How to wear a retro, vintage style bathing
suit in 2012 for your shape

Do you love vintage looks?

Want to be a femme fatale while chilling by the pool?

How about a retro beach goddess?

All you need is the right suit. And maybe a few accessories.

Pack some old-school Hollywood glamor along with your magazines and sunscreen for the next beach getaway or even during weekend pool time.

The bathing suit guide below features retro bathing suits for different body types. It’s the bee’s knees!

1. Shop at specialty vintage-inspired stores or do some research about retro style.

Pin-up style online shops like ModCloth and Pin Up Girl Clothing offer retro suits. If you don’t want to shop online, look for bathing suits with fun prints like Hawaiian flowers, polka dots or a nautical theme. Anthropolgie has some adorable swimsuits and swimwear. Check out the 2012 Antrophologie sale.

2. Find a suit that flatters your shape, so you can look like a real pin-up.

  • If you have small hips or an athletic build, try a triangle-style top and a boy short bottom to accentuate and add some more va-va-voom to your shape. This Marc Jacobs bathing suit has feminine features and adds curves.
  • Avoid boy short bottoms if you have a pear shape or hourglass figure, the cut will only widen the line of your hips. Try a bathing suit with girly details like ruffles or bows up top to help balance your shape. Mix it up with a dark-colored bathing suit bottom, like this one from Boden and a bright polka dot bathing suit top (also from Boden).

  • If you want to slim your middle or get rid of belly pooch, try a bathing suit with ruching on the sides like this vintage style one-piece from Esther Williams at ModCloth or even a high-waisted bikini.
  • To accentuate your legs or to add length, look for a bathing suit with high-cut leg openings like this BLEU Rod Beattie ‘Hole in One’ suit here. The small difference will give you legs for days!
  • Keep a big chest supported with a bathing suit top that molds to your chest or has underwire. Try this nautical sailor bathing suit from Kiargo. It can support D/DD cup size and has a converter strap, plus the cutout back details gives it sexy flare. Want a little more sass? Try this feline print suit from Bettie Page to bring out your inner jungle girl. It has underwire support as well. Have a small bust? Try a halter style top, bandeau top or push-up style top to add cleavage. Check out this Victoria’s Secret bathing suit. The ruffles gives busts a boost. Want something more than a subtle illusion? This padded Victoria’s Secret bathing suit adds two cup sizes and could probably work as a flotation device!
  • Want to keep covered up but avoid an unflattering, baggy swimsuit? You can look slim all over in the right suit. Retro bathing suits are prefect for showing a little skin while keeping your look on the classy side. Try this modest yet sexy pin-up bathing suit sold at ModCloth. Love the peekaboo lace!
  • 3. Accessorize!

    Try sun-protective details like cat-eye sunglasses or a cute, floppy hat like this black-and-white one. A straw tote bag can also round out your retro look. A playful romper from Bettie Page can help you cover before an ice cream run!

    More tips for shopping for vintage inspired clothes online can be found here.

    Emileigh Clare

    Multimedia copy editor at the York Daily Record/Sunday News

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