By JACKIE MORONE
Sun. Sand. Water. Yes, these are part of the amazing-ness that is summer. But one thing is missing - a swimsuit.
It's okay, don't run away and hide, I'm here to help! No matter your age or size, there is a suit for you that is still fashion forward, attractive and will make you feel beautiful.
For those with a little more junk in the trunk (yes, I mean big butts) a good idea for you is to draw attention elsewhere and to have full coverage of your booty.
The newer high-waisted style suit, in a bikini style, has full coverage of the backside and can slim you if worn correctly. Think 1940s glam and that's the suit I'm talking about.
Show some more up top, if you're comfortable with that, to help divert attention from the lower half. Macy's carries many styles similar to this, but trying them on is essential.
If your problem area is a large chest, then support is what you need to help feel your most gorgeous, and secure.
Stick with an underwire top, because as you already should know, the underwire does wonders to support those of us with bigger busts, and in a swimsuit that gets wet and stretches, that support will be welcomed.
Also, cross straps with a fitted underwire will help to control and slim your top while supporting you. Minimizing is essential in a bathing suit for women with larger chests, so the more support and comfort you have, the less flopping around 'the girls' will be doing this summer!
Bigger size tops for bathing suits aren't found in every store. Since places like Target seem to run smaller, a store like Macy's will carry a bigger variety in better sizes for what your needs are.
Plus-size women and curvy women, don't need to hide away in a T-shirt or feel like there are no sexy options out there for you. There are options and they are not all tankinis.
The one-piece bathing suit has made a huge comeback in the last few years, and for those with some extra curves, this is great to see.
A lot of one-pieces can be found with extra seams, ruching along the side and also extra panels in the suit that are designed to slim problem areas. This is great for every size, because most women are at least a little concerned with that extra five pounds they haven't lost yet.
Patterns also can help to disguise trouble areas, such as polka dots. And if you're comfortable in a bikini, simply try ones that have a higher, fold-over waist with a busy print. The fold-over will help to slim the tummy area and the high waist style also has full coverage in the back as well.
Again, these styles of bathing suits will be found at places like Macy's, Kohl's, Sears and so on. Target may have a few options, but the better fitting suits may come from department stores.
Many retailers will have sales soon, thanks to Independence Day. So if you're looking for a new suit, you might want to wait it out if possible, because these stores always have killer discounts on summer apparel during Fourth of July sales.
You may not always want to be running around in your bathing suit, especially if you're on vacation and headed directly to dinner or lunch after the beach or pool. A nice cover-up can help you transition into that restaurant without making you feel frumpy or exposed, or like you belong in the "no shoes, no shirt, no service" category.
Now, this is where I say go to Target. Target has some really adorable cover-ups every year that can be worn from pool to dinner with no fuss.
I've even had cover-ups from there before that I've worn as a dress and not as a cover-up because it's so hard to tell the difference from appearance (and really, you'll be the only one who knows anyway).
For example, Merona makes a crochet/lace cover-up dress with a belt for $20 that can be worn virtually anywhere without looking like you've got sand dripping out of your hair (which you might, but they won't know it by looking at your cover-up).
The best idea in choosing a cover-up that you want to use as transitional pieces is to do what I do, and ask yourself if you would wear this as a dress. In my opinion, if you like it enough to wear it on its own, as a dress, then it will be the perfect transitional cover-up for any situation that may arise this summer.
All in all, swimsuit season can be fun and can make you feel pretty, but the only way to get past all of those bad feelings is to know YOU make the suit work; the bathing suit doesn't work without you in it.
Be comfortable in whatever you choose, because if you're not comfortable catching some of that Vitamin D, then what's the point of that feel good stuff anyway?
And don't forget to add that always important accessory to your swimwear fashion this year a smile. Swim away!
Fashion Forward - It's who I am
Who is Jackie Morone? Well, I am a 31-year-old woman who lives and breathes fashion. I always have had a classic sense of fashion, falling in love with vintage pieces of my grandmothers' during childhood visits.
While attending Penn State's main campus, my love affair with hot fashion and personal style grew leaps and bounds. I saw so many different trends on different types of people, and I realized that ANYONE can be fashion forward while holding on to their own personal style.
Moving back to our little area, I noticed I always was asked where I had gotten my shoes, my clothes, my purses or even how did I learn to do my makeup.
Just because we live in Smalltown, USA, doesn't mean there is a law against practicing today's current fashion trends or "big city style."
I hope I can help inspire you to start pushing your own style forward, gaining self confidence and opening your eyes to the fashion world.
You'll see that even by shopping locally you can be a fashionista without traveling to Paris or breaking your bank. Now, fashion forward we go!
Make sure to check out my Facebook page, www.face book.com/FashionForwardWithJackieMorone, to see matching pictures for the clothing I talk about in my column, as well as extra fashion advice, suggestions and answered fashion questions.