Website of the week
Ladies, it's that time of year: Time to cut out the carbs, start your course of firming creams, take a trip to the waxer, and treat yourself (ha!) to a new swimsuit. I've found that a stiff cocktail calms my nerves before my annual bikini shopping trip, but shopping online is a great alternative--instead of fluorescent lighting and a three-way mirror, you can be mortified in the comfort of your own home. Thankfully, sites like have a wide variety of suits for you to choose from. You can shop by type (monokini, two-piece), by top (halter, D-cup), by bottom (tie-sides, skirted), or by designer (everyone from OP to Cia Maritima is represented here). Since my #1 swimsuit problem is finding a top that fits properly, you can guess where I started looking.

While I'm usually not an advocate of basic black bikinis, you have to admit there's something sophisticated about the Martini from Asha Couture.

Also by Asha Couture, this Dr. No bikini is a modern update of the sexy suit Ursula Andress wore in the James Bond film of the same name.

I love the Wave from Vix--it looks like an Eres ripoff. I just wish it came in colors other than black.

But while I love these sleek, retro-chic styles, I really like to wear a bit of color on the beach--hey, it takes some attention away from my paleness. This Little Palms bikini from Island Company is kitschy but cute, and the bottoms look flattering.

But my favorite is this look from L Space--the mixed print top and solid bottom combo is one that celebs are always wearing in the pages of Us Weekly, and the colors of this suit evoke the Mediterranean, which brings a little sophistication to your beach destination, whether you're in St. Tropez or the Jersey Shore.

Want to subject yourself to several styles? Spend $150 and your order ships for free via FedEx Ground, plus all non-clearance (and non-thong) merchandise is returnable within 30 days. Which is just enough time to shape yourself up after that initial first bikini freakout.

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