Swimsuits and cover-ups: Stylish summer beachwear to flatter your body

Kathryn Sucich

With summer just around the corner, you’re probably thinking about shopping for a new swimsuit for the pool or beach. Though many people dread swimwear shopping, it doesn’t have to be a headache.

Sonya Cosentini, style expert for T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, says no matter what your age, “It’s really about fit first and foremost.” And although some fashions may seem expensive, Cosentini says you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good bathing suit. Bargain and discount stores often have a good selection for less money.

Here are her best picks for swimsuit shopping.­


Swimwear styles If you’re aiming for a slimming look, a one-piece is always in style. This season, move beyond basic black and opt for a fun print or one-shoulder suit. Trendy prints include black-and-white designs, nautical themes and blocks of color with shades such as turquoise, green, pink and coral.

Cover-ups “This year, the pool has become a runway,” Cosentini says. Rather than buying a drapey floral shirt for a cover-up, opt for something with a little more flair. Try a fun sundress, which comes in various styles including strapless or long maxi dresses. You could also wear cargo capris, which are hot this season.

Accessories Everything is oversized in women’s accessories this season. Cosentini says she’s seeing a lot of oversized straw hats, as well as “packable hats,” which easily scrunch up for travel. Big, round sunglasses are also still in style. And don’t forget your handbag. An oversized straw bag can easily carry your clothes from lunch to shopping to the beach without missing a beat.


Swimwear styles This season for men is all about the board short. But Cosentini says that again, fit is key. For older men, it’s important to get a suit that fits correctly (instead of the baggy style that younger people prefer). She also suggests steering clear of some of the bright patterns and instead opting for more subtle plaids.

Cover-ups Covering up on the beach seems much easier for men – just throw on a T-shirt and go! This season, as with swimsuits, there are a lot of blues and greens on the market, along with nautical-themed clothing.

Accessories For hats, men can wear a baseball hat or straw fedora. Aviator sunglasses are also a good choice to shield your eyes from the sun.