Bathing suit season is in full swing and if you’re like most moms — both new and veteran — your body has no doubt changed since baby was born. But that doesn’t mean you’re confined to a life of skirted one-pieces that have more in common with a muumuu than a maillot. By learning how to dress your new shape strategically to downplay some of the most common post-baby figure complaints, you can walk onto the beach like you own it — and in a bikini to boot!Photo: iStockphoto
Just because you had a baby doesn’t mean bikinis are out of the picture. Defy the loose skin and stubborn fat that persists on your tummy by choosing a bikini with a fold-over waistband (right). Not only can the band be unfolded to provide more coverage if desired, but the stretchy, soft fabric won’t dig in, eradicating the dreaded “muffin top” effect.
Another way to combat a paunch is to opt for a retro-inspired bikini (left) with a high-rise bottom. The waistband extends up, past the hips (which is usually a woman’s widest measurement), and hits at the natural waist, drawing attention to the smallest part of the body.
If you’re dealing with unwanted pounds left over from your pregnancy, choose a suit with ingenious, black side panels (left). Here, they work in conjunction with the busy print to keep your eye focused on the centre panel, giving the illusion of a much narrower shape.
Capitalize on the fact that dark colours equal smaller proportions in this tank suit from Old Navy (right). Additionally, the suit features Control Max technology to hold you in and instantly tone your body. The keyhole cut-out and intertwined gold rings add visual interest at the bust, drawing the eye up to create a longer, leaner line.
If your leftover baby weight has accumulated around your middle, embrace ruching! The pleated fabric swathed strategically across your mid-section banishes a spare tire by dramatically whittling the waist. Additionally, the one-shoulder detail on this suit (left) adds shape to the shoulders, drawing attention up and away from your problem area.
Likewise, this green suit is ruched down the entire length of the torso for maximum whittling capabilities.
Have months of nursing your precious baby left your breasts deflated? Amp up your upper half with ruffles, bows, and gathering. The ruffle on this tie-dye bikini top (left) adds volume to a small bust, creating the illusion of a perfectly proportioned figure.
This bandeau top (right) packs a one, two, three punch when it comes to boosting your bust. The keyhole keeps the top separated and full-looking, while the gathering and ruffle details add volume to the area.
If you’re still nursing, you may have the exact opposite problem as stated previously. Show off your new curves in a suit that can handle an ample chest. While triangle tops are out of the question, bikinis aren’t as long as you choose a style that fits more like a bra. This retro-inspired, bustier-style top (right) boasts cups that provide ample coverage, with underwire and thick straps for added support.
The smaller pattern on the top of this stunning printed suit (left), gives the illusion of smaller proportions while the underwire and the halter neckline provide support.
To balance out a pear-shape, focus on suits with interesting details on top to draw the eye up, away from the areas you’d rather not highlight. This colour-block suit (right) does just that through the clever gradation of blue shades from darkest on the bottom to lightest on top, along with an attention-grabbing keyhole and tie at the bust. While your instinct might be to choose a lower-cut leg for coverage, opt instead for a mid to high-cut leg that visually lengthens the body instead of cutting it off.
Full hips also benefit from a bikini bottom with side-ties that can be adjusted accordingly. This way you avoid any bulging as a result of a too-tight bottom cutting into the thighs. Not only does this bikini bottom (left) with tiny polka dots have side-ties, but the top also features a large, colourful dot pattern that commands attention, detracting from your wider proportions down below.
To combat the baby weight that seems to have taken up permanent residence on your behind, choose a suit that provides extra coverage like this boy-short bottom (top). The dark colour serves to visibly reduce proportions, while the coordinating triangle top (right) allows you to play up your best assets. The shape is generally flattering except on large busts.
You can also look outside your suit for solutions to disguising an ample behind at the beach. These gauzy beach shorts (left) provide cool coverage so you can feel confident while playing in the sand with your little ones. Likewise, this swim skirt (bottom) sits strategically over your suit to provide coverage both in the water and out!
Miss wearing a bikini but don’t want to expose your stretch marks? Opt instead for a suit with cleverly placed cut-outs that expose parts of your body other than your tummy. A monokini (right) features cut-out sides for a shape that we think is sexier than a bikini anyway!
This on-trend black and white chevron pattern suit (left) boasts full coverage with the addition of a playful cut-out just below the bust.
Mom style: Day to evening looks> Going casual doesn’t mean we have to abandon style. These versatile pieces will easily take moms from day to night while looking great.Photo: iStockphoto
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