How to choose the right swimwear for you

By: Skye Morris

Finding a flattering swimsuit is about as easy as finding shoes your size at a factory outlet. There are so many lovely options available but how do you find the right fit for you? Too often I’ve fallen in love with a bikini that did nothing for my bust, or a one-piece that made my bum look the size of Queensland, and went on to buy it against my better judgement. I’m all for wearing what you love, as long as it loves you back just as much. Accentuating our best bits is what makes us feel confident in our skin, and that’s important when you’re showing more of it!

Any girl can look great in a swimsuit – you just need to find the right one for you. Here is a quick guide to help you figure out what works best with your body-shape.

Body types

Banana: Bust and hip measurements equal with little definition to the waist, little to no hips

Which swimsuit works for me? If you have a small bust, say yes to underwire. Simple string bikinis do not offer enough structure and can leave you looking and feeling flat. Ruffles and pleating also work well. For a larger bust, choose a clean halter neck (no ruffles) with more detailing around your hips to balance out your look, and prevent you from looking too top-heavy. Choose a bright, colourful print with clearly defined lines or go for high-waisted shorts to create the illusion of curves.

What to avoid: Avoid solid coloured one-pieces unless you want to look like a surfboard!

Banana types

(L to R) like this cupped bikini by 2Chillies or ruffled texture bikini from ASOS are great options for the banana shape

Apple: Wide torso, undefined waist, you generally have weight around your mid-section

Which swimsuit works for me? Vertical stripes or detail across the centre near your bust will make you appear more shapely in the areas you lack curves. Opt for designs that will enhance your bust and hips and conceal your tummy area, such as a v-neck with ruffles just below the bust to create the illusion of curves. Black is always flattering, but don’t feel restricted to wearing only black swimsuits – stick to dark bottoms and bright tops, a design that will lift the eye above the stomach.

What to avoid? Apples are bigger around the middle, so avoid peplums.

Apple types

Bright and structured tankini or a slimming black one-piece emphasising the bust

Pear: Shoulders narrower than hips

Which swimsuit works for me? Bring the focus to the top with a bright pattern bikini top, and shift attention away from your wide hips by choosing bottoms that do not go far below the hips, a higher cut will elongate your legs. If you like, accentuate your shoulders with a strapless. It is always good to find a swimsuit that is cinched at the waist to give you that perfect hourglass figure.

What to avoid? Boy cuts will make your hips appear larger.

Pear types

Multi-strap one-piece draws the eye to the bust and this strapless bikini will elongate your legs.

Hourglass: Bust and hip measurements align, defined waist

Which swimsuit works for me? The hourglass figure is traditionally considered to be the most desirable shape for swimwear. A one-piece that highlights your narrowest point will be the most flattering option for you. A monokini is perfect as it draws attention to your slim waist.

Hourglass types

(L to R) This flattering Piha monokini and pretty floral Camillia & Marc one piece

Go for a halter top one-piece to really accentuate your waist, or a bikini with bright print. A bigger bust looks great with thicker straps to level out the centre, if you have a smaller bust opt for padded to ensure you get some lift.

What to avoid? Avoid anything that draws attention away from your waist, or makes it appear larger (such as frills or other detailing). Remember, the most important thing is for you to be comfortable in what you choose to wear. Confidence is key!

About: Skye is a fashion blogger and stylist-in-the-making living in Sydney. She loves all things fashion and design, and finds inspiration in beautiful things. She enjoys giving style tips and advice on her blog thehighlifefashion. You can also follow her on Twitter.

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  1. […] If you are slim and want to create the effect of having more curves, you can opt for a one-piece swimsuit with cut-out sections (commonly referred to as designer monokinis). […]



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