometimes be harmed by a bathing suit dilemma. This is when your body is totally out in the open with no dresses or winter coats to mask any insecurities, but there are choices to make your body appear more proportionate and make you feel better about yourself.
To begin with I do not recommend one piece bathing suits (there are many available for tall and long torsoed females), these just draw attention to one long expansive piece of body. However the kind with most of the material being cut out would be fine.

For the top half, a bandeau with or without straps is good, another option is a halter and generally anything with a plunging V neckline. Also two-tone suits, one color on top and another on the bottom, counteract the length of the torso and make the waist look shorter. Make sure the lighter color is on top, and the patterns must go on top as well, to draw the attention upward. Up top you can have the polka dots, the horizontal stripes, the ornaments and embellishments but keep the bottom simple. Tankini's are also fine, but don't have them meet the bottom half, as it looks like a one piece, anyway if you buy your tankini  from a regular place (not designated for tall ladies) it will show a nice strip of bare skin, which is good.

For the bottom half, boy-shorts are entirely taboo as they shorten the legs in the extreme, and low-rise bikini bottoms, the kind that only just cover your private region, are not good either as the torso appears even longer. Instead choose bottoms in a high-waist style, the waist band reaching the hip bones or higher, or somewhere in that region. Also bare in mind that a high-cut style in the leg holes, will lengthen as well, sort of like those crazy 1980s bathing suits pulled way up high, but don't quite wear them like that of course. If you are brave enough, go in a thong, that way the legs will reach even further up!
Another great tip is to simply wear a scarf type cover-up tied at the waist. When you are swimming or lying down do take it off, but when you are strolling about or playing beach games have the scarf tied around your bottom half, in particular at the waist (not at the hips) and that way, the true length of the torso is hidden.

Covering your body in self tanner, and in particular the legs, will make them appear slimmer, and consequently longer.

Shown above are varations with of the halter neck and high rise bikini style.
Check out these darling retro inspired two piece bathing suits at Mod Cloth.
Photos via Victoria's Secrete, JCrew, Lands End, and Target.


  1. I like the suggestion of the two tone suits, with the recommendation of the lighter brighter color on top.

  2. What about Maria Sharapova and Kelly Clarkson?

  3. Courtney Cox too. I saw some pictures of her in a bikini.

  4. It's funny because the higher rise briefs like JCrew actually can look like low rise on long waisted people. My sister tried on the same suit and it looked completely different.

  5. I read that in general men have relatively and absolutely longer legs than women, as they are usually taller. However, the angle of women's legs from the hips can actually make women's legs look longer than they are from the front. I think it was on Wikipedia. And most people's torso is longer than their legs, unless you're an Australian aborigine or of African descent.

  6. I live in Australia and I HATE buying bathers! (Which is a problem year after year with our long summers). I live in a coastal town and it seems like the only thing on offer is the tiny surfy bikini. NOT for me!!!

    I'm loving the retro spot suit. Any comments for someone who suffers from short legs, long torso and a large bottom and thighs. Do you think it would make the expanse of my butt look even worse?

    Help please!

  7. Hi Australia,

    Do you watch Sex and the City? Kristin Davis, the actress who portrays Charlotte wears excellent swim suits for her shape (pear). One was a retro swim suit, white with red cherries - so cute. Check out the episodes where it's hot in NYC in the summer and they go to a club with a pool, or the Hamptons.

    I like the retro tops like the polka dot one, but the retro high rise bottom is too much (just my opinion). It might make your bottom look bigger?? So, what about mixing the retro top with a simpler bottom?

    I also saw a woman wear a simple straight cover up skirt like they sell at Lands End to just to walk around in (you take it off when you're in the water), and she looked great. It slimmed the hips and butt spectacularly, made the legs look longer, and covered the upper thighs.

    And don't count out the one pieces. There was a woman with a pear shape that wore one with one color on the bottom and another color (red) on top. It looked great. Especially since it had a halter top that showed a great cleavage.

    Hope it helps. Remember, it's just another opinion, and principles in theory. Sometimes, it helps to just try on lots of different cuts because often you discover that things can look better on than you think.

  8. Taylor Swift was recently photographed in a retro suit. What do you think of the look on her?


    There's some sites debating whether it's good or kooky and grandmotherish.

    Personally, I think it's never good for an ordinary person to wear something people even think is kooky and grandma. It's the extreme high rise of her suit and something just under the belly button to evoke retro but not overdo it would be so much better. But, it's just one opinion.

  9. Yes you are quite correct regarding Taylor Swifts retro bikini, it is cute, but too high indeed. I like how you said "something just under the belly button to evoke retro but not overdo it would be so much better"