Those sounds coming from dressing rooms all over? Screams.

It's bathing suit buying time, and for less-than-perfect bods (most of us), the hunt for the right suit can be downright desperate. But, yay, swimwear has come a long way, with styling and fits that can camouflage flaws and highlight assets.

While the lucky few can find the perfect suit with ease, many of us could use a little help. So we asked a few swimsuit experts at specialty stores (and when we say expert, we meant it . . . they total almost 170 years of history among them), to impart their wisdom.

"I've looked at bodies for over 40 years and I've seen it all," says Marna Hann, the co-owner of the 49-year-old swimwear hub, the Jerrie Shop, in Woodbury and Rockville Centre on Long Island. She implores her customers to try on a variety of looks. "I can't tell you the numbers of times someone has said to me, 'I would never have picked this suit,' but they end up loving it." And she adds, "There are definitely games you can play with swimwear and by choosing the correct suit, you control where the eye of the observer goes."

At the venerable Blum's Swimwear and Intimate Apparel of Patchogue -- 88 years in the lingerie and swimwear game -- co-owner Cherie Alleyne is no stranger to the insecurities bathing suit shopping breeds. "You are more exposed in a suit than you are in clothes, and absolutely everybody is self-conscious about something." Alleyne says a higher-waist bottom, "can really slim the middle," and gives the nod to updated patterns. "The prints are not the dumb-dumb matronly prints we used to have, they're beautiful and act as camouflage."

In the same vein, "It's no longer your mother's one-piece," says Susan Cotugno, the manager of the almost 30-year-old Great Shapes with stores in Roslyn Heights, Woodbury, and Merrick. "Young women and grandmothers are wearing them now -- they're slimming and sexy." Rash guards, once reserved for surfers, are bigger than ever says Cotugno. "We call them fash guards these days," she says, noting they can disguise jiggling arms and tummies.

The biggest challenge? Fitting women "who are fuller on top," says Cotugno. To that end, some brands are producing well-constructed swim bras that go to size H, with some styles, says Cotugno, that fit like a sports bra.

TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT SUIT

Some swimsuit shopping tips from Samantha Brown Peterson, a Manhattan stylist who has worked with models and regular folks alike:

* "When you're suit shopping, think about the clothing choices you make on a day-to-day basis," as in what looks best on you, "and relate them to choosing a suit."

* "Consider which area of your body you'd like to highlight," says Peterson. If you want to put the emphasis on your bust, she says, go for a sweetheart neckline, halter or swimwear with lining in the cups for a boost. Keep the color and pattern to a minimum on the bottom, and opt for fabric with a matte finish. "Shine always attracts more light and attention," she says.

* Peterson says to look for details like ruching to slim the midsection; color blocking to create visual interest and, "lighter or more vibrant colors down the center of the body and darker panels on the sides," for a slimming effect. Likewise, details or zippers down the center of the body elongate the silhouette.

Modcloth

Life is a bowl of cherries with this
Life is a bowl of cherries with this great-fitting retro style one-piece; $89.99 by Esther Williams at modcloth.com. (Credit: Modcloth)

Lane Bryant

Go wild this summer with this tribal zebra
Go wild this summer with this tribal zebra top that boasts a supportive underwire, sexy macrame back and hidden bra closure ($64.95) paired with matching zebra hipsters ($59.95); at select Lane Bryant stores and lanebryant.com. (Credit: Lane Bryant)

Great Shapes

Trick the eye with this one-piece that features
Trick the eye with this one-piece that features molded cups and boning along with flattering stomach ruching and contrasting side panels; $155 by Baku at Great Shapes in Roslyn Heights, Woodbury and Merrick. (Credit: Great Shapes)

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Blum's

Thought your bikini days were over? A sheer,
Thought your bikini days were over? A sheer, patterned overlay gives the illusion of a two-piece, but with a little coverage; $143 by Robin Piccone at Blum's in Patchogue, or shopblums.com. (Credit: Blum's of Patchogue)

Tommy Bahama

The flabby arm issue is not a factor
The flabby arm issue is not a factor with this sporty rash guard ($94) in an eye-catching tropical print. Create the illusion of an hourglass figure when you pair it with a smaller hipster bottom ($56); at select Tommy Bahama stores and tommybahama.com. (Credit: Tommy Bahama)

Lane Bryant

Sexy and supportive, this crochet bandeau bikini top
Sexy and supportive, this crochet bandeau bikini top has a built-in underwire, lightly shaped cups and convertible straps ($59.95) and looks classic and chic with a matching, hip-flattering swim skirt ($54.95); at select Lane Bryant stores and lanebryant.com. (Credit: Lane Bryant)

Jerrie Shop

Marna Hann, co-owner of the Jerrie Shop, says
Marna Hann, co-owner of the Jerrie Shop, says the high-neck bikini "leads the eye up ... it's insanely popular." Shown here, a variation on the theme by Bikini Lab with macrame inserts; top, $39, bottom, $33, at the Jerrie Shop. (Credit: Jerrie Shop)

Modcloth

Some summer simmer for curvy gals with this
Some summer simmer for curvy gals with this vintage-inspired polka dot swim dress up to size 26; $99.99 by Esther Williams at modcloth.com. (Credit: Modcloth)

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Great Shapes

This textured bikini top has fully lined cups
This textured bikini top has fully lined cups with underwire seams to add shape and mesh-lined side panels for smoothing and support ($131) in cup sizes up to E, shown with matching mid-rise bottom ($64); by Prima Donna at Great Shapes stores in Roslyn Heights, Woodbury and Merrick. (Credit: Great Shapes)

Blum's

Shirring and ruffles going down the front of
Shirring and ruffles going down the front of this Magicsuit tankini are a pretty good disguise for belly issues; $105 at Blum's in Patchogue or shopblums.com. (Credit: Blum's of Patchogue)

Tommy Bahama

This top fits like a bra with an
This top fits like a bra with an uplifting underwire, adjustable straps and foam cups ($78) in sizes 34B to 38DD. For more coverage around the derriere and thighs, the skirted bottom ($69) has a smoothing top band that lays flat against the tummy. Added benefit -- it's made from a microfiber with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50+; at select Tommy Bahama stores and tommybahama.com. (Credit: Tommy Bahama)

Jerrie Shop

Made exclusively for larger-busted women, this bustier top
Made exclusively for larger-busted women, this bustier top ($84) goes from sizes D-F and offers supreme support, paired with a sassy little skirt ($58); both by Blush at the Jerrie Shop, Woodbury and Rockville Centre. (Credit: Jerrie Shop)

Great Shapes

Cover and contour with this sexy mesh rash
Cover and contour with this sexy mesh rash guard by Seafolly; $162 at Great Shapes in Roslyn Heights, Woodbury and Merrick. (Credit: Great Shapes)

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Lane Bryant

This sprightly print top from Lane Bryant fits
This sprightly print top from Lane Bryant fits like a sports bra with a halter back and front zipper ($54.95). It's paired with matching boy shorts that minimize muffin tops ($54.95); online only at lanebryant.com. (Credit: Lane Bryant)

Blum's

Don't cry over big thighs -- a little
Don't cry over big thighs -- a little swim dress with a modern pattern gives off a cute yet sophisticated vibe; $93 by Beach House at Blum's in Patchogue, or shopblums.com. (Credit: Blum's of Patchogue)

Jerrie Shop

This suit offers several fringe benefits, including a
This suit offers several fringe benefits, including a loose overlay that eliminates the look of a thicker middle along with fringy thigh-hiders; Profile by Gottex, $128, at the Jerrie Shop, Woodbury and Rockville Centre. (Credit: Jerrie Shop)

LeSwim

Highlight good shoulders and a slim waist while
Highlight good shoulders and a slim waist while smoothing a less-than-flat tummy in this sporty, color-blocked maillot; $250 by leswim.it. (Credit: LeSwim)

Tommy Bahama

This cheery palm print one-piece can help flatten
This cheery palm print one-piece can help flatten and smooth the tummy with built-in control panels and shirring; $147 at select Tommy Bahama stores and tommybahama.com. (Credit: Tommy Bahama)

Blum's

Curvy gals needn't stick with one-pieces.
Curvy gals needn't stick with one-pieces. "High-waisted bottoms are retro, very cool and slim the middle," says Cherie Alleyne, the owner of swimwear hub Blum's in Patchogue. The underwire top goes up to a G-cup; both by Panache, top $64, bottom $46, in the store or online at shopblums.com. (Credit: Blum's of Patchogue)