The Bikini Bible for Curvy Girls

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Whether you’re planning your next summer staycation or jetting off to find winter sun, a bikini is the most important item in your holiday wardrobe. And with more and more labels offering stylish curvy-girl bikinis, there’s no reason you can’t find the perfect fit. Here’s how to choose one that will make you feel great.
 
DO...

1. Show Off



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Faced with their bikini-clad reflection in a mirror, most women zero straight in perceived imperfections. Two bits of good news: 1) No one else is looking at you this critically, and 2) You can call their attention to your best features, instead.
 
How about a push-up top (we love the ones by Curvy Kate) to highlight your cleavage, or a halter-top to draw the eye up to your gorgeous, sun-kissed hair?

2. Try a Trend



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If you’re buying a new bikini for your next holiday, why not experiment with some new fashion trends? Lengthening tassels give swimwear a rock’n’roll festival feel (and can cleverly cover bits of your body you’d rather conceal). Crop tops were huge at Miami Swim Week 2017, the fashion industry’s most influential swimwear event, as were wrap tops that tie sexily around your shape.

3. Look for Definition



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It was the luxury brand Agent Provocateur that made contrast trims popular: Their original pale-coloured lingerie, with the seams picked out in black, celebrated every curve of a woman’s body. Now there are plenty of ways to get the ultra-sexy look in a colourful bikini with darker seams. Or if that’s a little full-on for you, look for a style with contrast piping around the edges. Like a Chanel jacket you can swim in. Still not sold? Bikinis with darker panels at the sides have a slimming effect without being as attention-grabbing.

4. Go Big On Briefs



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One of the coolest ways to wear a bikini is with a high-waisted brief. This slightly retro style works brilliantly when teamed with a halter-neck top for full-on ’50s movie star glamour. Or how about a little pair of shorts? It’s the same principle but moves the extra coverage from tum to bum.

5. Fall In Love With Details



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Swimwear is a bit like shoes – it’s the little details that make the difference between 'nice' and 'OMG HEART'. It might be a little belt, a daring bow or a flippy ruffle on the briefs. Whatever floats your boat, just keep looking until you find something that you’re truly excited about wearing.
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DON’T...

1. Be Afraid To Have Fun



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Bikinis are all about having fun, so experiment with bright, bold colours and quirky prints. This is one time when some of couture’s crazier ideas – Dolce & Gabbana’s fruity prints, or Christopher Kane’s neon palette – are wearable in real life. High street brands such as Forever 21 keep a close eye on the catwalk and translate the trends they see into some really creative bikini styles.

2. Buy the Wrong Size



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We’ve all been there. 'My perfect bikini is on sale! Oh. They only have one size too small, or two sizes too big for me. Maybe if I hold my breath for the whole two weeks?' Be honest with yourself: Order the right size, try it on at home, and if you find you’re self-consciously yanking it up or down in front of the mirror, send it back or you’ll be doing that all holiday. Bravissimo do cup-sized fittings from DD to HH, which help to pin down the perfect fit.

3. Skip Support



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Ever swum a few lengths of the pool and had to check everything was still where it was supposed to be before you got out of the water? Find the right support on top and bottom and you’ll be able to front-crawl to your heart’s content. Sturdy underwiring is the best way to stop things going astray on top, while strong straps keep you comfortable. High waists come into their own again on your bottom half; look for tummy control to cinch you in.

4. Hide In a Kaftan



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There’s nothing wrong with flowing kaftans per se – or even wrap sarongs, T-shirts and beach dresses). But if you’re reaching for one, let it be shapely and only because you’ve had too much sun or are heading to a restaurant for lunch, not because you’re shy. We’ll say it again: No one is looking at you critically! And if they are? Wearing a tent doesn’t help.

5. Give Up



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Even with the huge array of styles, shapes and colours available, finding the right bikini can be quite a mission. For inspiration, look for snaps of celebrities to see what styles work best on their curves. Keep going until you find The One, because life’s too short to be wearing a boring black one-piece!

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