Tips On Fitting A Swimsuit To Your Body Type From A Seattle Expert

April 9, 2013 12:34 PM

(Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

While it is not on the top of many lists of things to do, searching for a proper swimsuit can be less daunting with a few great tips on hand. Do a little research before you set out on your shopping trip. You may even decide to shop online in order to try on your selections in the privacy of your own home. Try and remember that, when in doubt and no matter your attire, a smile is your best accessory.

Colleen Linder
Team Beachbody
(425) 870-4525

Colleen Linder is a fitness coach from Snohomish. She is herself about as fit as they come and the perfect person to talk to about swimsuits. Turns out swim attire has been on her mind as well.

Ms. Linder has been a fitness and nutrition coach with Team Beachbody for the past two years. A mother of four boys, Colleen is one fun mama who has made health, fitness and fun a priority. Colleen describes herself as “passionate about helping others reach their goals through virtual fitness challenges.” She inspires her clients to find their “happy.” Aside from her favorite workouts (Insanity & Les Mills Pump), Colleen also enjoys a little country dancing.

Colleen states what most women intuitively know, that “one of the most dreadful things for women is the thought of trying on bathing suits. Finding a swimsuit that is not only flattering but comfortable is not an easy task, but once you know a few tricks of the trade to accentuate your best features and downplay or disguise the flaws, it makes the job much easier.

Tip 1

Many swimsuit companies offer a mix-and-match selection of swim tops and bottoms. We all know that being a size 10 on top does not necessarily mean you’re a size 10 on the bottom. This allows you to choose the correct size for both pieces, and it also leaves room for creativity. It’s nice to have the freedom to choose what goes together best for your own body type and to best please your sense of personal style.

Tip 2

Find out which swimwear brands suit you best. Different lines seem to cater to certain sizes and shapes. One brand may do well for straighter body types, while another does better for curvier bodies. Some swimsuit makers build their suits for support and competition. Think about your body type and your swimsuit needs and do an online search. It is better to narrow things down a bit before wasting a trip and frustrating yourself by trying on more suits than any girl ever wants to.

Related: Best Places For Facials In Seattle

Tip 3 

Learn what to highlight and what to camouflage. Colleen advises that “in flattering your body shape, you want to camouflage any parts of your body that you aren’t confident about and draw attention to your favorite features.” This body-conscious babe cautions to avoid prints and shiny fabrics on areas you want to de-emphasize and to choose darker colors over lighter ones. On areas you don’t mind showing off a bit, try prints, lighter colors, details and even shiny or blingy fabrics for fun.

Tip 4

Choose a suit according to your body type. For large breasts, look for tops that offer plenty of support. Choose a suit with underwire for lift and support. Colleen also suggests a darker color and a plainer fabric. Smaller breasts can take a little added oomph. Choose padded styles, skinny-strapped halters and/or detailing. Linder says that “ruffles, shirring or horizontal prints” and light colors are best.

If your stomach is full, look for a tankini style that has some gathering over the tummy, or choose a one piece with “power net technology to help hold you in.” Colleen also notes that wrap styles are an excellent choice. Again there is the reminder to “choose a plain, dark color for the tummy area.”

For fuller hips, thighs or behind, Colleen advises to avoid boy shorts and patterned or light-colored fabric because they will add width. Choose dark, plain fabrics instead. High-cut legs help your legs look longer. One surprise was that “for those with fuller bottoms, ‘ruching’ (vertical gathering between the cheeks) makes your buns look smaller.”

If you have the opposite concern and your hips, thighs and behind are small, flat or narrow, choose boy shorts, horizontal prints, light colors or even a ruffled style.

Tip 5

Of course, great fitness and diet help make us look and feel better, regardless of what we are wearing. Consider chatting with Colleen to make the most of your assets. Body scrubs and well-moisturized skin will lend to a smoother, healthier appearance. A spray tan or self-tanner may give you an added boost of confidence as well. Above all, be comfortable and have fun.

Related: 2013 Spring Fashion Tips From Two Seattle Fashionistas

best of seattle screen shot5 Tips On Fitting A Swimsuit To Your Body Type From A Seattle ExpertHead to CBS Seattle’s Best Of pages for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Jerri Lien has enjoyed working in the beauty industry for most of her adult life. As a Seattle examiner, she covers all things style, beauty and more. Her work can be found at

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