Monday, May 14, 2007

This season, shy girls may be safer wearing a bikini (NY Daily News)


Monday, May 14th 2007

Gone are the days when a full-coverage suit was the safest choice for women whose bods aren't quite

bikini-ready. This season, most one-pieces are shredded, slashed-down to there or situated so low on your hips, even Grandma would take a pass.

The problem: They look so great on the runway. And even though every woman knows the catwalk is a trick that tempts normal-bodied people to try out silhouettes and styles only suited to stick figures, we still can't help ourselves.

Someone has to be able to work those granny bottoms, you figure, so why not me? "A lot of these suits really do require a perfect body," says Suze Yalof Schwartz, Glamour magazine's executive fashion editor at large, who's performed more than 2,000 bathing-suit makeovers in her career. "You cannot have a muffin top and wear a stringy one-piece. You'll embarrass yourself and your family."

But, says Schwartz, the trendiest suits are perfectly wearable - if you follow the rules.

"If you're boy-shaped, straight up and down, wearing a one-piece with a deep plunging neckline is going to give the illusion of curves, by drawing your eyes in."

And if you suffer from stretch marks, grab a cut-out one-piece that's open in the back: "You've got the sex appeal of the bikini with the coverage of a one-piece," she says.

As for those adorable granny panties, Michael Kors thinks they're okay and we believe him.

"Yes, they're modern and groovy-looking," says Schwartz, "and Uma Thurman was wearing them in St.

Barts. But the truth is, they really cover up a big pooch. So if you have a belly and you want to slim down, those can be your best friends."

Girls with short legs and meaty thighs need not apply, however: The granny's low cut will wreak havoc on your gams.

Most important, when considering a daring design, don't take the whole thing too seriously. This is high fashion, after all, and these styles aren't for taking a cannonball into your backyard pool. Think strutting about in stilettos and a spray tan.

"Don one of these suits with SPF 50 and you're good to go," says Schwartz. "Don't tan in them. When you take off your bathing suit, you'll look like a freak show."

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