Is it time to swim yet? Utter that phrase and watch the panic begin. Everyone has been planning to get ready for swim season, but few have done so. Even if you have, your body type may not fit into the swimwear catalogue category. Leverage your assets and buy wisely, and your time in the water will be wonderful.What kind of swimsuit is the best one for you? Take some tips from someone in the know.

Debbie Milanova (Courtesy of Debbie Milanova)

Debbie Milanova
Legacy Boutique
2418 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 706-0481

Shirley McCormick
West Coast Swim Shop
210 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 140
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 983-1060

Debbie Milanova is the owner and chief fashionista of Legacy Boutique in Sacramento. She has worked in the fashion industry for quite a while, and opened her shop in 2011. She is a fitness buff and is passionate about clothing and doing the best for her customers in a wonderful shop in downtown Sac. Shirley McCormick has been with the West Coast Swim Shop in Folsom for five years. She is an expert in fitting competitive swimmers and water aerobic swimmers in the suits that work best for them.

Tip 1

Like most people, you may not be in line to make it into the swimsuit catalogues. Relax. Most people don’t. Take your time finding the suit that
best fits your body type. There is an amazing variety of colors, patterns and shapes in swimwear. Whether you are a pear shape, full or slim, heavier on top, wider on the bottom, have an hour glass shape or are in the petite category, there’s something out there for you. The advice from Debbie and Shirley is to take your time finding the suit that suits you best.

Tip 2

Debbie says to have a friend take photos of you when shopping for that swimsuit. Check to see which colors compliment your skin tone. Pay attention to which swimsuit style shapes and emphasizes your best assets, or perhaps downplays an area of concern for you. Vertical patterns tend to elongate, while horizontal patterns do the opposite. Solid colors, according to Shirley, give the most slimming effect. Busy patterns work best for the petite figure.

Tip 3

If your body shape is curvy, find something with good support. A large bust will need underwire support. Look for halters that you can tie up, if you are in the bikini section. These will give much better support. Strapless is something you want to avoid. A good one-piece with diagonal lines will work well to flatter curves. A swimsuit with ruffles, padding or other embellishments can create an illusion of more fullness. Broad shoulders? Stay away from strapless tops.

Related: Checklist For A Fun Day At The Beach Or Pool

Tip 4

Ask your consultant what type of leg cuts are available. They range from a more modest cut that rests lower on the leg, to shorts style, to very high cuts that expose quite a lot. Consider your comfort level relative to the leg cut and your body type. A pear shape may not be best in a high cut. The same goes for top coverage. A high neck, like in the competitive suits, can slim the upper body. Other necklines can emphasize the bust. More fabric fullness around your middle, gathers or pleats, can have a slimming effect if you need it.

One-piece suits in solid colors offer the most slimming effect.

Tip 5

When all is said and done, it is important that you feel comfortable and confident with your choice of swimsuit. When shopping, do take a friend and listen to the experts. Experiment with different cuts and types of swimwear. Consider the type of swimming you’ll be doing. Check out the colors, cuts and fabrics that will do what you want them to do. Debbie and Shirley both say that if your confidence level is high with the suit you choose and you feel you look good in it, then enjoy your time in the water. Have fun all the way through the entire process!

Related: Boardshorts And Bikinis: Best Swimwear Shops In Sacramento

Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at