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Swimsuit Decoder

How to read a girl by what she's wearing at the pool

THONGS
"Look at me, look at me. Please, for the love of God, look at me! Now stop staring at my ass, pervert!" The woman bold enough to wear a thong to the beach is begging for attention—but not necessarily affection. Try hitting on her and there's a good chance she's going to shoot you down if for no other reason than to further inflate her own ego. She wants you to think of her as unattainable (when in reality she's easier than Candy Land).

STRING BIKINI
"I'm hot and sexy. Now stop blocking the sun. I'm working on my tan." The woman who dons a string bikini is usually fun and stylish, takes great care of her body, and feels good about the way she looks. Chat her up if you're so inclined, but don't count her in for beach volleyball—triangle tops don't offer much in the way of support. To make the skimpy fabric work in your favor, take her for a dip in the ocean and pray for a big wave.

ONE-PIECE
"Oops! I forgot to bring the extra diapers to the pool!" With the exception of Pam Anderson on Baywatch, most women wear one- pieces to cover up a less-than-perfect body or a post-baby tummy. How do you tell 'em apart? First, check that potential baby-mama's left hand for a ring. If she doesn't have one, you're not out of the woods yet. Stay alert for nearby toddlers screaming "Mommy" before you make your move.

TANKINI
"I want to wear a bikini, but I hate my stomach, love handles, or looking too naked." The tankini is the good-girl's version of a bikini; the top covers everything from her armpit to waist and is modest enough to wear around the parents. Although she lacks confidence, don't give up on her so fast. The wearer of this ubiquitous bathing suit probably harbors an inner wild child who will emerge behind closed doors. But in public, she's a lady.

SWIM SKIRT
"I hate my thighs." Although few women under the age of 60 wear swim skirts, they do pop up from time to time (thanks to companies like J.Crew that refuse to let them die). A woman wearing a swim skirt is either incredibly insecure about her bottom half or trying incredibly hard to be ironic. Whatever her reason, stay away—you don't need another chick with body issues. Unless, of course, that's your thing.

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