We’ve resolved to put an end to the fear and frustration that comes with swimsuit shopping. From curvier frames to athletic body types, we’re helping to make sense of the endless swimwear options and narrowing them down to the picks that were made to fit and flatter your frame. Shoppers who know their body type can look for styles that draw attention to their best features, and balance proportions for the most flattering fit. Determining one’s body type is relatively easy: all that’s required is a measuring tape. In just a few steps, women can get a precise sense of the way they are proportioned. Fashion magazines and websites often feature articles with suggestions for dressing according to body type. Because swimwear is so revealing, it is especially important that it match one’s figure. While it may seem at first that, when it comes to swimwear, there is nowhere to hide, there are in fact a range of styles to flatter any body type.
The Pear Shape: You’re curvy at the hips and thighs and smaller on top, like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
What to look for: The key to the perfect swimsuit is balancing your proportions and getting the coverage you need for your bottom half. For a traditional fix, look for a clean-skirted bottom that falls just below the largest part of the upper leg. Avoid reaching for a boy short or thick-banded bottom. The extra fabric will only call attention to the area you’re trying to mask. A plunging neckline or eye-catching top draws the eye upward, minimizing the bottom. Racer-back, tank, bandeau, and strapless tops all serve to broaden the shoulder area. Tankinis add dimension to the upper body.
Large Bust: Ample cleavage; you’re chesty and require more support up top like Brooklyn Decker, Katy Perry, and Sofia Vergara.
What to look for: If you’re more well-endowed on top, then support is key. Opt for suits with underwire or molded cups to give the girls the support they need. Avoid ruffles or embellishments up top if you’re hoping to minimize the focus on your chest. Bra-style tops with underwire and adjustable straps provide extra bust support. The thicker the strap, the more support. Higher backs are also a good fit for helping to keep the girls up. Molded cups provide extra support and are available in many different styles. Explore suits marked with sizing like your regular bra, including styles that go above a D, which are constructed to support a larger bust. Boy shorts are one option to create more curve at the hips. Light colors are also good for playing up curves. Details such as ruffles, belts, ties, or print patterns like polka dots or horizontal stripes are also a good choice.
Small bust: Proportionally, you’re smaller on top with an A or B cup, like Kate Hudson.
What to look for: A smaller chest requires less support, so you can look for styles with more minimal coverage or embellished detailing, bows, and patterns to create the illusion of a larger chest. Triangle tops create the illusion of curves, as do tops with bold prints or embellishments with ruffles.Bra tops and padded push-up tops offer extra lift and can create cleavage, as can certain halter tops.A smaller bust always means you can wear tiny scoop tops or bandeaus — embrace them! The best bet for a gal with a smaller chest is to go for a top with embellishments or ruffles to give the illusion of a larger chest.
Athletic: You’re more straight up-and-down and have fewer curves, like Cameron Diaz, Jessica Biel, and Jennifer Aniston.
What to look for: The name of the game is playing up your curves with styles that flaunt your frame. Suits with less coverage help to create the illusion of a shapelier figure. The goal here is to give the illusion of more curves, which is easily done with a top with cups, padding and gathering, and by picking girlie prints and bright colors. Don’t go for straight-across bandeaus, boy-cut briefs or shapeless full-pieces, as this will only enhance your athletic figure. Tops or bottoms with bold prints, ruffles, and embellishments add intrigue and feminine flair and can create the appearance of more curve at top and bottom. Monokinis create fabulous curves, as do one-pieces with slashes or strategically placed cutouts. The smaller the swimsuit bottom, the fuller and curvier the derriere appears. Tie-side bikini bottoms enhance curves and adjust perfectly to your size.
Tummy Concealing: You’re built a little more like an apple shape and carry your weight mostly in your middle.
What to look for: Whether you prefer to be covered up, or you’re out to slim your middle, there are a number of one-piece and two-piece suits, like high-waisted or tankini styles, that help to smooth out your middle. A high-waisted bottom works wonders — just make sure it extends above your belly button to prevent a muffin top. Shirring works miracles. The gathered fabric hides bulges and creates definition in the waist.
A figure-flattering surplice-wrap silhouette trims the waist with its crossover fabric. If you carry your weight in the lower part of your belly, try on a retro-inspired, high-waisted suit. They’re on-trend and ace for covering the abdomen.
Curvy: You’re curvy throughout with a full bust, hips, thighs, and butt like Christina Hendricks, Scarlett Johansson, and Kim Kardashian.
What to look for: For curvy frames, the key is to highlight your curves while providing enough support and coverage. If you’re not keen on exaggerating your curves, then steer clear of monokinis or string bikinis with thicker ties, which can accentuate your widest areas. Asymmetrical suits draw the eye toward the neckline, highlighting the beautiful line from a woman’s neck to her collarbone. Color blocking can help highlight your shape, as do retro suits (think high waists and boxy halter tops).
You can leave queries, thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!