Skip the urge to hide under a tent -- or worse, a baggy shirt and a pair of shorts -- this beach season. Sure, your body isn’t the same as it was post-baby, but that doesn’t mean you can never wear a swimsuit again. Our goal here is not about helping you fit back into your old itsy bitsy bikini. (Although if you can, then more power to you!) It's about finding swimwear that flatters your new shape, helps you conceal your problem areas, and flaunt your best assets.
The concern: Flabby arms Conscious about your jiggly arms? Try a swimsuit with Kimono-style sleeves -- best contrasted with a sexy V-neckline -- for a stylish cover-up. An off-shoulder style with ruffles also works; it lets you draw attention to your collarbones instead.
The concern: A prominent puson If you feel like wearing a swimsuit is just too much trouble because it means sucking in your breath all day, try employing some eye tricks. A one-piece with ruching over the tummy area conceals a bulge, while color-blocking cuts the torso, which helps to slim down prominent areas. Just make sure your abdomen area is cut into sections, and not covered by one big block of color.
The concern: Ample breasts Blessed with an overflowing bosom? Keep ‘em babies in place—while still looking stylish—with a halter-style bikini top, ideally one with built-in pads. A high-neck maillot also works; just choose dark colors for an added slimming effect. What to avoid: strapless or bandeau styles as well as triangle bikini tops. They’re disasters (read: nip slips) waiting to happen!
The concern: Stretch marks or a C-section scar A one-piece suit seems to be the natural choice for those keen to hide their CS scars and stretch marks, but you can still play it up by going for unexpected elements, like side cutouts or a one-shoulder style. But if you prefer separates, high-waist bottoms can be your new best friends. The extended coverage is clearly more forgiving, and the retro vibe doesn’t hurt, either!
The concern: Wide hips or thighs Never be shy of your birthing hips—they helped welcome your babies into this world! But if you want the illusion of a leaner figure (who doesn’t?), vertical stripes can elongate and slim you down. Skip high-cut and thong styles because it can make your bottom half look wider. You can also go for a more revealing cut up top, like a plunging neckline, to draw the attention away from your hips or thighs.
The concern: A straight or lanky frame If you’re looking to give a stick-thin figure more shape (mommy duties can take its toll, we know!), you can easily fake some curves with the help of some drapery and ruffles, as well as strategic prints. The texture -- especially if placed over your chest -- can give flat ladies a boost, while horizontal lines and rounded shapes can add fullness.