Miss USA 2017 swimsuit competition. Photo: Refinery29.com
Just like you have to get the right style gown for your body, you also have to get the right style swimsuit to look your best on stage. Thankfully there are plenty of styles out there to choose from, but it is helpful to know where to start. Trying on suits that would never look good on your body type could lead to some moments of insecurity in the dressing room. (Read: How to Pick the Perfect Pageant Swimsuit).
Lucky for you, the Pageant Planet has access to experts, like Lisa Opie of Vizcaya Swimwear to help you get on the right foot and find the perfect swimsuit for your body type.
Little To No Curves
The "Beach Diva" Bikini in Midnight Black from Vizcaya Swimwear. Photo courtesy of vizcayaswimwear.com.
If you weren't blessed with an hourglass shape, not to worry! Just like with evening gowns, the design of a swimsuit can give you all the shape you need on stage. "If you have a boxy body, try an asymmetrical bikini like Vizcaya's 'Beach Diva', it will create curves and make the body less square," Opie said. The detailing on the suit draws the eyes from left to right across your body in a backwards "S" shape, creating the illusion of curves.
2016 Miss America contestants during swimsuit preliminaries. Photo courtesy of abc11.com.
Some girls are blessed with quite a bit in the backside, and while scientists at Oxford have recently found that this may not be a bad thing as women with bigger bums are stereotypically smarter and healthier, walking on stage in heels and a swimsuit can be unnerving in this case. Thankfully, we have butt glue and fashion has multiple patterns. To cover your backside, don't be afraid to try on a "granny style".
Hipster style bottoms tend to offer full coverage. Just make sure when you're trying the suit on that it doesn't cut off the line of your legs and make you appear short. You may wear your suit strait across your hips when you're on the beach, but some systems want the look of long, lean legs rather than trendy suits with the current fashion. To achieve this look, shorter girls often hike those waist bands up!
Not quite 1990's style, but close. Check out the difference in how Miss America contestants wore their swimsuits versus the Miss USA contestants this past season. (Read: Top 6 Swimsuit Bodies of Miss America 2016 and Top 10 Miss USA 2015 Swimsuit Bodies)
Hip, Hip, Hurray
Miss United States 2015, Summer Priester, modeling Vizcaya Swimwear "Kristina Bikini" in Blue Crush.
For some girls the hourglass look gets a bit wide in the hip area. To keep your proportions under control and obtain the look you're going for, the key is keeping the judges' eyes away from your wider area. While your pose will help here, you're not posing the entire time you're on stage. (Read: How to Pick the Best Swimsuit Pose)
You don't have much fabric to cover yourself here, but a little goes a long way to make or break the look. "Skinny straps will make anything look bigger, so definitely avoid tie bottoms as much as you can for a pageant," Opie said. "Having multiple straps will have the opposite effect and make your hips look smaller, so strappy bottoms are a must!"
Chest Blessed Girls
Miss Universe 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, in a wrap bikini top. Photo courtesy of thegreatpageantcommunity.com.
Even ladies with larger chests (that us smaller chested girls all envy from afar) face their own challenges, too. Oh how we all long to be on the other side of things. While we're freely running through our cardio we know you're trying to tame the girls.
Luckily for you, you can be fashion forward and control the ladies all at the same time while showing off your hard work on stage. "One trend that will be big starting this year is the wrap bikini, where the top criss-crosses in the front," Opie explained. "This will flatter a body type with a bigger bust because it will take the attention off the bust and instead draw attention to the rest of the body."
Ladies Who Lack Up Top
Melanie Mitchell, Miss California Teen USA 2015, competes in Sun Kitten swimwear and Chinese Laundry shoes during the Swimsuit segment of the Final Competition of the 2015 Miss Teen USA Pageant. Photo: Miss Universe Organization
While Mother Nature may not have given you what others are blessed with, you can easily add some volume to your chest with some strategically placed "chicken cutlets". These aren't the leftovers from your pageant diet you have yet to use, by the way. These silicone inserts add the extra boobage needed to give you a full-bust look. Just search for "sticky books" or "bra enhancers" on Amazon.
You can also purchase a top with plenty of padding and under-wire to lift, support, and form what you do have into place. Additionally, a top with a design in the fabric, such as folds and pleats, can help enhance your bust's presence. Another option you can go for is a more sporty look with a full-coverage top, like the one the girls wore at Miss Teen USA 2015, if you really want to be daring.
The Wrap Up
Swimsuit shopping doesn't have to be stressful. Stay calm and stick to the styles that are sure to look good on you. If you've been working out, try on a few new styles since your body shape may have changed. If it's been a few years since you've competed in swimsuit, try on a new style, too, because bodies naturally change over time. We have all sorts of styles online, at Pageant Planet Shop.
Be sure to pick up your butt glue while you're there. Above all, pick the suit that fits both yourself and your system so that you're comfortable putting yourself out there in the swimsuit competition. Now, go show those judges that you've got what it takes to take on the title!
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