It seems illogical to pay over $100 for a bathing suit when there isn't much to the garment, but like many items of clothing, there is a method to the madness. Pricier suits tend to be more durable and resist wear and tear better than bargain versions. They are also designed to flatter your body in specific ways. You are more likely to find a suit that lifts and separates at Everything But Water than you are at a discount store, but it's still possible to find a suit that you love that won't cost an arm and a leg.
To find the best suit at your price point there are some tips and guidelines. First off, know your body. Not all are created equally, and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Shopping in a higher end store offers more options from which to choose, and they've all pretty much shifted to mix and match, since no two women are shaped the same. Big box stores like Target have begun offering tops and bottoms as separates as well, so you can choose which part of your suit you want to splurge on. If you need some help with your girls, you may want to comb the sale racks at a swim specific store, as they can help you find a supportive top. Then you can pop by H&M and find some complementary bottoms that are more affordable.
These days, there are no rules when it comes to swimwear. It's no longer necessary to wear matching tops and bottoms. If you have a bikini top or bottom from a previous season, change it up by shopping for new separates. If you want to draw attention away from what you consider to be a problem area, find a suit with a bold pattern or a bright color to draw attention to the suit. Swimwear that is designed to hide flaws and emphasize assets is usually more pricey than the garden variety suit, because it is engineered to look good on specific body types. If you want one of these, buy a shape and color that is timeless and can be worn for many seasons. Also, make sure to heed the care instructions. If the store offers special detergent for swimwear, buy it and ask the sales person how to wash it. Proper care will allow you to wear the suit for several seasons, so the investment can be stretched over time.
Finding a swimsuit doesn't have to cause your panic attack. There are plenty of options available for enhancing features and helping your body look its best. And remember that many people are insecure about their own appearance, so they're usually more focused on their "flaws" than yours. Don't let something as trivial as swimwear keep you from enjoying your summer.