Winter is not over yet, but in every store's ready-to-wear section, what's the first thing you see? Racks and racks of bikinis, tankinis, monokinis, and every other 'kini known to womankind. So while it may seem a little counter-intuitive to be thinking about showing some skin while temperatures still hover around 0, here are a few tips to keep in mind whenever you choose to shop. 

1. You don't need to live on lettuce and spend every free hour in the gym.

The best bikini body is the one that makes you feel amazing, whether that includes a few sessions on the treadmill or not. Chances are, if you're healthy and carry yourself with confidence, you're beautiful just the way you are. You need only to choose a suit that plays up your best features, which will naturally draw eyes away from those areas that aren't your favorite -- because, let's face it, even the most confident of us has at least one.

2. Supporting a large bust

 If you have a bold set of twins, you've probably experienced the frustration of too-stretchy straps and a general lack of support up top. This can cause not only a cosmetic dilemma in the form of sagging, but it can pose a threat to the overall condition of your neck, shoulders and back. Your best bet when it comes to supporting a large bust is an underwire halter top. Because it ties securely at the back of your neck, instead of using those slide adjusters, it's highly unlikely to slip, which is a constant fight with the latter option. The reason for the underwire is obvious; you probably already use one in your bras. Bonus: the halter shape pulls your breasts up and draws them together, creating gorgeous decolletage.

3. Creating the illusion of curves

If you have an athletic build, but desire softer curves, or at least the illusion of them, ruffles are your best friend -- especially if you would like to avoid a heavily padded top, which can act as a sponge and cause a whole lot of annoying dripping once you hop out of the water. So if you'd rather not have to ring out the ladies when it comes time to dry off, pile on the ruffles. They can be used to create a bit of extra fullness wherever you desire it: across your chest, over your backside, or at your hips. A bandeau top with a side-tie or skirted bottom can also work to create the illusion of a soft hourglass figure.

4. Flatten that belly

...but not because we said so. Listen ladies, this is not a must. Chances are, nobody cares if you don't have the abs of a Victoria's Secret model, and maintaining that shape is next to impossible. That said, it is impossible to deny that this is a spot considered a problem area by a majority of women. So if you're simply not comfortable "letting it all hang out," go with a one-piece, and avoid monokinis and flyaway tops, which draw attention to your midsection even more so than a traditional bikini. You can even find shapewear suits. The popular brand Spanx makes them of course, but if you'd prefer not to shell out that kind of cash, shapewear suits can be found at almost any discount department store for a much more modest price -- around $40 or so. And they don't have to look like "granny suits" -- most look exactly like any other one-piece.

5. Mix-and-match tips 

Maybe you rock a full bust, but are narrow through the hips; choose a halter top for outstanding support, with a skirted bottom to create softly curving hips. If you're pear-shaped, go with a padded, ruffled, or bandeau top with a sleek-fitting bottom to create balance. Most retailers offer a large selection of bikini separates, so it's super simple to customize your suit.  And whatever you like in a bikini -- ruffles in all the right places, fabulous support, just the right shape -- can most likely also be found in a one-piece if you would like a little more coverage.

Finally, the best tip we can offer is one that we will time and time again: your ultimate choice should be whatever makes you feel like the sun goddess you are.