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Need a New Swimsuit? (I Do!)

Every summer my postmenopausal body and I play a little game I like to call Find the Swimsuit:

I want one that will make me feel as sexy as Madonna looks. My body wants one that will make me look as confident as Madonna feels.

We agree to disagree, then battle it out in the fitting room. No selfies are sent to chums for opinion polls. No bossy saleswomen are admitted. No fat- or age-shaming is allowed. Eventually, we find just the right suit — one that blurs the line between shapewear and a Sports Illustrated cover.

So here are the top five trends I spotted while playing Find the Swimsuit this spring. Now go suit yourselves!

Spanx Swimdress
The Swimdress. You think I am joking. I am not joking. This is a major trend this year, rebooted from dowdyhood with alluring details such as V and halter necklines, ruffles and ruching. Try a swimdress in siren red, or rock a natatorial version of the little black dress (LBD) for seaside or pool. Options include: Magicsuit Solid Yvonne, Spanx Draped Swimdress or Land’s End Women’s Plus Size Slender Knot-Front Swimdress.

The High-Necker. This suit makes me feel like a Bond girl on the French Riviera. (If you wear more crews than V-necks, you may fall in love with it yourself.) The high-necker has a torso-lengthening effect — good news for bosomy types who’d rather show shape than skin.

Two more bennies: You appear to gain inches of shapely midriff, and water-fitness activities are suddenly


free of spillage. Look for soft inner cups and tummy “power panels,” or second-skin performance suits. To try: Longitude Heatwave High Neck Tank, Miraclesuit Solid Crisscross Highneck or Speedo Mesh Contrast Thick Strap Speedo Endurance Lite.

The Goddess. This strategically draped suit is designed to camouflage extra bulges and pounds with pleats and gathers inspired by the toga. For curvy diva types, a goddess suit can turn a quick walk at the shore into a red-carpet saunter at Cannes. Look for soft, generous inner cups that elevate the breasts rather than squashing them into an underwire. Suits to sample: Target’s Merona Halter


One-Piece, Tropiculture Smokey Crossover Swimsuit or Miraclesuit Solid Oceanus.

Sun-Safe Sleeves. Entrust your vintage décolleté and those adorable wobbly arms to the full coverage of a long-sleeved surfer-inspired swimsuit inspired by the surfer’s classic wetsuit. Made of a lightweight, moisture-wicking nylon-spandex blend, the combo of cut and fabric keep UV rays at bay. I love the look, but for extra protection (and chic coverage) you could always just throw a rash-guard T-shirt with built-in UPF 50 over any of your old swimsuits. For your consideration: Spanx Long-Sleeve One-Piece Swimsuit, Cover UPF50 Long-Sleeve One-Piece Swimsuit, Athleta’s Pacifica Rash-Guard Tee UPF50, J. Crew Sun Shirt UPF 50 or Land’s End Women’s Swim Tee Rash Guard.

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The Single-Shoulder Sizzler. This asymmetrical swimsuit is ideal for former strapless-bandeau devotees whose breasts may have, uh, obeyed gravity. It gives you the same bare feeling, with no hiking up on top necessary after every dip or stoop. The diagonal line draws the eye of the beholder upward, putting the focus on those sensational shoulders we know every age 50-plus woman possesses. Choose a style with details you prefer, from ruffles to color-blocking, or from florals to a head-swiveling red (this summer’s unexpected hot color trend, BTW). Go lusciously lopsided in: Magicsuit Colorblock Jane, Garnet Hill


Asymmetrical Ruffle-Front One-Piece, Target’s Aqua Green One-Shoulder Maillot or MICHAEL Michael Kors Watchband Strap One-Shoulder Swimsuit.

Whichever of these suits you, don’t forget the broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen!

For more beauty and style tricks for women 50-plus, I hope you’ll check out my Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age.

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