Fashion & Style

Swimwear to show off a tan

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vintage bathing suit by Jantzen
Go for the gusto when selecting your swimwear
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The right color swimwear can enhance your bronzed skin

Almost any type of swimwear will emphasize a suntan because, in a swimsuit, you are usually showing off a lot more skin than in street wear. 

The best type of swimwear to show off a tan is one that not only is the right color for you and your skin, but one that flatters your figure. When selecting a bathing suit, consider colors that compliment the tone your skin will be when you are tanned -- different from the pale skin you might have in the dressing room - as well as your hair and eyes. A suit that bares your skin with the right angles and structure, while considering the shape of your body, also helps emphasize a tan.

Dermatologists will agree that the healthiest tan is best acquired by using a sunless self-tanner or going to a spa and getting an all-over airbrush tan. Skin should be protected with a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF. 

If you are determined to get your suntan the old-fashioned way, you can avoid tan lines by wearing a tan through swimsuit. Use sunscreen and limit your sun exposure time. Porous fabric lets some of the rays pass through, which gives you an all over tan. This type of swimwear is quite comfortable and cool. The fabric is constructed to let you tan underneath your bathing suit. The lightweight micro-fibers are woven via tiny pores that allow the sun access to your skin. The tan through bathing suit reportedly contains a sun protection factor of SPF of 6 to 10. That gives you some protection form the sun while still allowing your skin to tan. This type of swimwear is not see through.

 The color of your swimwear will not only enhance and show off your tan but your general appearance. Color is potent. It can make you look bigger or smaller than you are. It can make you look better or worse and brighten up your skin or, conversely, make you look sallow and dreary if you are wearing the wrong color. Color definitely effects emotions and moods, including yours and those you come into contact with.

Colors such as yellow, orange and red, which are bright hues, are intense, much like sunlight, fire and flames. These colors will warm your skin. Consider buying swimwear in one of these warm colors. However, keep in mind that bright colors will advance, rather than recede, and may make you look larger. If you are a big woman, you may prefer swimwear that is not as bright.

Dark colors recede and will make you look smaller. Black can be very flattering against a tan. If you opt for a black swimsuit, wear some chunky gold or silver jewelry and this will offset the darkness. Dark swimwear will absorb light and can emphasize your figure, including and especially any curves that you want to show off.

Cool colored swimwear can be slimming and is a nice contrast against tanned skin. Cool colors include violets, greens, blues or the colors of water and grass.

Many women love to wear white when they have a suntan because this really shows off their bronzed skin. Trendy swimwear always includes white for its classic tan-emphasizing properties. The contrast between white and tan is tremendous.

If at all possible, when you are choosing your swimwear, hold it up to your face while standing in the sun light, as opposed to an artificially lit dressing room, to see how the actual color looks when exposed to the sun and how the color looks next to your skin. Sun can drastically change the color of fabric. The natural light of the sun changes the properties of certain colors in swimwear to show off a tan. Remember to consider the color and cut of your swimwear coverup as well.

 The color of your skin - cool versus warm tones - is even more important than the color of your hair and eyes when selecting the right hues to wear. Your skin reflects the color of the items that you are wearing. What may look good on you in the winter when your skin is fair may not look so great when you have a tan and vice versa.


CDC: Skin Cancer Prevention

YouTube: How to choose colors that flatter your skintone


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