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Banish those costume dramas
10:27am Monday 2nd July 2012 in Retail Therapy
SPOT ON: Polka dot bikini top, £14; briefs, £10; scarf print shirt, £35; turquoise bangle, £10; gold hoops, £5; tortoiseshell sunglasses, £10; all Next (0844 844 8000/www.next.co.uk).
AS IF the annual pressure to obtain a beach body isn't enough, this summer we have the Olympic Games with all those honed and toned bodies in skimpy costumes to contend with.
According to a recent survey for Moontide swimwear, 53% of women start thinking about how they'll look in their costumes more than two weeks before their holiday, with 15% worrying more than a month beforehand.
But don't fret if finding the right swimsuit is turning into a major event - let your figure lead the way to a winning bikini or one-piece.
Whatever your shape, there's a costume out there that will disguise your hot spots and flaunt your best bits to the max.
Forget all those apples and pears references and find your ideal swimsuit with our refreshing guide to body shapes:
:: THE ROCKET LOLLY
If your figure is 'bottom heavy', your swimsuit choices should balance out your shape.
Your body is all about the hips, thighs and bottom, so try mixing a print or embellished top with solid colour bottoms, which has the effect of slimming down your hips.
Want supermodel pins on the beach? Seek out a high cut around the thighs to emphasise your leg length.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Coleen Rooney.
:: CORNETTO CONE
An 'inverted triangle' shape. If you have a wide upper body, avoid fussy detailing on your top half.
Your legs may be one of your best features, so try a bikini bottom with adjustable long tie sides that will make them look even more enviable - and won't squeeze into your body if you carry weight around the middle.
If you're top-heavy due to a bigger bust, look for a simple, well-structured bikini top and steer clear of deep-plunging V-necklines.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Jessica Simpson.
:: COCA-COLA BOTTLE
If your body fits the bill as a classic hourglass shape, it's all about emphasising your voluptuous silhouette.
The swimwear world is your oyster but avoid anything too skimpy, you're looking to emphasise - and contain - your curves.
Look to old school Hollywood glamour with retro cuts to flatter your figure. A one piece with a low V-front will highlight your womanly shape.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Kelly Brook, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet.
:: LOLLIPOP STICK
Long and lean with a tomboyish shape, your aim may be to create curves through your swimming costume.
Fashion yourself the illusion of a bigger bust with pleats, ruffles and gathering to add volume.
Use the same principles if you want to magic yourself a bigger bottom. Look for briefs with a wide frill around the waistline - the cut should kink out and create an hourglass silhouette in an instant.
CELEBRITY ATHLETICS: Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Holmes/
:: MINI MILK
Those petite in frame and stature should avoid busy prints that swamp your diminutive figure like the plague.
A V-neck swimsuit or halterneck will give your a torso a few valuable inches and make your neck appear longer too.
Make your torso look lean and lengthened by choosing low-cut bikini bottoms. Belted styles will help carve out a silhouetted, defined figure to boot.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Kylie Minogu.
GET THE LOOK
Look pretty in pink like Ginnifer Goodwin in her Roksanda Ilincic designer dress. Flaunt your fuchsia credentials in The Pretty Dress Company's Renee couture pencil frock, £85 (www.theprettydresscompany.com).
BUY IT NOW
Spotted on countless celebrities, Miss Selfridge's sell-out Designed By shirt is back in stores. Grab it while you can and make a print impression, £50 (0844 984 0263).
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