Need help choosing a swimsuit?
Summer means hot days at the beach and lots of fun and play in the water. Slipping into a swimsuit after months of wearing heavier clothing can feel a little intimidating, but many people are unaware of just how much difference choosing the right swimsuit can make. A flattering swimsuit will help you feel confident, secure, and relaxed – regardless of your body type.
Basic dos and don’ts
Keep these basic dos and don’ts in mind as you shop for your swimsuit, and take time to find out what makes you feel the most comfortable in terms of coverage and fit.
- Try on lots of swimsuits – Swimsuit styles change constantly, so step outside of your comfort zone and try on a few new styles that you otherwise might not. Explore what’s out there and you might just find a flattering new cut that looks amazing on you.
- Smaller size – Keep in mind your swimsuits will probably stretch after wear and when wet. Avoid buying one size up because you think it will provide more coverage. Go one size smaller if you’re in doubt.
- Ties and straps – Tighten ties and straps and test the fit by bending over in your swimsuit. Your swimsuit should be well fitted to cover your bust even when you bend over.
- Coverage vs size – Don’t buy a bigger size simply because you want more coverage, since you’ll end up with a poorly fitting swimsuit. If you want more coverage, buy a single-piece suit or a cut designed for just that – more coverage – in your size.
- Fit over fashion – Avoid choosing a swimsuit style just because the design is trending this season. It’s always best to find something classic that suits your body shape than wear the hottest design that doesn’t enhance your look.
Tips for different body shapes
The key rule when choosing a swimsuit is to buy the right one for your body shape. There are numerous designs out there, so chances are you’ll be able to find a cut that’s just right for your unique body shape.
You are fit and lean up top, with a slender silhouette. A flattering design would be a one or two piece that comes with ruffles, horizontal stripes, and other embellishments up top. Alternatively, suits with extra padding can also be flattering, as well as V-neck one pieces with plunging necklines.
Curvy up top
Ladies with curvy bust areas should probably avoid string bikinis or other cuts that don’t provide adequate support up top. Instead, look for flattering cuts with thicker suit straps and double-stitched bands. Strapless one pieces with side shirring can also be great for extra control while being flattering for top-curvy figures.
Ladies with apple shaped bodies and broad shoulders will find solid coloured swimsuits with printed panels along the sides most flattering. Suits with asymmetrical necklines help to draw attention up and away, instead of across the shoulder area, as do one-shoulder swimsuits.
Hourglass figures are said to be the best for bikinis, so you’ll want to slip into a classic-brief bikini, high-cut bottoms, or a high-waist bottom. If you have an hourglass shape, you can probably wear just about any colour, including navy, red, prints, and other bold designs.
Ladies with pear-shaped figures should opt for styles that draw the gaze to the shoulder and bust areas. One-shoulder suits or tops, halter necks, and bandeau tops make some of the most flattering styles for your figure. Other great designs include high-waisted briefs, colour-block bikinis, and swimsuits with cut-out detailing.
You can achieve a tighter torso with a one piece suit that has Spanx or other similar tightening fabrics built into the midsection. This cut can give the appearance of a smooth, tight tummy area if that’s the look you’re after. High-waisted suits are also great cuts for extra tummy control.
Athletic and toned
For athletic and toned ladies, the trick might be to play up the curves or to show off toned tummies. To enhance curves, avoid bandeaus and brief-cut cottons and choose padded suits with lots of bright colour, detail, and cutouts. Swimsuits with padding, cups, and gathering are also suitable. On the other hand, cutout swimsuits and two-pieces are effective for accentuating toned abs and tummies.
For ladies with curvy backsides, it’s best to avoid string bikinis and high-cut swimsuits, and instead opt for plenty of coverage in the bottom area. Cuts with solid bottoms and printed tops are best, but other options include romper-style suits, swim skirts, and suits with plain black bottoms. Bikini bottoms with printed side ties allow you to adjust fit without compromising on coverage. Ruching designs can offer extra control, and they look great in one-piece suits.
Voluptuous ladies will feel great in swimsuits with thicker strips that help you avoid uncomfortable flesh folds, while those with fuller thighs can try bottoms with more coverage and swim skirts.
One pieces and bikini bottoms with high-cut openings will make your legs look longer. Choosing a suit or a top with print, embellishments, or high-impact colour on top draws attention to your torso.
Choosing the right swimsuit for you
Choosing the right swimsuit will make you look great and boost your confidence at the beach or pool this summer. While it can be tempting to buy whatever is trending this season, it’s better to find something that flatters your silhouette. Explore what’s out there and experiment with different designs and colours to see what suits your shape best. Visit Sunburn, Dept. of Swim or Boardriders at The Strand for expert advice.