03/07/2012 03:57 EST | Updated 05/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Swimsuit Shopping: Get Beach Ready the Easy Way

Planning a trip in the sun? For most of us women, the most important decision will not always be the SPF of your suntan lotion, but what kind of swimwear pieces you will be wearing. Packing the right swimsuits is your secret to looking fabulous and having fun in the sun. Know that you look your best and enjoy those white sandy beaches.

Since the emergence of swimsuits, women have always embraced the freedom to enjoy the sun and water -- it has turned into a symbol of fun times and happiness. In fact, the bikini was invented after World War II by Louis Réard, a French automobile engineer, and was named after the site of a nuclear weapon's test: the Bikini Atoll. The reason? Like a nuclear device, it would cause a burst of excitement! Years later, we would each have our own version of the "Little Yellow Polka Dot Bikini."

The number one trick to looking your best is to get a flattering swimsuit; that means finding swimwear of the right colour, cut and design. Not every swimsuit will flatter every body type or will be good for every activity; therefore understanding your fit and use of swimwear is the first step. With so many styles of bikinis, tankinis and one-pieces, there are options for everyone.

Buying swimwear is very similar to buying a bra. Your fitting specialist will be able to recognize what will flatter your body best, address specific needs such as breast support or tummy control, and address your lifestyle, for example, if you are planning to swim or just lounge. The wrong swimsuit can have scary consequences! Picture this: you are diving into the pool and when you resurface, you suddenly notice one of your pieces has slid off. If you are planning to do some kind of activity like swimming or diving, be sure to pack a one-piece swimsuit designed for swimming. Support and structure are key, as your bathing suit should fit snug all over with no loose bottoms or loose tops. Halter, backless and plunging styles will give you a sexy look. Just remember those gorgeous red swimsuits from Baywatch!

Colour and pattern are easy ways to bring attention to your assets and help you highlight what you love most. If you are really tanned or have darker skin, light or bright colours look fabulous on your skin type. If you are pale, dark colours and jewel tones are stunning. Details can also be used to create illusions. They are used to accentuate your best areas.

A swimsuit that highlights your best areas and feels comfortable is the key to looking great during your vacation. Make a good bra fitter your best friend to help you find those flattering swim pieces. Just remember to pack a cover up or two for those lazy sunset strolls along the boardwalk. With these few simple tips and tricks, your mind will only wander to when your next cocktail will be, not how you look in your swimsuit. Now you are ready for those white, sandy beaches!

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2012(CLONED)