Look your best around the pool

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n Fashion guru Rob Phillips has these top tips for effortless swimwear style:

You can try oversized sunglasses and huge floppy hats, but there’s really no place to hide on the beach.

Bikini season is upon us, and as skimpy swimwear is your staple wardrobe while on holiday, it’s best to choose with caution.

“Swimwear doesn’t leave much room to hide, so it’s crucial to wear styles that flatter your figure.

“But see it is a great chance to push change in your style,” suggests Rob Phillips, creative director of the London College of Fashion.

“The more you experiment and explore your swimwear choices, as with all fashion choices, the better you will wear them.”

The good news is that this summer the shops are full of tummy-controlling, bust-supporting and confidence-boosting styles – so jump straight in...

Retro Revival

Mad Men comes to the beach with this season’s retro swimwear shapes.

Think kitsch fruity prints, polka dots, gingham and frills to be a pool-side pin-up.

Most Fifties-style costumes come equipped with underwiring and straps – perfect for supporting a fuller bust.

Feel feminine with the new skirted bottoms – ideal for those with big booty paranoia. Beware, though: Retro high-waisted styles can make your bottom appear bigger but are perfect for concealing lumps and bumps.

BEST FOR: Curvy and hourglass figures.

Natty Nautical

Stripes are your best friend when it comes to boosting barely-there curves.

Use slim horizontal stripes to accentuate width where you want it, be it bust, bottom or both. Ruffles and frills will add va-va-voom curves if you’re self-conscious about a barely-there chest.

A halter-neck triangle top with extra padding will also create cleavage oomph.

BEST FOR: Skinny and boyish frames.

Bold Brights

Be bold and embrace sunshade-inducing colour this year. Brights will look hot on the beach whether contrasted against dark, olive or lily-white skin.

Colour-blocking is ideal for top or bottom-heavy shapes. Simply wear an eye-grabbing bright shade on your smaller half and darker tone on your hot-spot half to ‘minimise’ the area and create balance.

Look for mix-and-match bikini separates that you can buy in different sizes. you’ll get the perfect fit and be able to create different looks with clashing colours.

BEST FOR: Pear and carrot shapes

Floral Forever

Big prints instantly make you look smaller, so dainty mini-florals are blooming marvellous for making you look both taller and curvier.

If you’re short, opt for a halterneck style to create the illusion of height.

Stick to pretty straps and ties to suit your frame and try a swimsuit with ruffle detailing to add instant curve appeal.

BEST FOR: Petite girls.

Tummy Control

A swimsuit with flattering lines is the one-piece for you if you want to keep your belly button firmly under wraps.

Structured swimsuits with figure-fixing, hidden panels are all the rage. They tame your tummy and mean you don’t have to worry about that extra ice cream scoop.

Focus attention on other favourable assets, too – wear a plunging neckline to flaunt your cleavage or high-cut leg style to show off long legs.

BEST FOR: Round tummies.

Swimwear Style Tips

Fashion guru Rob Phillips has these top tips for effortless swimwear style:

Know your body shape, proportion and, especially, fit. Make sure that you try on items before you hit the beach – use underwear sizes as a guide.

Posture is everything. You don’t need a Baywatch body to look good poolside! The biggest killer to all fashion is bad posture, lazy shoulders, slouching and dragging feet. Instead, hold your head high, pull shoulders back, tuck that tummy in and walk tall.

Be brave with colour, print and texture. Hold pieces/colours against your skin in daylight and see if the colour works with your skin tone. The right combination will deflect people from looking at the bits you dislike.

It’s all about the detail. All-in-ones with cut-out detailing in specific areas of the body look sexy in a demure, teasing way. Racer backs show off great shoulder lines, high hip cuts show proud thighs and a tie or clasp halter-neck with plummeting neckline will draw frontal attention.

Support is essential. Remember swimwear needs to hold you in and up. Find out what’s good for you, what suits you and which areas you want to flatter.