Beachwear Made Easy

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Here's a tip about beachwear: The best bathing suit for you is the one you are the most comfortable in. No one wants to spend their Myrtle Beach vacation worrying about whether a strap is going to slip out of place or tugging at ill-fitting swimwear.

The key to buying the right suit is getting one that's well designed for what you're going to be doing at the beach.

Active styles: If you know you'll do a ton of swimming, beach volleyball or other physical activities, you're best off with a swim suit that can keep up. Racer-back one-piece styles are a classic athletic cut that will stay in place no matter what your activity. Two-pieces with a substantial closure and ample coverage in the cup will ensure good fit without having to worry about a “wardrobe malfunction” when you dive for the ball. Avoid string bikinis or strapless suits.

Sunbathing: If your idea of the perfect beach day involves sunbathing with a good book in hand, try a bandeau style two-piece to eliminate tan lines on your shoulders (of course you'll be wearing sunscreen, too). Strapless one-piece designs are available too. But there are other considerations, as well.

Fit to flatter: A sexy suit fits well. Always try on your bathing suit before you buy. Look for styles that suit your body type (halter styles offer better support for larger cup sizes; retro styles can suit curvier hips), but don't be afraid to try on something different — you might be surprised. Sometimes you'll get a better fit from a two-piece than a one-piece, because you can buy the top and bottom in different sizes. Keep in mind, there are a lot of two-piece styles available besides the standard bikini. A tankini is a good option. So is a bikini top paired with board shorts or a skirted bottom. Be open-minded.     

Fashion forward: Retro styles are all the rage right now. Look for high-waisted two-pieces that highlight hips, and structured bikini tops with wide straps. Prints are edging away from floral and tropical and more toward geometric patterns like polka dots and subtle stripes. Metal details — silver loops connecting straps to the bodice, for example — are popular, but be careful, as they can get hot in the sun. And, you can dress up any suit with a sexy coverup. Try a sheer wrap tied around your hips, or a cute, short sun dress worn over your suit.

(posted 3/31/14)