When it comes to clothing, there are few things that give women more anxiety than the swimsuit. Finding the right suit—one that’s designed for your figure—can go a long way toward quieting that anxiety, so here are tips for finding the suit that suits YOU.
As always, these are the lucky ladies with balanced proportions that have the most options. Almost any swimsuit style works great on them. From bandeau tops, halter tops 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. Halter tops can provide support for the better-endowed. Left: the little black dress of swimsuits. Middle: A classic bikini in eye-catching purple is perfect. Right: Hourglasses look great in suits with some retro elements like this flirty, ruffled bottom.
If you’re on the better-endowed side, look for suits that offer plenty of support, just the way a bra would. Wide, adjustable straps, underwire boning, and even cup-size-specific fits will all help lift your bust, helping you look and feel your best. Left: A little bit vintage, a little bit modern, this one-piece has supportive foam cups and an adjustable halter. Plus, front ruching and tummy control make for a smooth, sleek appearance. Middle: Companies that let you shop for swimwear by cup size are the best way to find the right fit. This sophisticated floral suit from ASOS, which has supportive underwire cups, goes all the way to a 36G. Right: This suit’s higher neckline provides a flattering fit without fear of spillage—even if you’re hitting the volleyball courts or playing in the waves, and the crisscross back allows for maximum mobility. Not often found in one-pieces, built-in soft cups offer extra support.
Have a round or apple shape and feel a little self-conscious about exposing your midsection? (Honestly, who isn’t?) Don’t shy away from swimwear—options from one-pieces to tankinis to, yes, even bikinis, come in cuts so flattering you’ll feel confident flaunting your figure. Left: While a plunging neckline certainly helps shift the focus from a tummy to your other—ah—assets, the vertical shape and cascading ruffles will also help make your torso look longer and leaner. Middle: High-waisted bottoms can provide control from the navel down. Right: A top that uses a pattern in the middle with solid colored side panels focuses the eye to the center, resulting in a slimmer looking torso.
Balance out a bottom-heavy figure with bold patterns or colors on top that draw the eye upward. Watch out for cuts like boy shorts that hit straight across the thigh, making them appear wider, and look for suits with higher-cut leg-lines instead. Left: A deep neckline and bright bands of color highlight the waist and bust, rather than the hips and thighs. Middle: The soft scalloped edging on this bikini means no tight or pinching spots to dig into your skin. The result? A flawless-looking fit. Right: A suit with a brightly printed top and a dark solid shade below helps to visually bring your shape into proportion, while legs look long and lean in high-cut bottoms.
Ladies that are inverted triangles want a suit to balance and support their larger shoulders and bust. Look for underwiring to support a large bust; avoid bikini triangle tops as these offer little support and may make you look more busty. Suits with racerbacks provide good support and complement an athletic inverted triangle. Avoid swimsuits with high necklines. While these may provide your bust with the support it needs, they may make you look too matronly. Left: Consider a swimsuit with a halter style top. Halter tops provide your large bust with the support it needs, but the deep neckline keeps you looking attractive and womanly. Middle: Halter top bikini provide support while flirty, ruffled bottom adds dimension to balance a larger upper body. Right: Gravitate toward patterns instead of solids. All-over patterns prevent the eye from focusing on any one part of your body. As a result, your heavy bust and shoulders seem less noticeable.
Less-endowed ladies, consider yourselves lucky! You can pretty much wear any style, regardless of how supportive. To add the illusion of curves, make your M.O. “lift and separate.” Stick to suits that have a bit of padding or boning to add contours, or try busy patterns or ruffles for a little enhancement without any added material. Left: The padding in this tankini can up your size a whole cup, and while the ruffle is a sweet detail, it also adds even more va-va-volume. Middle: It may seem counter-intuitive, but deep-V necklines actually look better on smaller busts because the “V” suggests the shape of cleavage (whereas the effect can read as overkill on women with a little more up top). Right: If you’re of the “go big or go home” mentality, this bikini is basically the push-up bra of swimsuits. Serious padding and structure will give a major boost to your bust (and even add a little cleavage).
Ruffles, rings, shirring, padding and bold prints can make a straight rectangle look more curvaceous. Triangle tops are perfect for breaking up straight lines and adding the look of curves. Bottoms with embellishments bring attention to the hips and create a waistline. Feminine prints and colors can make your figure appear softer and more womanly. Stripes angled downward toward the center front of a one-piece suit create an optical illusion, making it appear as though the suit has a nipped waist. Left: Pretty ruffled top string bikini in hot pink and orange adds feminine allure. Middle: Cutouts on a monokini give the illusion of sexy curves. Right: Triangle top bikini was just made for rectangles. The scalloped edges are a girly bonus.