“It’s a whole different story without clothes on,” sighs Stephanie Clarkson, a 5’9″, impossibly long-legged brunette, as she feverishly combs the racks of bathing
suits at Bloomingdale’s. “I tried this one,” she says holding up a barely-there, navy blue and white polka-dot, Ralph Lauren string bikini. “Let’s put it this way, if my butt was the size of a six-year-old’s, it would be perfect.”
You can change the shape of your butt, according to Kacy Duke, creative consultant to Manhattan’s Equinox Fitness clubs, whose celebrity clients range from Annabella Sciorra to Maxwell. Duke’s best-case scenario: a month. “But you have to work for it—both cardio and strength training at least 4 times a week.” Duke’s favorite exercises: squats and jumping rope. “There’s no faster way to lean out than with a jump rope,” she says.
Perfect fit: the right suit for your butt
We can’t all look like Gisele, no matter how rigorous the exercise routine or how strict the diet. But finding a suit to flatter your butt—regardless of its shape or size—is doable.
“A bathing suit should fit like your favorite pair of underwear,” says Manhattan-based swimsuit designer Malia Mills, whose ultra-chic suits have earned cult status coast-to-coast. “Less is more when it comes to bikini bottoms—a suit cut with a full rear will make your butt look fuller.”
Mills suggests suits that grab your butt at the center and let go of it gradually, extending out to the side. “Show off the outermost curve of your butt,” she says. “The back of the suit should look kind of like an inverted triangle.”
For those a little wary of revealing too much skin, Mills recommends easing into the look with a side slit mini-skirt or short sarong. Or pair the bottom with a sexy, cropped, boat neck top to accentuate your shoulders and draw attention away from your butt.
Rather than sweating it out at the gym, some opt for seemingly quicker fix: liposuction. But it’s not an overnight solution, cautions Dr. Sherrell Aston, whose Park Avenue office is crammed with socialites and celebrities alike. “Some swelling remains for up to three months,” he says. “But it’s worth the wait. Liposuction can make a wonderful change to the butt and thighs.”
Widely (and proudly) known as “the bread nazi,” Oz Garcia—a Manhattan-based nutritionist whose clients include everyone from New York fashion moguls like Donna Karan and Nicole Miller to Hollywood elite like Robert DeNiro—has a different perspective. “Get rid of flour—completely,” he says.
Even the most toned and otherwise perfect-looking butt on the beach can be upstaged by skin problems, says Dr. Fredric Brandt, the Miami- and New York City-based dermatologist of choice for Cher and Madonna.
“The butt has a lot of oil glands, making it a prime breeding ground for clogged pores and acne.” Exfoliating and topical treatments—with salicylic or glycolic acid—are usually enough to smooth skin and clear up breakouts. Bigger problems, like hyperpigmentation or stretch marks, may require more invasive measures: microdermabrasion or laser treatments combined with vitamin A or C topical creams.