What swimwear style to choose for your body shape
What swimwear styles suit your shape?
What is an hourglass body shape?
If your hips and shoulders are about the same width and you have both a bust and a bottom, with a defined waist, you’re an hourglass shape. Lucky you!You can be a curvy hourglass or a slim one: it’s all about your equal proportion with a nipped in waist.
Any swimwear style suits you really – but stick to matching sets, colours and details so you stay in proportion.
Colour-blocked separates or mix and match, which can create an unbalanced illusion. If you’re a curvier hourglass with a larger bust, then string bikinis and bandeaus don’t provide as much support.
What is a small bust body shape?
If you wear an AA up to a C cup bra, or you’re very petite, you may have a smaller bust. The key thing is whether you feel in proportion – if you feel like your bust can’t compete with your booty, then you might want to add a bit more oomph to your swimwear choices on top.
White or light colours on top to create the illusion of a bigger space. Padding can make your girls look bigger, so you could choose a moulded triangle, a structured balcony or underwired style that can house some discreet padding.
Details like ruffles, ruching or frills can boost volume, and bold patterns can distract the eye too.
Deep v styles can actually give the impression of cleavage too, so try a plunging halter in either a bikini or a swimsuit. You can also get away with skimpy styles like string tops and crochet bikinis that bigger busts may struggle with.
Bandeaus, since they don’t provide a lot of shape for your bust (unless they also feature lots of ruffles). Best to stay away from dark colours to avoid any further ‘minimising illusions’ too.
What is a big bust body shape?
It’s quite simple really: you have bigger boobs! If you’re a C cup or above, chances are that you have an ample chest.
Support! You’ll need some underwiring or, at the very least, a very supportive underband to keep your girls in shape. A longline bikini is great for extra support underneath.
Choose moulded or shaped cups for the perfect contour and uplift. Thicker shoulder straps will help with support too: ensure they’re adjustable for the perfect fit.
If you want to distract the eye, or minimise your chest, then stick to plain darker colours on top, without embellishment or details. Conversely, if you want to emphasize your ladies, then by all means choose patterns, details and lighter colours – it really depends on the effect you’re going for!
String bikinis, since they don’t provide enough support. Steer clear of bandeaus too, for the same reason – unless it’s the underwired, structured type.
What is a broad shouldered body shape?
If your shoulders are much wider than your hips, or you feel like they’re very muscular or out of proportion with your bust, you may have a broad shouldered body shape.
Thick straps to draw the eye inwards, and up to your face. Try some centred straps instead of those at the armpits. Contrasting coloured straps can really help too. Moulded or contoured cups suggest a more feminine shape to balance out shoulder width, as will girly details like embellishments.
Try side cut outs and panels on swimsuits to create more of an hourglass figure.
The v of a halter shape, or a bust detail like a cutout or a long plunge neckline will refocus attention on your cleavage rather than your shoulders.
High-necked sporty crop-top styles with thick straps (like surf rash vests) can work for you too, since they cover up your shoulders altogether!
Check out asymmetric swimsuits as well to look less ‘straight across’.
Bandeaus – they have too much horizontal focus. Avoid thin wide-set straps that go straight over your shoulder.
What is a pear body shape?
Got wide hips with a bootylicious behind? If you’re all about that bass, with proportionally less on the top, you could be a pear shape.
Darker colours on your bottom half for a slimming effect. Try having all the detail on your top half to focus attention higher up your body. Ruffles, patterns and details on your top half focus the eye upwards can balance out your body so that you appear more of an hourglass shape. An off-the-shoulder top will also make your shoulders look wider, so balancing them with your hips. If you want coverage, try out a skirted style.
Boyshorts as they emphasise wideness. Highcut legs can also emphasise your hips too much. Step away from the light colours and bold patterns on your bottom half, as they’ll only draw more attention to the area you’re trying to minimise.
What is a round tummy shape?
If your tummy is your widest point, and is bigger than your shoulders and hips, you might be an ‘apple’ shape with a round middle.
A one-piece swimsuit with control panels can help to hold in your stomach. Contrast panelling on swimsuits can give the impression of a more defined waist. Shirring can also conceal lumps and bumps, and darker colours around the middle will help to minimise your tum. Depending on whether you also have boobs and/or a bum, you might want to use colours and patterns to centre attention on the surrounding areas. Going for a bikini? Disguise a muffin top with high-waisted bottoms.
White, light colours, stripes or loud patterns around your middle, which will draw the eye too much.
What is a short torso shape?
If you have long legs and the main trunk of your body feels short and disproportional to your legs, you could have a short torso. Or you might be quite petite and just find that many swimsuits are too long in the body for your small frame.
One-piece swimsuits with plunging v necks, side panels or side cut-outs can really help to lengthen your body. Vertical stripes can help too. Halter straps also draw focus upwards. Low-slung hipster style bikini bottoms can make your torso look taller – any kind of bikini that reveals more of your stomach can help to stretch your proportions out. Want to make your legs look shorter? Then stick to a boy-short leg shape.
Belted styles, horizontal stripes, strapless bandeaus and tankinis can all make your body look stouter. Avoid high-waisted bottoms too – and definitely don’t pair them with a longline bikini top!
Long torso/short legs
What is a long torso/short leg shape?
Exactly what it says on the tin: if you’re longer in the body and your legs feel short in comparison, you may have this body shape. If you’re tall you might also have a long torso.
Bikinis work better for you than one-pieces, helping to break up your trunk with areas of interest. Side cut-outs, like a monokini, can do this too. A high-waisted bottom paired with a longline bikini will make your midriff look shorter. High cut legs are ideal for you: lengthening your pins to balance them with your long body. If you’re feeling brave, a thong or Brazilian bottom can maximise the amount of leg on show. Balcony bras with wide set straps can add width to a long figure, readjusting the balance. Horizontal stripes may help to divide your silhouette. Two-tone colour blocks work in the same way: try a plain dark bottom and detailed or patterned top.
One-piece swimsuits in a single block colour. Steer clear of longer boyshort legs, which will shorten the look of your limbs. Avoid hipster bottoms which expose too much waist vertically.
What is an athletic shape?
People’s interpretation of athletic varies. But we’d say it’s a more boyish shape that’s quite straight up and down: equal hips and shoulders, yet without a defined waist. Athletic ladies might be muscular too.
The key to enhancing an athletic frame is to add curves. Bikinis can help to add more interest. Ruffles are your friend here: add them to both bottoms and tops to create volume to your bust and hips, which will give you the impression of a defined waist. Cut outs, asymmetry and panels can all add interest to a straight figure too. Choose padded tops for definition, and ruching details to add texture and interest.
Block shaped one-pieces – they can emphasise your straightness. Steer clear of shapeless bandeaus and boy-cut bottoms too.