Woman In BikiniA holiday of sun, sea and sand is a relaxing and enjoyable time that many people look forward to. But before the holiday begins, shopping for beachwear can be a dreaded occasion. Whether you prefer to cover up or show off your assets, there are plenty of options as long as you know what to look for. Following this brief guide will help you to shop for the perfect beach attire.

Thinking about the shape of your body and the areas you are most confident and least confident about showing will give you a good starting point. With most types of swimwear, the legs will be on show. To make your legs appear longer, go for a higher cut on the bottom half. This can be a bikini bottom but many one piece suits will also have a cut that sits higher on the legs. Another advantage of the higher cut is that it will help to make the torso appear shorter, which is useful for taller women, whereas a lower cut may make the body seem out of proportion. Alternatively, you can cover up your legs by wearing a swim dress or a bikini bottom with a skirt if this is a less confident area.

When choosing swimwear for big busts, support is an important aspect of the piece you choose. Try underwiring instead of a string bikini top, and go for a fuller cup instead of the triangle shape. Colour is also an important factor. If your bust is particularly large, a bright, bold colour on the bottom half can draw attention away from the chest to make the body seem more even and proportioned. Alternatively, if you wish for your chest to be the area of the body to show off, a halter neck will bring attention to the area, especially in a bright colour or pattern. Similarly, many bikini tops in smaller sizes are made with padded cups and adjustable straps so you can make it tighter to lift the bust and draw the eye to the area.

A tankini is a good middle ground if you want some coverage for confidence but also want that beautiful bronze tan. This can be good for women with a slim figure or hourglass shape who want to show off a flash of skin around the hips and tummy area but draw more attention to the chest or legs. If you are aware of your body shape and know which areas you want the eye to be drawn to, you can mix and match with styles and colour until you find a flattering outfit that makes you feel confident on the beach.

+Jonathan Crewe