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Boost your body confidence to shine under the summer sun

Wouldn't it be just swell if our weight-control goals always coincided with our real-life schedules, so that just as bathing suit season rolled around, we'd be the perfect size? Unfortunately, it hardly ever works out that way!

Try as we might to get in shape before having to reveal our bodies to the world (or at least our neighbors at the local pool party), it seems there are always a few more pounds to lose, jiggly thighs to tighten, and arms to tone -- not to mention a psyche in need of some serious bolstering to get us through swimsuit shopping.

If this sounds familiar, don't despair. Experts like fitness image consultant Lisa Avellino say that with a little creative energy you can turn planning a day at the beach into a day at the beach! The goal, they say, is to accentuate your positives, beginning with selecting the right swimwear for your body type.

Selecting a Swimsuit

If, for example, you carry weight in your lower half -- if you're "pear" shaped -- look for a suit that is a solid color from the waist down, with a print, a bold color block, or a ruffle on the top, to draw the eye upward.

Another key element is proportion, Avellino says. By balancing the top half of your body with the bottom half, you can give your figure a more proportioned look.

"If you are top-heavy find a bathing suit that draws attention to the hip area. If your body type is straight (lacking a defined waistline), find a suit that has a pattern at the bust and hip area with a solid at the middle -- again drawing the eye to the areas you feel confident about," Avellino tells WebMD. One of this season's favorite beach silhouettes is the V-neck halter suit, a style that fashion experts say can bring out the best in almost any figure type.

"A plunging V neck, even one a little lower than you think is appropriate, really draws attention upward to your face, to your bosom and to your neckline -- and that's what people see first and the most," says Dannielle Romano, editor-at-large for DailyCandy.com, the ultimate online tip sheet on style. "Almost anyone can pull off the look."

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