Swimsuit Guide for Chicago Chicas

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It’s tough for Latinas, let alone Chicago Latinas, to find a swimsuit that covers up enough to make us feel comfortable and sexy. One swimsuit mishap at North Avenue Beach could ruin your summer hype in the city. Another reason why we’re so modest is because or our city sensibility. It is a well-known fashion fact that Chicago women err towards the conservative side of summer style. While it’s practical to wear less to keep cool, we prefer a sensibility that doesn’t attract unwanted attention.

So what can you do to keep up with the hottest swimwear trends while maintaining modest cultural integrity? You wear the best swimsuit for your body type. Great-fitting swimwear will accentuates your shape in all the right places and divert from the not-so-great parts. You’ll feel comfortable, decente, and confident. Even las chismosas won’t have a negative thing to say. Disclaimer: I’m going to describe body types in ways that are a bit “imprudent”. Think of me as your Tía Imprudente: truthful, critical and necessary.

Para las tablas, opt for a padded bandeau top with bold, contrasting patterns to draw the eye upward. Tops with ruffles and frills will also create the illusion of fullness right where you need it. For a daring look, try a plunging V-neckline to draw attention to the center where you need width. Ojo: Don’t choose a graphic pattern that is too detailed like small animal or geometric prints. Solid colors and big, colorful patterns emphasize your boobs by creating a smooth appearance.

If you have a  barriguita, a one-piece in a solid color is your best bet. Choose matte fabrics with ruching (folded or gathered) fabric at the neckline or across the torso. Look for well-structured supports like control panels and stretch fabric that act like a faja, giving firm support while taking inches off your tummy. Don’t be afraid of high-cut legs! They’ll make your entire body look longer and leaner. Ojo: Be afraid of shiny fabrics and/or giant graphic prints. They will draw attention directly to the suit (i.e.) areas you’re trying to hide.

Si eres una flaca, fake feminine curves with two-piece suits that have girlish prints and romantic details like ruffles or charms. To create the allusion of fuller hips, wear a bikini bottom with string ties at the sides. Tops featuring the classic halter neckline or deep V-cut outs in front and back are also very flattering. Ojo: Small, detailed prints will drown your thin frame in a shapeless abyss. Pick bold and bright graphics that create a smooth or rounded form. Belted styles also create a shapelier silhouette.

La caderona will benefit from this season’s hottest retro-inspired pieces. Spare and sleek miniskirt bottoms paired with shapely, gathered bra tops balance out your lower half. If you don’t like skirts, high-cut styles that show more leg will make thighs appear longer and leaner. Ojo: Swim shorts that cut straight across your hips and thighs will make you look frumpy. Olvídalos. Make sure that any bottom you choose fits just right around your booty and thighs. Too tight, you risk wedgie-mania; too loose and you risk looking like you have a soggy load.

La chaparrita will look taller in swimsuits with large diagonal stripes. Otherwise, you’ll want to make sure that your top and bottom bikini pieces are of the same color or graphic print to give you a long, seamless look. Higher-cut bottoms also add height to your petit frame. Ojo: Tankinis that cut straight across your chest and midriff can make you appear short and shapeless. Go for a top with a moderate to deep V-cut in front to lengthen your neck, boost your height and accentuate curves.

The girl with a voluptuous form will benefit from a halter shape that emphasizes your shoulders and offers support with a discreet glimpse of cleavage. If you want to counter fullness, go with a geometric print or a dark solid color. Ojo: Make sure the straps are wide and sturdy to give enough support. ¿Necesitas más? Look for under wires built right into the suit. Don’t forget stretch fabrics like Nylon and Lycra; they’ll help lift breasts, creating a leaner overall appearance. To get a slim look all over, choose swimwear with vertical seams or stripes running down the length of the suit or bikini. Si tienes el valor, wear something with a plunging neckline and high-cut legs to create a long and lean look. Not that daring? Try swimwear that uses color blocking to cinch your waist. And always remember that black is the most slimming color and looks great on all skin types. You may have noticed that monokinis, a popular hybrid of a one- and two-piece swimsuit, has not been recommended. It is a tricky style to pull off since women with long torsos, defined waists and breasts work it best.  The monokini is designed to show off your body and doesn’t offer support for athletic activities at the beach or pool. The suit must fit you snug because any loose fabric will expose your frontal region. There is very little room to hide your imperfections.

Continúe con cuidado, chicas. I hope these tips will lead you to the swimsuit of your dreams! When you dress your best, you feel your best.