Civility by Diana Olson:

Yes, there is a swimsuit somewhere out there for you. Most women dread looking for the perfect swimsuit that will give confidence and individual style.

Learn about the colors that complement your personal skin, eye and hair colors. Learn about your body type — your assets and how to enhance them. Learn about clothing and bathing suit styles that take the eye away from problem areas and accentuate the positives. It's not what you have. It's what you do with what you have.

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Bathing suit tips:

Full thighs — Consider A-line, softly-gathered swingy skirts, light tops, darker bottoms, and wide straps to the edge of the shoulders. Avoid pleated skirts, low-cut legs, bright colors, plaids and horizontal lines.

Larger bust — Choose a suit with a V-neck, scoop or deep square neckline.

A loosely draped top and small prints or patterns are also attractive. Avoid tight bandeau tops, empire waistlines and ruffles over the bust.

Full waistline — Minimize waist with a two-piece blouson or a suit with ruching on the midsection. Darker colors, wrap styles, deep V-necklines, push-up bras, and ultra-thick fabric are flattering.

Full tummy — Choose suits with a built-in control panel, loose fabric across the front of the suit, swingy tops, and middle-skimming cover-ups.

Torso length — The length of the torso is important when considering a swimsuit. A woman with a shorter torso should look for a dropped waistline. On the other hand, if your torso is long, a tiny belt should be the same color as the bottom of the swimsuit, two-piece tankinis, and horizontal details over the torso.

To slim your body — Use darker color tones: Blues, grays and greens are more slimming overall. Use darker colors on problem areas and lighter colors on assets.

Makeup — Wear waterproof makeup, correctly keyed to your personal coloring, will direct attention upward to your face and away from any heaviness. Remember to apply broad-spectrum (UVA & UVB) sunscreen just prior to foundation.

Consider — Control-panel suits (Miraclesuit), vertical lines, unbroken silhouettes, matte finish, smooth texture, diagonal or chevron stripes to draw eye upward and higher-cut legs. All of this can visually subtract weight.

Your body is beautiful; it may just be that the clothing has to be chosen correctly and suited for your body.


DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP, is a certified image & etiquette consultant who conducts color, style, makeup consultations, closet audits, and shopping sprees. She can be contacted at (626) 584- 9761, or www.dianaolson.com.

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