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As the heat creeps up just enough for pool hopping and lake house hangs to finally become a part of our weekend plans, it also means that it’s time to comb through our selection of swimwear for the season. I like to allow myself one bikini purchase every summer, because with all that chlorine and sand, it seems I have to throw out a swimwear-fave by the end of the season anyways. 

After years of atrocious tan lines and swimwear experimentation gone wrong, it’s come to my realization that a strapless, bandeau bikini is the one style that seems to look good on almost everyone. Now I know that every Cosmo mag in the world has suggested full suits for coverage, bra tops for support and stripes to add curves, but to everyone’s surprise, I’m sure, the bandeau can actually accommodate many different body types as well. 

If you are looking for extra support, a bandeau top with built in shape or underwires, along with a removable strap, is what you need. These are great for b and c cups as they will give you enough support and push-up that your curves won’t fall flat. 

If you have just started hitting the gym, but you feel like your tummy could use a little more work, choose this season’s high-waisted retro styles. By stopping at the waist, instead of at your hips, this style will not only give you the coverage you’re looking for, but will also make your waist seem smaller. This style is also great for women who have a more square shape as the higher waist creates the illusion of a more curvaceous frame. 

For the ladies with smaller chests, you have two options. You can either go for a classic bandeau style, without any support, or choose one with a halter strap that will create more cleavage. If you choose the classic bandeau, look for added drama, such as fringe, bows or scalloped edges, to create a little more scale and interest to your top. All embellished styles will work as a bit of a camouflage, so that attention is drawn to the detailing and not your small chest. If your chest is smaller than an a-cup forget about underwires and built-in support as these will be hard to size properly and normally look a bit unflattering. 

When looking for the perfect bikini, it’s important to keep proportion in mind. If you are bottom-heavy, and this includes baby bumps, make sure you create more balance on your upper half. You can do this by purchasing bandeaus with padding or support, to accentuate your shape. 

Left to right: 1. Top, Agent Provacateur, $220 Bottom, Dolce & Gabbana, $255 2. Tara Matthews, $225 3. Tara Matthews, $108 4. Top, $175 Bottom, $175 Both Norma Kamali  5. Norma Kamali, $1500

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