Although confidence is the key to rocking any swimsuit style and looking hot on the beach, sometimes that confidence can hardly do magic, if you don’t choose the right swimwear for your body shape. Swimsuit shopping may seem a long and difficult process, but once you know your body language and pick the style that flatters your silhouette, you instantly become a hottie beach bunny and get one of those it figures that everybody admires.
Luckily nowadays swimsuits for women come in a myriad of shades and shapes and there is a fabulous style for any figure type and size. All you have to do is study your silhouette and know what is good for you and what not, and not just what you like and want. To help you on your swimwear quest, here are a few style tips to keep in mind when you wonder how to choose swimwear to flatter your figure.
Know Your Body Shape
The principle rule in finding the best swimsuit for you is to know your body shape. If one swimsuit style looks great on your friend, that doesn’t mean you will also shine in it. If you don’t know your body shape, measure your hips at the widest point, waist at the smallest point and boosts at the fullest point. Once you know the sizes, compare with these interpretations of body shapes:
Pear, spoon, bell or A shape (triangle upward): Women with wider hips than both the waist and bust, have pear body shape. Pear shaped women tend to have larger rear, a small bosom and robust thighs.
Apple or V shape (triangle downward): Women with waist significantly wider than the hips, and equal to or nearly as wide as the bust, have apple body shape. Apple shaped women tend to have slimmer legs (thighs) and larger chest and abdomen compared to the rest of the body.
Hourglass or X shape (triangles opposing, facing in): Women with bust and hips of almost the same width and with significantly smaller waist, have the classic hourglass body shape. Usually this body type enlarges the hips, legs, arms, chest and rear before other parts of the body.
Straight, banana or I shape (rectangular): Women who are generally thin all around with no significant difference between waist, hips and bust, have a straight body shape.
How To Choose Swimwear
Once you know your body shape, you can focus more easily. These are some great swimwear tips for you to consider while purchasing a swimsuit:
Swimwear for a Smaller Bust
• Think a top with ruffles, frills or draping at the bust, as this will add volume and balance out a flatter chest.
• Instead of choosing a simple string bikini, pick structured underwire bikini tops with padding.
• To add interest into your beach look and create the illusion of an hourglass figure, go for retro-inspired one-piece swimsuits with inbuilt cups or a halterneck that draws in the waist.
• Another great idea is to try sporty bathing suits with modern cutaways. This is especially great for those having a straight up-and-down figure.
Swimwear for a Large Bust
• Halternecks are the best style of swimwear for women with a large bust, as they perfectly support the bust and also create a beautiful vintage pin-up look.
• To balance your figure, go for cupped underwire bikini styles with fuller cups.
• Avoid any additional embellishments or ruffles, as this will make your bust appear unnaturally bigger. Instead go for simple and sleek designs.
• One of the best swimwear styles for women with a large bust is the one featuring peplum or frill at the hips. This will balance out the volume on top and create the illusion of a smaller waistline.
Swimwear for Bigger Hips
• To shift the attention from your wide hips, look for bottoms that sit across, not below them.
• Avoid any boy-short cuts, as they tend to make the hips look bigger.
• Think dark colored bottoms and lighter tops to draw attention upwards.
Swimwear to Slim Down a Stomach
• To disguise lumps and bumps, try bathing suits with shirring or gathering at the torso.
• Go for a tankini, as this type of swimwear covers the stomach, but also lets you breathe well, unlike the clingy one-piece styles.
• A monokini with cuts at the sides can also balance out your figure and create the illusion of a flatter stomach.
• If you choose a one-pieces style, go for a dark colored one or a swimsuit featuring all-over prints, as this won’t show every contour underneath. However, avoid a swimsuit with horizontal stripes, as they make the tummy appear bigger.
Swimwear for Pear Shaped Figure
• Stick to a swimwear style with a lot of control and coverage. A suit with higher cut legs will slim down your figure and elongate your legs.
• Choose two-piece swimsuits with a dark, solid color on the bottom and a brighter one on the top. Detailing on the top, such as pleats, ruffles or patterns will also shift the attention to the top. The bottom should be kept maximum modest and simple.
• You may like to accentuate your beautiful narrow shoulders and for this go for a strapless or one-shoulder asymmetrical swimsuit.
• A feminine tankini with a beautiful swim skirt attached will also be great for pear shaped women. The skirt will camouflage any body flaws.
Swimwear for Straight Shaped Figure
• Look for a one-piece or two-piece bathing suit with some detailing around the waist. This will help you create the perfect hourglass shape.
• Think swimsuits with a form fitting waist and a soft cup bra. This will make your rectangular figure appear curvier.
• Halternecks are great for almost any body type, and straight body shape is no exception. You can also try one-piece styles with a bold bright color overall and a darker one in the waistline, as this will make your waist appear smaller.
• Try solid bold colors and a plunging neckline to make the butt and bust stand out.
• Choose frills, ruffles, diagonal lines and bright, cheerful patterns to create the illusion of curves. However, stay away from horizontal-striped, solid-colored styles, as well as ones with cuts straight across your body.
Swimwear for Apple Shaped Figure
• A crossover suit is a great option for apple shaped women. A color-blocked style with color in the middle will balance the figure and camouflage body problems.
• A swimsuit with high-cut legs and a low-cut neckline will shift the attention from your tummy to your legs.
• Choose swimsuits in darker shades, such as black to slim down your body. You can also work with prints and patterns.
Swimwear for Hourglass Shaped Figure
Women with hourglass shaped figure are the luckiest ones, as almost any swimsuit style works great on them. From bandeau tops, haltertops and one-piece styles to two-piece swimsuits and bikinis, everything looks great on this type of figure. You should just work with colors, prints, cuts and embellishments to draw attention to the areas you want and camouflage the problem areas.
Swimwear to Give an Overall Slim Look
• Think stretchy one-piece bathing suits, if you are in search of the perfect sliming swimwear.
• A body-shaping swimsuit that offers all over control is also great for slimming down your figure.
• Try also one-piece swimwear with mesh or lace inserts, as this style will provide coverage while looking stylish and sexy.
Other Swimwear Tips
Focus on the Colors, Patterns, Details and Fabrics of the Swimwear
The secret to a sexy swimsuit is drawing the eye to your best assets and camouflaging your body flows. For this, you should work with colors, patterns, details and fabrics of the swimsuits you are choosing.
• Go for a bright color or pattern, if you want to accentuate a certain part of your body.
• Play with patterns to highlight a feature you like. This way the eye will be focused on the pattern, rather than your body. Keep the pattern size relative to your silhouette. Thus if you are petite, think smaller and more delicate patterns, and if you are a bit larger, small prints will just make you look even larger. So in this case, opt for larger and bolder prints.
• To hide some problematic areas, use a solid color. If you are pale skinned, think black or jewel tones, like dark purple, navy and maroon. If you have dark skin, go for bright colors.
• To add volume to certain areas (like the top), go for ruffles, frills or other embellishments. And on the contrary, to hide volume, use shirred and ruched fabric.
Select the Right Cut
• A one-piece style or a high-waisted swimsuit will hide your waist. Think one in darker shades or with shirred panels over the stomach.
• A tankini will accentuate your waist.
• Boyshorts make the hips look wider, no matter what color they feature.
• High-cut bikini bottoms elongate the legs.
• Haltertops, triangle tops and tie-front bikini tops draw attention to the bust, while bandeau tops tend to make the bust appear wider.
Last but not least, when shopping a swimsuit, pay more attention to the fit than the size. If the swimsuit looks too small than your size, try a size bigger. Also keep in mind that swimsuits tend to enlarge a bit while wet. To camouflage certain areas, at the same time appear more stylish, you can also turn towards various accessories and cover-ups. And of course, never forget the most important accessories – self-confidence and your sunny smile!
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Photos courtesy of Fashionising