The transition between spring and summer is such an exciting time. We anticipate long days at the pool, summer cookouts with friends and family, fireworks, lake houses, beach vacations, tan lines, and much more. However, lingering behind this excitement and anticipation is dreaded feeling of getting our bodies in our bathing suits.

I’m sure your hunt for the perfect swimsuit has already began, and I’m sure many of you, like myself, feel like you need a spray tan and full hair and makeup done before the hunt, so any bit of prettiness helps shadow any blunders the swim suit causes. Clearly, it’s hard enough for anyone to find the perfect suit for summertime, but especially for those women who have to consider their ever growing baby bump belly.

Ingrid Carney, founder of maternity clothing line Ingrid & Isabel, help make this feat much easier for you expecting women! Below are a few simple and important guidelines to consider when purchasing a suit that will last you and your growing belly throughout the summer.

  • Material Matters! – Look for materials that offer a substantial amount of stretch that is able to move and grow with your body to avoid pinching in unflattering areas. Such materials include spandex, nylon, or Lycra. Not only is pinched fabric unflattering, it can be quite uncomfortable as well. At Ingrid & Isabel, they use “90% nylon 10% spandex, which works well. If it’s the right fabric, paired with great construction, the suit will expand with your shape in the right places without pinching.”
  • Bear Your Bump with a 2 Piece! – Contrary to belief, less may actually be more when sporting a pregnant belly in the summertime. Breaking up your silhouette by showing some skin can often times create a slimmer look than a fabric-heavy look. If you’re confident, rock out your baby bump with a supportive two piece, or if you don’t want to bear it all, look for a fitted or flowing tankini that cinches under the breast or ruches in front or at the sides. The ruching and cinching create a slimmer waist and a flatter tummy.
  • Bottom’s Up! – Look for bottoms that will grow with you and provide the support and coverage where needed. If you’re going with a tankini, sometimes the top is long enough to cover any unwanted areas showing on your backside. Or, if you’re going bikini style, add a feminine, ruffled skirt to your look. This is a super cute and quick way to cover any unflattering areas while keeping fashion and style in mind!
  • Top it Off! – Many women grow a considerable amount in the chest area during pregnancy, so finding a versatile top is essential in the bathing suit hunt! Ingrid suggests looking for these construction must-haves: 1) wide, adjustable straps that wrap at your back and/or your neck to support your breasts and flatter a softer-than-usual back, 2) stretchy fabric that will expand with your increased breast size, and 3) removable cups that help smooth out your growing bosom and offer more coverage.”
  • Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize! – This is a fashion trick that should be used all year long. Accessorizing not only draws attention away from unflattering areas, but also highlights the parts your more inclined to show off! Grab yourself an amazing tunic coverup that slims your waist, and pair it with a colorful, chunky necklace. Don’t forget to purchase a fun and fabulous sandal, over-sized sunglasses, and a stylish, sun-protective sunhat!

It’s important you don’t let your growing body keep you indoors this season. You don’t have to be self-conscious of the changes your body has gone through. Follow these fashion tips so you can look good AND feel good all summer long!